Rape victim urges others to speak out

Published Tuesday, 07 January 2014
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A woman who was repeatedly raped by her cousin has waived her right to anonymity and spoken out to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to report incidents to police or support organisations.

Rape victim urges others to speak out
Martina Johnston encouraged sexual abuse victims to speak out. (© UTV)

Londonderry man Frankie McFadden was handed an 11-year prison sentence for offences including rape, indecent assault and threats to kill of Martina Johnston between 1975 and 1985.

The 54-year-old from Moyola Drive began abusing Martina when she was just six and he was 16, in a family home in the Bogside area of the city.

Martina told UTV she was speaking out to encourage others to lift the phone and report offences, or seek support.

She said: "For 30 years I've lived with this, but at least I know he is off the streets and can't harm anybody else.

"I didn't know what was going on. I had no idea what was right or what was wrong, or who I should talk to.

"I just wanted to blank out my whole childhood."

Martina said the decision to waive her lifelong right to anonymity had ripped her family apart.

She added: "I did it to help others, to show that there is help out there for them.

"They don't need to be ashamed or embarrassed about what has happened to them, they just need to lift the phone - there is so much help out there."

McFadden was handed an 11-year prison sentence with a further two years to serve on probation.

Handing down sentence, Judge Philip Babington said the sexual offending was of a "very serious nature carried out only to satisfy McFadden's base instincts".

He said there was a degree of planning and premeditation to his offending seen by the fact he had given Martina sweets and lollipops.

Nexus NI telephone: 02890326803
Judge Babington added that he hoped the conviction and sentencing could offer Martina some form of closure.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
rita in Dundrum wrote (384 days ago):
well done for giving hope to others. You have shown courage and resilience.
Jade in Belfast wrote (385 days ago):
Well Done for sopeaking out against him. scumbags like that deserve to rot in jail for a lonmg time. i am glad you gopt your justice, and you can now live your life again. he got everything he deserved infact he should have got more. Brave woman xxxxxx
Frosty in Here wrote (385 days ago):
A harrowing tale of robbed childhood and cruelty. Well done Martina for saying it, "You don't need to be ashamed or embarrassed about what has happened to you, you just need to lift the phone - there is so much help out there." It's a lot more common here than people think. I urge anyone suffering in silence to call the Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre NI on 028 9032 9002, or in the RoI, the National 24 hour Helpline: 1800 77 88 88. All calls are confidential and you don't have to give your real name if you don't want to. Saying it out loud won't make it go away but it's a step in the right direction.
Sickened in Belfast wrote (385 days ago):
Such a brave lady. Sadly once again the sentence is not long enough.
petand in Londonderry wrote (385 days ago):
I have the deepest admiration for this very brave lady. May her decision to open up to the public save someone else
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