A victim of child rape and pedophilia opened up about her dark past Sunday, hoping it would help others who have been through similar trauma.
Shannon Clifton from the United Kingdom, now 18 years old, was raped by her father for the first time when she was just six, the beginning of her ordeal that lasted for years. Speaking to Mirror Online, Shannon said her father, Shane Ray Clifton, would sometimes violate her multiple times a day.
She first became pregnant when she was only 11 years old. When her father discovered her pregnancy, he beat her so violently that she had a miscarriage. Two years later, at 13, he got her pregnant for the second time, and it was first discovered by a school nurse, who had asked Shannon to undergo a pregnancy test after becoming suspicious when she saw the girl’s baby bump. Once confirmed, the nurse informed the police about the teen girl’s condition.
A panicked Shane, fearing the disclosure of his dark secret, asked his daughter to join him as they tried to evade the police. However, after six days of a manhunt, they were caught. Two days later, she gave birth to her child, who was also her brother.
During the court hearing in 2015, the judge found Shane guilty of committing rape and sentenced him to a minimum of 15 years in prison.
“He turned it into a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from – raping and beating me for years. I was frightened and in pain every day,” she told the British publication.
“I hate my dad now, but I will always miss him because he was the only person I had throughout my whole childhood.”
Shannon, who suffered post traumatic stress disorder, revealed she had a normal childhood till she turned five, when her parents separated. Following that, she went to live with her father, and his other loving and protective behavior toward her changed soon after.
“He’d scream if I did something he didn’t like, then it was a slap around the head. Then he started punching me. Over the years, he burnt me with an iron, attacked me with a hammer, stabbed me and split my head open,” she said, adding that her connection with the rest of the family was also severed slowly by her father.
“He got me up in the night and made me lie on the floor in my nightie, then he lay on top of me and just did it. I felt the worst pain imaginable. I was screaming for him to stop, but he wouldn’t,” she said. “Afterwards I lay there bleeding. I was sobbing so much I could barely breathe.”
“He would always say sorry afterwards.” She said she would play with her toys afterwards as a distraction from the pain.
“He said it was something all dads did to daughters, but I had to keep it secret. He’d hug me and promise it would never happen again. But it always did. Yet I still loved him. He was all I had.”
On one such occasion, the perpetrator also filmed the transgression and made his juvenile daughter watch it, the victim said.
Three years after separating from her father, who is now in prison, Shannon said she still feared for her life. “I worry about it,” she said, adding, his father had nothing to lose.
Two years ago, Shannon also contemplated taking her own life, but has given up on such thoughts since. She said she would start a criminal psychology degree sometime in 2019.
“I’ll never know exactly why my dad did what he did, but my aim is to help other abuse victims who read this – so they can find the help they need.”