Kim Hill, 31, was sexually assaulted and raped by her stepfather, Derek Osborne, between the ages of 4 and 12. Now a married mother of two living in Suffolk, England, she has shared her story after Osborne was convicted for his crimes and sent to prison.
Shortly after Kim’s mother began a relationship with Osborne, she began scrambling for attention. “I was always Derek’s favourite,” she told Mirror. "He’d come and tuck me into bed while Mum watched television downstairs."
His attention soon became inappropriate. “He would kiss me on the lips," Kim said. "He often called me into his bed at night for a cuddle so he could touch me under the covers. I was too young to know how wrong it was.”
By the age of 9, Kim was terrified to talk about the abuse, even as it escalated. “He forced me to dress up in Mum’s underwear, then he made me watch sick porn films,” she said.
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When she was 10, Kim learned what sexual abuse was. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing," she said. "I realised my dad was abusing me … Next time he tried to touch me, I was in tears and pushed him away.
“Although he was angry, I stood my ground.”
Weeks later, Kim's mother left Osborne. But she wanted her daughter to have a father figure, so he remained in her life. Osborne took Kim out to dinner for her 12th birthday and assaulted her afterwards.
“My feet were kicking as hard as I could, but I wasn’t strong enough to push him away," Kim said. "A look of anger spread across his face as he tried to hold me down. After, I felt disgusting."
“That was the last time he abused me. Afterwards he moved away with a new partner.”
For years, Kim struggled with the abuse while Osborne went free. “I’d become so withdrawn and jumped whenever anyone brushed past and touched me,” she said.
Kim met her now-husband, Rob, in 2010. They had their first child in 2012 and married in 2013. Before they wed, Rob asked her if she’d been assaulted as a child.
“I broke down in tears," she said. "I didn’t know how he could guess. He said that I was different to other women because I was withdrawn. He encouraged me to tell mum what had happened. And with his support the next day I called the police. I was the first victim to come forward, but soon other victims spoke out and said Derek had abused them too.”
Osborne was arrested and initially denied the charges.
In May 2014, Osborne admitted to 16 counts from 1982 to 2004, including eight counts of indecent assault and seven counts of indecency with a child. He had assaulted not only Kim but also two other school girls and a woman. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
“I’ve started counseling and healing sessions with the Happiness Foundation,” Kim said. “They’re helping me to accept it and move on.”
Though Kim’s case happened in England, child sexual abuse is a widespread problem that transcends borders. In the United States, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse, according to the Crimes Against Children Research Center.