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Anti-Paedophile Campaigner Susannah Faithfull – My Mother Was A Paedophile

Posted on: October 31, 2009

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12:06 10/23/2009

October 23rd 2009

Campaigner reveals how she was sexually abused by her own mother

Article from The Sun (UK)

NURSERY worker Vanessa George’s vile admission in court this month that she sexually abused children in her care horrified the nation.

But for Susannah Faithfull it also brought back horrific memories of abuse she herself suffered – at the hands of her own MOTHER.

Mum-of-two Susannah, 54, who was subjected to years of depraved attacks, runs a therapy centre for survivors of sexual abuse.

And she hopes that finally the issue of female paedophiles is not being swept under the carpet – because when she tried to raise the alarm, no one helped her.

Susannah’s parents divorced when she was a baby and she and her mum Maureen moved from Yorkshire to her grandmother’s house in south-east Kent.

There she shared a room with her mother – but before long she dreaded hearing the key turn in the bedroom door because she would have to be alone with the sex fiend she called ‘Mum’.

Susannah, says: “I tried to tell people what was happening to me – my nan, my dad, my aunt. But it was a vile truth no one knew how to deal with, so I was ignored or labelled a liar.

One of her earliest memories was her mother locking them both in her grandmother’s room.

Aged just THREE the child was then forced by her mum to take part in depraved acts and when she finally refused a pillow was held over her face until she passed out.

Speaking at her Aurora Health Foundation therapy centre in Kingston Vale, south west London, near her home, she says: “I was so scared of my mother. She was abusive sexually and physically. I remember cowering beneath a tablecloth in a cupboard praying her rage would dissipate.

“I had no one to turn to. In a house buzzing with aunts, cousins and grandparents the only friend I had was a cat – Tibby. As soon as my mother realised how much she meant to me she picked her up and threw her against the wall.”

More than 50 years later Susannah is unable to stem the flow of tears for her pet playmate, who thankfully survived that incident.

She adds: “I was most scared when my mum sat silently. All I could do was imagine what horrors she was dreaming up – I would stare so hard at the wallpaper wishing it would swallow me up and I would die. It was the only way I thought I could be safe.

“My cot had high bars and my mother’s bed blocked the way to the door. The whole house was dirty and no one questioned why my mum had a lock put on our bedroom door and, in later years, why we shared a double bed.

“Our family didn’t talk to each other like normal ones do. It was easy for her to get away with it.”

The dysfunctional family appeared normal from the outside. Maureen was an attractive lady – slim and with blue eyes and auburn hair – who was proud of her appearance and wouldn’t go out without her hair done or make-up on.

Popular at the factory where she worked as a supervisor, she also had a boyfriend.

But her smart dress and friendly demeanour only helped disguise the horrors of her perverted mind.

Susannah says: “I was so desperate for help I told my mother’s sister about the abuse, when I was four years old. She ignored me point blank and from then on I was known as a liar and a storyteller within the family.

“My father rarely visited. He did question why I was so shy but he was like a stranger to me. I didn’t feel I could tell him. In a cry for help I stopped eating – I must have been about four years old. “The doctor came and told me I was a naughty little girl and that was the end of that.

“Going to the police wasn’t an option either as my family were friendly with the local bobby.”

“And as a child you believe you must have done something to deserve all this.


“At birthdays and Christmas I got lots of presents – to make us look like a normal loving family.

“There was the daytime me who loved school and lost herself in books and the nighttime me who lived in fear of the next attack.

“I was a very shy child and would do anything to avoid physical contact – if we won a hockey match all the girls would be hugging so I would rush off to the loos to avoid being touched.”

The abuse finally came to an end when Susannah was 13. Her mum had a breakdown, and with Maureen drugged up and drowsy the abuse faded out.

Finally, aged 16, she finished school and could leave home, moving to Gloucester to train as a nurse and leaving any pictures of her mother behind.

Susannah excelled in her studies but the fragile teen attempted to take her own life with an overdose of painkillers aged just 19.

Luckily she was saved by a flatmate who called an ambulance.

Susannah dropped out of the nurses’ training course leaving herself homeless for a while, but she managed to get a place in a YMCA where she met her first husband, father of her two sons.

However, her abusive past haunted her and finally at 33, after her marriage had broken down, Susannah went to see a therapist.

She says: “It was amazing to talk to a professional who acknowledged what had happened to me.


“When I attempted suicide I had been to see a psychologist and when I revealed I’d been sexually abused by my mum she calmly lifted a plate and offered me a biscuit before quickly changing the subject.

“I went to visit Mum for the first time since leaving home when I was in my thirties. I wanted to confront her.

“She was living in a psychiatric unit and I met her in the corridor. She was in a wheelchair and her legs were badly swollen. She looked pathetic and didn’t recognise me because of the medication.

“I stood over her, as she had done to me many times, and said, ‘I remember what you did to me you bitch. May you burn in hell’.

“I didn’t prosecute because I knew she was going to live out her days in a psychiatric hospital so was no risk.

“I went to see her two or three times over the years and I did make peace with her. Despite all she had done I still loved her.”

Maureen died in 2006 aged 76, and Susannah adds: “To this day I suffer with night terrors, but I still cried when I found out she died alone in a psychiatric hospital.

“Nearly three years had passed and I called the unit to see how she was.

“They told me she died a year-and-a-half beforehand.

“It hit me hard. I felt for her loss – she’d missed out on having a daughter and grandchildren. She was a sad figure in the end.”

Susannah adds: “My dad emigrated to Australia when I was 22 and he died four years ago. I was sad, but my parents had let me down and there was no getting away from that.”

She is now urging the public to become more aware of female abusers and says: “I don’t want a witch hunt but we do have to bring the problem of female paedophiles out in the open.

“Brushing it under the carpet means people get away with it.

“Children need to feel safe and on very rare occasions that doesn’t mean being with their mum.”

If you have been affected by any of these issues or want to find out more about the Aurora Health Foundation go to or call 020 8541 1951.



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