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A WOMAN has revealed how her brother sexually abused her from the age of six – even convincing her he would get cancer if she objected.
Sophie Carr from Swindon was repeatedly preyed on by her older brother Alexander Carr, now 29, until she was 16.
The 23-year-old now wants to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to report their attackers and has bravely waived her anonymity to reveal her own ordeal.
Sophie's abuse first started in 2003 when she and her brother were playing a game of ‘mummies and daddies’.
The autism practitioner said: “Growing up, I thought Alex was the best older brother.
'TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND'
“One afternoon, we were playing in one of the bedrooms at my grandparents' house when he climbed on top of me.
“He started grinding himself against me and laughed while I struggled to break free.
“Afterwards, I tried to forget about it. I was too young to understand what he was doing.”
Six months later, at an old family home in Yorkshire, Carr snuck into Sophie’s bedroom while her parents were sleeping.
She said: “He kissed me on the lips, then began caressing my legs and bottom.
“Minutes later, he pulled down his pants and began to rub his private parts on me.
“I was frozen in shock. Once he was finished, he put his clothes back on."
For the next five years Carr continued to abuse his sister, even telling her he would get cancer if she didn't let him.
'THERE WAS NO CANCER'
Sophie said: “Throughout the years, Alex bombarded me with messages and calls every night, begging me to come into his bedroom.
"He convinced me he'd get cancer if I didn't help him.
"I loved him and didn't want him to get sick, so I gave in.
“When I hit my teens, I realised it was all a lie and there was no cancer."
In 2012, Sophie’s life became even more difficult when her mum was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease.
Her condition deteriorated until she wouldn’t walk, eat, or speak on her own and Sophie and her dad became her full-time carers.
Sophie said: “I was heartbroken. I felt like I couldn’t confide in anyone because Dad had enough on his plate.
“I began to avoid Alex as much as I could but he would send me dozens of messages every evening begging me to wear something sexy.
“When I missed the school bus, he’d blackmail me into letting him abuse me before he drove me to school.
“I was terrified he’d rape me one day.”
If you’re a victim of sexual abuse, please speak up, because you will be believed.
Years later, in 2017, after confiding in a boyfriend, Sophie, then 20, confessed to her dad about the abuse.
She said he kicked Alex out of the house immediately but found the situation difficult to believe.
In February 2018, aged 21, she reported her brother to the police and he was arrested and charged with sexual abuse.
Finally, in March 2020, Carr was put on trial at Swindon Crown Court after denying the charges against him.
The jury was shown 80 pages of text messages dating back 10 years detailing the abuse.
Alexander Carr of Swindon was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and two counts of sexual activity with a child family member at Swindon Crown Court.
In July 2020, he was jailed for five years.
Sophie said: “I finally got my justice. Although I will never get over the pain, I can begin to move on and focus on my happiness.
“If you’re a victim of sexual abuse, please speak up, because you will be believed.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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