Woman sexually abused as a child by Manchester man says it left her ‘powerless, worthless and confused’

A woman who was sexually abused by a Manchester man during the 90’s has said how her life ever since has been ‘nothing but pain’.

Paul Ward, 40, from Sale, pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and sentenced to four years imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court today.

Ward has been placed on the sex offenders register for life after being charged with abusing two girls under the age of six in Old Trafford between 1994 and 1996.

In an extract from one of Ward’s victim impact statement, the victim said: “The consistent sexual abuse made me feel powerless, worthless and confused.”

“I felt alone and minutes felt like hours. After he had performed his sickening acts on me it would leave me feeling sore, confused and all I used to think is: Why? Why was he hurting me? What have I ever done to him?”

The statement also highlighted the after-effects of the assault which have impacted the victim’s life.

“My life ever since he abused me has been nothing but pain. But the biggest thing this man has taken from me is my ability to parent my children, due to my mental health I now suffer from because of the abuse,” she added.

“This has impacted on how I perceive life. I felt like everyone was against me. I grew up not knowing where he was, I was scared but soon that fear turned to anger. I was confused and alone, I had to grow up fast.”

The victim revealed she started taking drugs at the age of twelve as a result of the abuse and found herself in situations with grown men that she had no control over.

She said: “In my mind that is all I knew, was this normal?? Was this love?? I felt alone and I didn’t have trust for social workers and authority figures as nobody believed me.”

The victim also disclosed that she now suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder, depression and anxiety.

“It feels like everything has been taken from me because of this man’s disgusting actions. He has lived a free life while for the past seventeen years I have suffered in silence and when I tried to talk about the abuse it was dismissed.”

She added: “The abuse ended in 1996 but for me it will never mentally leave me.

“I don’t wish him any pain or hate but I ask that you show him the same mercy he showed me; and give him the maximum sentence for these sickening, calculated acts.”

Greater Manchester Police have acknowledged how incredibly brave the two victims were throughout the case and have thanked them for all their support.

Detective Constable Nicola Graham from Trafford division, said: “Ward’s abuse of these young girls is difficult for most people to comprehend.  He subjected his victims to sustained sexual assaults over two years.

“Both girls have been incredibly brave by helping us put Ward before the courts and have justice done for them.

“He is now where he belongs and thankfully will not be able to harm anyone else.”

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester can be contacted on 0161 276 6515.

Image courtesy of Katie Tegtmeyer, via Flickr, with thanks.

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