http://knox-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/finally-out-in-open/

Knox woman speaking out about abuse

4 Nov 11 @ 06:00am by Zoe Lewis

A 27-YEAR-OLD woman is courageously speaking out about how she was sexually abused by a Knox church worker for 12 harrowing years from the age of three.

The woman, who cannot be identified, carried her secret for more than 20 years before telling her family and going to police last year.

David Bruce Lee, 50, was sentenced on August 9 to three months jail, with another six months suspended, after pleading guilty in Sale Magistrates’ Court to one count of indecent assault and one count of an indecent act with a child under 16.

The Rowville resident was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 15 years.

Det Sen-Constable Jodie Clewley, of the Sale Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Unit, said many charges were consolidated, so the woman avoided having to give evidence.

Lee appealed the severity of the sentence, but has since abandoned the appeal and decided to serve his time.

Lee was an active member and helped out at a Knox church, but was relieved of his duties when the church was notified of the abuse last year.

The woman told the Leader she came close to having her life destroyed by the abuse.

She tried to commit suicide several times and spent time in a hospital psychiatric ward.

She is now on a cocktail of anti-depressants and other medication.

She summoned the courage to tell a psychologist and her family about the abuse last year.

“It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, I was able to talk about it freely and I didn’t have to be scared anymore,” she said.

She said she regretted not speaking out sooner.

“I carried undeserved guilt for more than 20 years until I realised the only person I was protecting was this brutal monster,” she said.

She urged all sexual abuse victims to come forward.

“I thought a lot of this (abuse) was too small and I wasn’t going to say anything, but no matter how small, if you are also a victim of crime please come forward and let others help you to help yourself.”

 

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