||National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
EDITOR'S NOTE: Occasionally we bring you articles from local newspapers, web sites and other sources that constitute but a small percentage of the information available to those who are interested in the issues of child abuse and recovery from it.
We also present original articles we hope will inform the community ...
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"My heart stopped when I saw photo of
Nigella’s abuse .. it brought back horror of
my own domestic ordeal" - Lurleen Hilliard
|| Lurleen Hilliard - NAASCA's Leprechaun
Amazing dedication, infectious energy
by Bill Murray
Here's an article from one of the UK's biggest and best known newspapers, The Sunday Mirror, which features one of NAASCA's own family members, Lurleen Hilliard.
Lurleen's from Ireland, and refers to herself as NAASCA's leprechaun (her nickname for herself is "Leppi"). She's one of an ever-growing group of across-the-pond and down-under NAASCA volunteers.
Her dedication is amazing, her energy infectious. She's been a great help with our social networking efforts, and is now assisting me in finding and scheduling "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk show guests.
A real "people person," Lurleen thinks nothing of calling anyone, any time, and frequently uses SKYPE to connect with folks overseas.
As if that wasn't enough, Leepi's also a regular panelist now on our talk show, staying up until the wee hours of the morning so that she can participate!
Lurleen was a featured special guest herself on the talk show recently. Here's the link to the on-demand version of her appearance, now in pour recommended show archives:
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 575 --
Lurleen Hilliard, from Ireland - originally aired 5/17/13
June 6, 2013
MUM Suffers 20 years of hell
by ADELINA CAMPOS
WHEN Lurleen Hilliard saw
the pictures of Nigella
Lawson being choked by her
husband, it sent a chill down
Multi-millionaire art collector Charles
Saatchi may have dismissed the whole
incident as a “playful tiff”, but to Lurleen
it brought back memories of her
The Irish mum knows only too well
what it’s like to be the victim of
For over 20 years she was mentally,
physically and sexually abused, and
she felt too powerless to escape.
Last night the brave mother of four
revealed how she freed herself from
her violent husband, and how she came
to help adult survivors of child
Lurleen said: “When I saw the picture
of Saatchi with his hands around
Nigella’s throat, my heart stopped. It
brought back so many bad memories.
“I just didn’t expect to see this, for
him to do something like that
“Certainly we don’t know exactly
what happened, but I can’t help but
wonder what happened later when
they got home.”
The 44-year-old told the Irish Sunday
Mirror she completely fell for her
husband’s act when she first met him.
She explained: “I was 20 years old
when we met. I
wasn’t very confident at the time – I
was a chubby kid.
“He was good looking, he paid me a
lot of attention and I fell for it hook,
line and sinker.
“I didn’t know it then but it was a
game from the start.
“I was very quiet, I didn’t go out or
spend time with boys, and he had a bet
with his friend about who could get me
in bed first.”
Lurleen said her parents hated her
future husband from day one.
She said: “I think a part of me was
rebellious. He made me think that they
were in the wrong, and my relationship
with my parents changed.
“They didn’t speak to me for quite a
while. In fact, it wasn’t until I had my
own children that they came back
into my life.”
Dubliner Lurleen said it took her
years to realise she had married an
abuser because the violence increased
“It was more about control at first.
He would do what he wanted, he was
having affairs, and he would lie to my
face about it even after being caught
in the act.
“He would insult me and there was
mental abuse right from the very start
but it was only after several years
together that he started pushing and
In the last 10 years of the marriage,
the violence became horrific, according
She said: “Anything would set him
off. He would hit me where people
wouldn’t see. He would rape me.
“I ended up sleeping with two knives,
one in each hand underneath the pillow,
and I would have a bottle of spray bleach
under the bed.
“I’m not sure what I would have done
had he attacked me in the night, but
that’s just the way it was. I literally
slept with one eye open all the time.”
Her husband also became abusive towards
one o f t h e i r children,
the second of their four sons.
“On one occasion he put
my son’s head through
a wardrobe. My son
was a young teen at
“He saw his dad
open a can of beer
at around 8.30am,
and he said something to him about it,
but that got my husband angry.
“On another occasion I
didn’t have the dinner out
so he got angry.
“He punched me in the
eye so badly that my eyebrow
burst open. I told
people that I had been
mugged on my way to
see my mother at
and he got
woman tried to find help, and even
contacted the gardai, but she felt so
threatened she dropped charges.
She said: “I only went to the
gardai two or three times during
“I never went through with charges.
Once I initially did and he was told not
to come back to the house, but he
showed up in the middle of the night
and disconnected all the phone lines.
“The message was pretty clear. I knew
what was going to happen if I tried
“Another time he threatened to bring
me up the Dublin Mountains to gang
rape me with his friends. I would shake
just looking at him.”
It wasn’t until two years ago, when her
husband left the country to find work
after losing his well-paid job, that Lurleen
finally managed to escape.
While this brought her immense relief,
it was not the end of her troubles. She
has been forced to live in hiding with
two of her sons to make sure her husband does not find her again.
She explained: “The problem is that
the minute he left the country, the
authorities here could do nothing
“The gardai couldn’t charge him for
anything, not for assault. I had no
protection order, no safety order, no
“I can’t get a divorce or sole custody
of my children because he’s not here to
appear in court.
“He can come and go in Ireland
whenever he wants because he is an
Irish passport holder.”
Lurleen, who is planning to move to
the US to get away from her ex, has
written a book about her shocking life
called Survivors Not Statistics which will
be released in two months’ time through
She said: “The reason I am vocal about
this is to stop him controlling me.”
|Pay heed to
The Women’s Aid charity has listed some
warning signs to help women in
particular make sense of their situation.
It says any one of the following signs is
serious – and you do not need to
experience several, or all, of them for
your relationship to be abusive:
|You are afraid of your partner.
You are constantly “walking on eggshells” because of his mood swings.
You spend your time working out what kind of mood he is in and the focus is always on his needs.
HE loses his temper easily and over minor things.
HE has hit you or almost hit you and / or your children. He has threatened you / your kids.
YOUR partner has been abusive in a previous relationship.
HE criticises your family and friends and / or makes it difficult for you to see them or talk to them on your own.
HE calls you names and mocks you and / or your children.
HE is jealous and accuses you.
HE regularly criticises or undermines you in front of others including the way you look, dress, and / or your abilities as a mother.
YOUR needs are not considered important or are ignored, and he makes the decisions in the relationship.
YOU find it hard to get time on your own.
WHEN you spend time away from him, he demands to know where you were and who you were with.
HE tries to control your life.
The Women’s Aid freephone
helpline (in Ireland) 1800 341 900 is open from
10am to 10pm, seven days a week.