August 2012

Teen speaks out after abusive father jailed

A TEENAGER has told how she was subjected to years of sexual abuse by her own dad – after seeing him jailed for ten years.

Georgia was abused between the ages of 10 and 13 by Andrew Simpson, who would put on Disney films while carrying out his sickening attacks.

Now aged 18, she has bravely decided to waive her right to anonymity in the hope her story will encourage other victims of such abuse to seek help.

Last Wednesday, Simpson, 46, was sentenced for his crimes at Hove Crown Court.

Georgia, who lives with her mum Jo, says the vile attacks have left her angry at everyone, distrustful of all men and scared of the dark.

She added that she has tried to take her own life a number of times.

“I lost my childhood, my innocence, because of him,” she said.

“He made me depressed, overweight and lonely, but I am so much more than he will ever be.”

Georgia is relieved a long sentence was given, but says it has done little to ease her pain.

She said: “I know that he can’t hurt anyone else but him being in jail does not change what he did to me.

“He still has a life, even in prison. I don’t. I no longer have his name; he is no longer legally my father. He is nothing to me other than the man who abused me.”

For years Georgia suffered in silence, afraid that no one would believe her.

The abuse first came to light in 2007 when Georgia told her stepfather she had been touched over her clothes by Simpson.

However, she did not reveal the full extent of her ordeal and asked for charges not to be brought.

In 2010, she finally found the strength to reveal what had really been happening, first to her boyfriend, then during counselling.

Last week she was able to stand up in court, look Simpson in the eye and tell him how he had ruined her life. He pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual assault by penetration.

Georgia hopes she has given other victims the confidence to speak out.

She said: “I just hope if someone else is experiencing what I went through they will see this and it will give them the courage to say something.

“I realise now that my family is the best support I can get and I would say to anyone going through the same thing to trust those who love you. Don’t push them away.”

Terrified by dad’s assaults

THE abuse Georgia endured at the hands of her father has had a devastating impact on her life.

After Andrew Simpson was jailed for ten years last week for the appalling sex attacks, the teenager told the News just how much damage he has caused.

She said: “I am terrified knowing that sick, perverted people look just like everyone else, that anyone I pass by is someone who could potentially hurt me.

“I feel like it will never go away. Even though he has been jailed I can’t shake it off.

“Every time I fly off the handle or break down at work I have to explain why. I am forced to constantly relive what happened to me.”

The abuse happened when Georgia visited Simpson while he was living with his mother in Crawley in 2005 and continued at other addresses until 2007. He had separated from Georgia’s mother several years earlier.

Georgia would know when the abuse was coming because he would put on a Disney film before assaulting her on a bed.

She said: “I used to self-harm as a cry for help. I would punch myself in the head and I tried to kill myself on several occasions.

“I hated my mum and stepdad and was always shouting at them. I couldn’t hug my younger sisters. None of them knew why.”

It took years for Georgia to summon the strength to explain what had been happening.

She said: “I was too young to really understand what was going on at the time but I knew it wasn’t right.

“I used to try to stop him by saying I was tired or rolling over but that didn’t always stop him.

“He never threatened me or told me not to tell anyone, but I was so young. I thought, ‘Are they going to believe me?'”

Getting through her GCSEs was particularly testing.

“I used to fake being ill to avoid school,” Georgia said.

“I used to have blazing rows with teachers. I didn’t feel like they were supportive, even after they knew what had happened to me.

“I don’t really have any friends and I don’t speak to anyone from school any more.”

Georgia now wants to set up a support network for victims of sexual abuse and their families.

She explained: “One of the hardest things I found was that there was virtually no specialist support.

“I was at an awkward age when it all came out because I was nearly an adult, but it happened to me when I was a child.

“I dealt with so many different people and services and had to constantly go through everything.

“I want to make sure other victims of abuse are taken seriously and they know where they can go for help.”