‘I remember him saying to me when I was three years old, “I will wake you up when I put my finger inside you”.’
Jody was born with autism which has affected her learning and education. She wasn’t properly diagnosed as a child and so didn’t get the support she needed growing up.
Between the ages of three and 14, Jody was sexually abused ‘on and off’ by her father. He digitally penetrated her in the mornings and also as punishment for misbehaviour. Jody believes her mother knew but chose to ignore the abuse.
In the mid-1970s, Jody was enrolled in a specialist school in regional New South Wales. Her mother also worked there part time, which meant she was often very busy. She found it difficult to take Jody to and from school, so she turned to Boris Greggory, a ‘trusted’ neighbour and teacher at the school.
At first Greggory was kind to Jody, often asking about her day, but that soon changed. He used these lifts as an opportunity to sexually abuse her several times a week.
The abuse began when Jody was 12 and continued for four years. Jody didn’t know what was happening or that it was wrong, but she felt uncomfortable. When she couldn’t stand it anymore, she told her mother.
‘When I told her what had happened, she told me not to go with him. I went to school with her instead. My mum worked in the school and she never told anyone; the police or the school.’
Jody’s mother drove her for a couple of months, but turned back to Greggory when ‘it suited her’. Jody didn’t know what to do or who to tell. She was scared of the man.
On one occasion when Jody was 15, Greggory had the day off work. He took her to his house instead of school and forced her to have a shower with him. After that, they watched pornography together and then Greggory raped her.
Later, he approached her at school. ‘He saw me in the playground and came up to me. He said that, “I know it felt good”.’
Jody told her mother what had happened and she said she didn’t want to see Greggory any more. Her mother did nothing except move her to a group home setting in a different suburb. Jody didn’t stay long because she was caught having sex with another resident’s boyfriend.
Despite trying to tell the staff that she didn’t want to have sex with the man, Jody was sent away. When she was 17, she attended another specialist school and stayed on campus. Jody came into contact with two older males who frequently abused her and she caught a sexually transmitted infection. She believes a staff member knew of her relationship with these men, but didn’t prevent it from occurring.
In the early 1980s Jody met her husband and moved into a home with him. They became parents, but their children were taken away and put into care. She was shocked that one of her kids was taken to live with her father.
Throughout her adulthood, Jody has struggled with her autism and learning issues. She often has frightening flashbacks of the abuse. The combination of her marriage breaking down and being separated from her children was devastating. Jody has had limited assistance from disability services, and she believes the lack of care from her parents has contributed to her isolation.
It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Jody disclosed the abuse to her support worker. She was encouraged to contact the police and report her father and Boris Greggory. However, this wasn’t followed up. At the time of her private session, Jody was getting legal advice regarding compensation for her abuse.
Jody is on a disability support pension and visits her children, who are in state care. She’s determined to reconnect and establish a stronger relationship with them. She’s also recently started counselling, which has helped her.