It began when she was just five years old.
Her grandfather, a man who ought to have made her feel safe, a man she ought to have been able to trust, groomed her and raped her in his own home.
The abuse continued every fortnight for five years, perpetuated by threats of punishment and claims that “this is what families do”. But now, finally, he’s answering for his crimes.
The man, whose identify isn’t public, will be sentenced on May 11 at Wollongong District Court, reports The Illawarra Mercury.
It’s not his first conviction — by the time his granddaughter reported the crimes at 16 years of age, the man was already serving a 13-year sentence for raping his stepdaughter.
That woman’s nightmare began at the age of eight and continued until she was 26-years-old. However, it took another 19 years before she reported the crimes to police.
Addressing the fresh charges in court, the man expressed remorse and disgust for what he’d done.
“If I could I’d say sorry a million times over,” he said according to the The Illawarra Mercury.
“It’s something I’m grossly ashamed of. I’m prepared to do anything to get on with [rehabilitation] and get over this.
“There’s something in me and I don’t know what it is. I need to be sorted out… I want to know why I do this.”
The court also heard a heartbreaking statement from the victim, in which she told of feeling weak and defenceless.
“When I speak of my sexual abuse, I don’t feel sad for me, I feel sad for a little girl who used to be me,” she said.
“I died a long time ago as a young girl when you were abusing me.”