Real Life

REAL LIFE: My brother sexually abused me for my entire childhood

I’d hidden a dark secret from my family for over a decade and now had to speak out.
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Olivia*, 22, shares her true life story;

As my bedroom door creaked open, I quickly clenched my eyes shut.

Laying silent under my doona, I did my best to not move a muscle as my heart raced.

Please leave me alone tonight, I thought.

“Don’t pretend you’re asleep,” a familiar voice said, and laughed wickedly.

It was my older brother, Brandon.

There was just three years between us, but he wasn’t the protective big brother you’d hope for.

To my mum, Janet, and dad, Mark, he was the perfect son. He did well in school and was always so polite at home.

But I hated him with a passion.

Almost every night since I was just five, Brandon would creep into my bedroom and strip me half naked under the covers while our parents sat downstairs watching TV.

“Please don’t,” I begged him. But he carried on anyway.

He forced me to perform sex acts on him and then, once he’d got what he wanted, he’d scurry out of my room to avoid being noticed.

“Tell anyone and you’re dead,” he warned.

I was terrified of him.

My earliest memories of being abused by Brandon started from when I was three.

“Touch me there,” he’d demand, pointing at his penis.

I especially hated family holidays.

Pulling my hand down his pants, he’d then pull down my pyjama bottoms.

“Now it’s your turn,” he’d say with a smirk.

By eight, I was being raped.

Trying to push him away would only make things worse.

He’d cover his penis with plastic bags or socks to conceal the evidence after he’d finished.

I didn’t fully understand as a child what Brandon was doing to me, but I didn’t like it and was desperate for it to stop.

“No-one would ever believe you anyway,” Brandon laughed afterwards.

My sister, Emily, who was just 12 months older, didn’t seem to attract his abuse.

But one night as I was being subjected to one of Brandon’s assaults, she walked in.

“Emily!” I cried, hoping she’d scream for our parents or pull him off me.

But she just walked out in silence.

I was so confused. I felt trapped, like I couldn’t tell anyone.

Brandon even went to the same school as me.

I couldn’t control how much I hated him and would lash out at the dinner table over the smallest of things.

Brandon hid himself from everyone else.

Mum doted on Brandon and it made me sick.

Most weekends I’d wake up early and head downstairs to play computer games.

We had two lounges, one for us kids and the other for my parents to watch TV.

But I would only get a few minutes peace before I’d hear footsteps on the stairs.

My stomach dropped. It was Brandon.

“Take them off now,” he demanded, pointing at my pyjamas.

“No, go away,” I sobbed.

But no matter how hard I tried, Brandon would always do exactly what he liked.

He was much stronger than me and could pin me down, he’d even hold his hands over my mouth so I couldn’t cry.

And now he had a new way to sexually abuse me. He’d insert hair brushes and mascaras into my vagina.

“I know you like it, really,” he laughed as tears ran down my cheeks.

Dad and mum – they didn’t know it was happening.

I was in constant pain.

I dreaded family holidays, the abuse was daily as we were constantly together.

He’d target me when everyone else was asleep or in another room.

But I’d been groomed since I was three and had no idea how to tell someone about his abuse.

I couldn’t live like this forever.

Years passed and I became increasingly withdrawn.

I struggled to make friends and my confidence hit rock-bottom.

At just 12 years old, I spent most of my time alone in my bedroom.

As I got older, Brandon’s abuse became less frequent.

He’d still try to sneak into my bedroom, but I was finally old enough to push him off.

“Get out now,” I demanded.

He ignored me.

Whenever our mum turned her back, he’d grope my body and smirk.

By the time I was 18, I’d had enough of living a lie and pretending we were the perfect family.

Me (right) as a teen with Brandon and Mum.

I snapped at Brandon, now 21, over something trivial, which surprised my parents.

“You don’t know what he is,” I sobbed.

With Brandon out of the home, I began to tell Mum and Dad the truth.

“He’s sexually abused me since I was three,” I blurted. “Emily even saw it for herself.”

I couldn’t bear to look at the devastation in my parents’ eyes.

Mum ran to the toilet and threw up.

As the awful details emerged, my whole family were left in complete shock.

“I’m so sorry, Olivia, I didn’t know what was happening when I saw him on top of you,” Emily cried.

For years I’d assumed she was in on it, but the reality was she didn’t know what to do – we were just kids.

Mum took me straight to the police. The following day, Brandon was arrested.

But our ordeal wasn’t over. Our extended family was divided.

Some thought I was a liar, others said I’d asked for it and had exaggerated.

I was a wreck, but Mum, Dad and Emily supported me.

Eventually, my brother, Brandon Hutchinson, now 25, was sentenced to nine years after being found guilty of indecent sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, two counts of indecent sexual assault on a child under 13 and three counts of rape of a child under 13.

I finally felt like I could put my past behind me.

Looking back I can’t believe I managed to get through my childhood, but I won’t let Brandon ruin my future.

I’ve got myself a great career and even though Brandon will be released later this year after serving half his sentence, I’m so relieved I’ve told my family.

I’m sharing my story in the hope it will encourage other victims to speak out and stop people like Brandon from ruining anyone’s life.

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