You Will Bear Witness is a Memoir of my years of living in Ireland from the age of four to eighteen when I was the victim of a paedophile ring organised by my parents in a seaside village in the south east of Dublin. My mother regularly beat me and supplied me alcohol to make me compliant to the men’s needs and desires. My father stood on and watched. However, even he joined in the sexual abuse in my teenage years too.
Children from the local Industrial School were brought to my room for abuse also and my book is dedicated to them. It is to tell their story.
When I was eighteen I was kicked out onto the streets of Dublin to fend for myself when I was of no use any longer to the paedophile ring. From there I was rescued by The Salvation Army who eventually organised for my migration to Australia where I lived and married happily. I received the education through the TAFE system here in Australia that I never got growing up in Ireland and went on to graduate at University in Sociology.
I married a wonderful man and all memories of my childhood went into suppression until 2012 when the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse was launched. Hearing testimonies and cases brought it all back and I have a breakdown and was hospitalised for three months, diagnosed with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder with comorbid depression and anxiety. I have repeated suicide attempts and self-harm regularly. I am a recovering alcoholic. I see a genius of a Psychotherapist and undergo EMDR Therapy with her which has saved my life and helped me deal with my traumatic past.
I am on the journey to recovery and You Will Bear Witness is part of that recovery and is a testimony to the two faces of Ireland, a country with a horrible stain in its history through the treatment of children by the clergy and other men/women in the fifties, sixties and seventies.