Dagenham woman suffered abuse in silence

A YOUNG mum who was repeatedly molested when she was just 13 has spoken about her ordeal to show other victims they should not be afraid. The 22-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was groomed over an eight month period by a twisted pervert,

A YOUNG mum who was repeatedly molested when she was just 13 has spoken about her ordeal to show other victims they should not be afraid.

The 22-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was groomed over an eight month period by a twisted pervert, who made her believe she was in love.

It was only eight years after the campaign of abuse by Onur Zulhayir at a family member's house, that the woman finally confessed her terrible secret.

"The only person I told at the time was a friend at school," she said, speaking exclusively to the POST.


You may also want to watch:


"But I thought that he loved me. I thought I was really grown up.

"It was only years later when I reported it to the police that my best friend said she had always thought it was wrong, what he was doing to me.

Most Read

"Even now it feels strange to say to myself that I was abused."

The young mum, from Dagenham, told her sister first and then her mum, who was left shocked and angry by the revelation.

"I left my daughter with family where I thought she would be safe," said the victim's mum.

"I was always protective of my kids. I didn't let them stay over at friends' houses and that sort of thing.

"I still feel like kicking myself for trusting that man near my daughter."

The family then went to Dagenham police station last year and reported the crimes which took place back in 2001.

Zulhayir, who is known as Ozzie, of Farnham Road, Seven Kings, was arrested and charged with three counts of gross indecency with a child and one count of rape.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday March 12 he was found guilty of gross indecency but acquitted of rape and sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Zulhayir, 41, must also sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and attend a rehabilitation programme once he is released.

"I was pleased and disappointed with the sentence," the woman said. "Pleased because he was jailed but disappointed because it wasn't for longer."

She added: "It was one of the scariest moments of my life, taking the stand and giving evidence at that trial.

"But it was also one of the most worthwhile. I was in the room when he was sentenced and it gave me closure.

"I knew he thought he had not done anything wrong. He truly believed he could get away with it."

The 22-year-old mum of one wants to call on other victims of abuse to come forward and not to be afraid.

"Eight years I have been living with this," she said. "Keeping it from my family.

"If you are in the same situation please tell someone before your childhood and innocence is lost.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter