A mother shares her daughter's haunting bucket list wish.

It was a Saturday night when the phone rang, and it was Kaye’s 19-year-old daughter who’d just gotten home from travelling overseas.

Kaye answered the phone and heard: ‘Oh mum, you’re not going to like what I’ve got to tell you’.

Her 19-year-old daughter was telling her for the first time – telling anyone for the first time – how her uncle had sexually abused her when she was young.

Kaye begged her to report the crime, and now their story is now being told on the podcast Unspeakable, designed by the Victorian Police to encourage victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward.

“As soon as she said it I believed her and I said ‘what do you want to do about it’ and she said ‘I don’t want to do anything at the moment, I want you to know about it, I don’t want to do anything about it’,” Kaye told the podcast.

“She said she didn’t want granny to know, that’s my mum.”

Kaye tried to report the crime herself. She visited the police station, where she was told her daughter would need to make a statement, but she still wasn’t willing.

It was decades later, when Kaye’s daughter was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that she decided she would report the abuse that happened to her 42 years earlier, when she was a child at the hands of someone she, and her whole family, had trusted.

It was the heartbreaking number-one on her bucket list – something many people write but not so many include ‘report uncle for the abuse he inflicted’ as the top thing to do before they die.

The most heartbreaking bucket list. Image via Getty.

"I was on response that day and allocated the task,” Detective Leading Senior Constable Christine Robinson told Unspeakable.

"She gave me some indication of her illness, that she didn’t have much time left. Her reporting this was on her bucket list. It had affected her for the last 42 years of her life and she needed to report it before she passed away."

Kaye's daughter gave her statement from her hospital bed. She read her story to a video camera, recorded in case she wasn't alive when the case went to trial.


"Her doing that was such a relief. She felt that finally it was a weight off her shoulders. She told her story, put it in someone else’s hands to investigate and from that point it moved very fast," Detective Robinson said.

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The abuser pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence of five months in prison and placed on the sex offenders registry.

Kaye's daughter didn't live to see justice served, but Kaye said she would have been "blown away" by the result.

"She was hoping for a good result. She said ‘It’s fine mum, I can die now knowing he’s going on the sex offenders list’. I was pretty confident but she was sure we’d get the outcome we did," Kaye said.

On average, it takes sexual abuse 22 years to report what happened to them. Unspeakable is an initiative designed to show how justice can be achieved for those who do come forward.

If you or a friend is a victim of sexual abuse, phone the crisis line 1800 RESPECT.

To download Unspeakable for free, click here


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