The terrible secret which finally made me tell police my dad had sexually abused me
By CLAIRE CARTER
Heidi Harding keeps the diaries she started writing as a seven-year-old, detailing how her father abused her in secret, locked in a box.
She keeps them secure, not to hide her memories away but so that she can frequently re-read the entries to remind herself of what happened to her at the hands of the man who was supposed to protect her.
And when her daughter – now just four – is old enough, Heidi will consider telling her how her dad sexually abused her over a period of seven years because she believes it is important not to hide from the truth.
Heidi believes the more abuse is brushed under the carpet and children are not encouraged to talk about their bodies, the more abuse could happen and continue without being stopped.