Parents of very young girl who was sexually assaulted praise Thames Valley Police for putting culprit behind bars
The mum and dad of a girl who suffered at the hands of a sex abuser have spoken out about the whole distressing experience.
The courageous couple have been recorded on a video, which disguises their identity and voices, to encourage others to report such crimes to the police.
Their young daughter was abused by 55-year-old Simon Honour, who subsequently pleaded guilty in court to 11 counts of assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.
He was arrested by Thames Valley Police and in February this year he was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and placed under a sexual harm prevention order and on the sex offenders’ register for life.
The offences happened over a period of time in the last five years.
David and Katie, whose names have also been changed to protect their daughter, wanted to share their experiences of the investigation and the cathartic effect it had on their daughter
They describe the chilling moment the daughter told them what Honour had done to her.
"Our daughter disclosed to us that someone was abusing her. Those weren't the words she used but that was what we gleaned from it," said David.
Katie said: "I just kept on thinking 'It can't....This does not happen to us."
The couple first went to their daughter's school and then to police, who arranged to discreetly record the child recounting what had happened.
"I was a difficult process but I'm really glad we did it," said David. "It was very, very stressful but I'm glad we gave the police and the justice system the chance to do their job."
Katie said the police investigation and legal process process helped their daughter, who, along with the parents, is now receiving counselling to help the recovery process.
"It was the right thing to do...By doing this we showed we believed her and the police believed her and that everyone was on her side."
The couple have urged other parents who sadly find themselves in a similar situation not to hesitate to go to the police.
"It cannot necessarily be fixed but it can be sorted in the best way possible and very nasty people can be taken off the streets and dealt with," said David.
The couple said their daughter had benefitted from the closure of seeing Honour sent to prison.
"It was quite cathartic for her," said David.
Police say the investigation of such crimes can be extremely challenging for victims and their families and they realise how difficult it can be for victims to come forward and report them.
Detective Constable Rosie Everitt, is a Child Abuse Investigator and in a special video hereshe explains how police investigate both recent and non recent cases of all kinds of abuse, both physical and emotional, as well as and neglect.
She said: "Thames Valley Police is committed to investigating child sexual abuse and we would encourage children, or their parents or carers to please report so that we can help support victims, safeguard them and carry out an investigation.
"Time should be no barrier to reporting and we will always look to investigate."
If you are a victim of child abuse, or worried for the safety or wellbeing of a child, police are encouraging you to please report it. If you or the person you are reporting about is in immediate danger please call 999 now. If it isn’t an emergency you can report to 101 or you can report online through Thames Valley Police website.
The website has further information on how to report child abuse. There are also details on how to access support from other organisations.