A CHILD rape victim has told his story in a bid to encourage other victims of historic sexual offences to come forward.
Danny Day, now 50, was raped by retained firefighters David Bryant and Dennis Goodman at Christchurch Fire Station during the 1970s when he was just 14 years old.
Goodman is now deceased, but Bryant, 63, of Grove Road East, Christchurch, was jailed for six years for the offence on Friday last week.
Mr Day, a retired carpenter and amateur boxer who now runs an animal sanctuary in Kent, said he had decided soon after the attack that he would put the harrowing ordeal to the back of his mind and not let it affect his life.
However, he said, he now realised the experience had profoundly affected him.
“I have thought about it every day,” he said.
“I didn’t want it to affect my life, but it did. I haven’t achieved what I should have, in my boxing, in business, in relationships.
“I have become very outspoken, not always about the right things, and I find it very hard to trust people.
“You think firemen are there for your wellbeing but that wasn’t the case this time.”
Speaking to the Daily Echo after his abuser was jailed, Mr Day, who agreed to waive his right to anonymity, told of the difficulties he had experienced at the time trying to talk about what happened.
“I couldn’t tell my parents. My dad was a very aggressive man, and my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. My family had enough problems then,” he said.
“We moved back to London about 18 months after anyway.
“The only person I did tell was a friend, who told me I should tell my old man but that wasn’t a good idea.
“I think it was a lot more frowned upon to come forward about being a victim of something like this in those days.
“And people didn’t talk for fear of not being taken seriously.”
In 2010 Mr Day and his partner of six years Suzanne Huckle, 51, travelled to a family gathering in Bournemouth, which provoked his memories of the attack.
He was also prompted by the details of the Jimmy Savile accusations then coming to light.
“It was the first time I had been to the area in 37 years,” he said.
“What really got me was finding out that he was now like a local celebrity. That really made me angry.
“It goes to show that there are different sides to everybody. They made out that he was a hero, but he did this. It is just madness.”
“If you have been a victim, don’t suffer in silence – there are people who can help.
“You won’t get any closure if you do nothing.”