She was 15 years old - just newly 15.
Her family had newly moved to a tiny village beside the sea. She loved her new bedroom which was only a few feet from the sea itself and she liked to sit on the old fashioned heater under the window and watch the constant change of the water.
On the third night in the new village, her mother asked her to post a letter. She was glad to get away from all the unpacking and disorder so she ran up to the postbox. It only took her five minutes.
The postbox was beside the red telephone box and this was where the village kids hung out.
One of them, slightly older than the others, asked her if she was the new girl. "Yes" she said.
He said that he lived near by and he would walk her along the road.
When she went to turn down the little vennel to her house, he grabbed her arm and said he wanted her to walk a bit further...she said she had to be home and her mum would be cross.
He pulled her in behind a shed. She could smell the creosote on the wood. She could not make a sound as he had his hand over her mouth.
She was terrified.
She did not know what happened to time. She was now no longer behind the shed but on the sea front. She did not know how she got there.
He was there.
He was telling her that there was little chance of her becoming pregnant as he could not have children.
He had used a knife.
She was confused, in enormous pain and felt strange.
He put the knife away, told her that if she told anyone he would find her and kill her then he put his hands around her neck and she did not know what had happened again.
When she came to, she was on the sand. Alone.
She walked home with difficulty.
The house was locked.
There was a small caravan in the garden, the one which the family went away in at weekends or holiday time. There were blankets which she pulled over herself.
She did not cry, despite the pain. She did not know what had happened but she knew it was a bad thing.
Her mother came out to the caravan in the morning. She was dressed in her nurses uniform and was ready for her duty on the district.
"Were you with a boy?" she snapped.
"Yes" said the girl although she had never been with a boy before. No boy had ever kissed her.
The girl did not know what whore meant.
She was then beaten very badly by her mother. The mother used the metal pole for holding up the caravan table.
The girl told nobody what had happened.
She coped with the bleeding herself; there were maternity packs in her mother's surgery cupboard and she used them for a long time.
Years went past and the girl grew up. She had never told a soul.
She sometimes forgot about what had happened but sometimes she did not.
She learned that there were good men, good men who liked her and wanted to be with her.
She had a son.
The good man she had the son with left her for another. She brought her son up alone. She finally knew what love really was and she loved her little boy.
She is half a century old now, the little terrified girl who was once mute with fear, bloodied, confused, beaten.
She married not long ago to a man who loved her and her children and they loved him too. He was kind and non judgemental. He adored her and she trusted him.
She learned how to come to terms with the picture which ran like a video in her head. At first, she went nowhere without being armed with something, she was always on the defence. It was wearing on her nerves and exhausting.
She learned how to switch it off. She learned forgiveness and how she was not to blame.
After spending years trying to heal the little girl, the woman found peace.
The wound would never truly heal but it became managable.
All those years and she never told anyone.....
This is a contribution to the Mumsnet rape awareness campaign called "We Believe You".
I hope it helps somebody. There are many who will recognise the young girl and her story.
This is with love to them. x