The West

Daughter reveals rape ordeal by father
Daughter reveals rape ordeal by father

A young British woman has revealed she was raped by her father at the age of 12 with him telling her it was better she lost her virginity to him and not "a random person in a hotel".

Gemma Schembri, now 21, said her father, Mark, had always been controlling but took his abuse further after he split up with her mother, the MailOnline reports.

Ms Schembri supports a British campaign called PANTS, which encourages parents to have simple conversations with their children about sexual abuse.

She said that had she had known more she would have realised what happened to her was wrong.

"He started to sexually abuse me when I stayed with him and it went on for over a year. He was very manipulative and controlled my thoughts to make me believe it was normal," Ms Schembri told the MailOnline.

"The first time he raped me he said afterwards, 'Well it was better that it was with me than with some random person in a hotel'."
She said she didn't realise what her father was doing was wrong and it was years before she realised she was a victim of abuse.

"My mum hadn't spoken to me about sexual abuse and what type of touching was acceptable and what wasn't. It took me two years to tell someone I was being abused as I didn't realise it was wrong at first and then, when I did, I didn't know how to broach the subject with my mum."

A young British girl has revealed she was raped by her father at the age of 12 with him telling her it was better she lost her virginity to him. Photo: Getty.

PANTS stands for 'Privates are private', 'Always remember your body belongs to you', No means no', 'Talk about secrets that upset you' and 'Speak up someone can help'.

As part of the campaign, parents are told they should explain to primary school children that they should not be touched by anyone in areas their underwear covers.

Ms Schembri said: "I'd had sex education at school when I was younger but that was just about safe sex and I think a girl should be told about what constitutes sexual abuse by her mum not teachers."

She eventually told her mother what had happened and her father was arrested and jailed for nine years.

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