Abuse victim speaks out

Abuse victim speaks out

SPEAKING OUT: Karen Morgan (7809906)

SPEAKING OUT: Karen Morgan (7809919)

First published in News

HAVING been groomed by her uncle - a respected and trusted Jehovah's Witness church elder - from the age of 12, Karen Morgan hoped that by the time she was 16 and had mustered the courage to confront him that he would be dealt with.

Twelve years later she is only now seeing justice.

By the early 1990s Sewell, of Porthkerry Road, Barry had been grooming her for years. He had forced her to kiss him, plied her with alcohol, got into her bed, rubbed himself against her sexually, touched her inappropriatley and tried to get her to undress in front of him.

The abuse stopped when Sewell had - having been confronted by Karen's parents and convinced them of his innocence - once again made advances on her and she had cried and demanded he stop.

"If I hadn't stopped it then," Karen said, "I think it would have gone on and on and gone further."

Indeed Sewell did go further with another victim, and was this week convicted of not only the sexual abuse of young girls but also the rape of a woman and fellow churchgoer.

This rape was at the time made the subject of an investigation by the Barry Jehovah's Witnesses, where Karen also put forth her allegations.

Karen, a 38-year-old mother of two from Maesycwmmer Street, Barry, was put in in a room with her alleged abuser where they were questioned together. All the claims were eventually brushed aside with Sewell being kicked out of the church in relation to "loose conduct" only to be reinstated three years later at a different congregation.

Although vindicated by his conviction this week, the years of being abused and disbelieved by the church have taken their toll on Karen.

Former police officer Karen, now a self employed plumber, said: "It never leaves you. I used to have nightmares and I have anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

"I was called a liar and we were called troublemakers by members of the congregation.

"All I've ever wanted is for him to say sorry but he's never said sorry.

"I wanted everyone who knew him to know what he's really like and what he's done."

A new investigation is been launched by the Witnesses into the failings made in the early 90s and Karen, no longer a church member herself, is hoping for changes to be made.

"I don't have a problem with the faith," she said. "I still believe in it.

"I want answers. I want to know why they did what they did and I want an apology."

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