Sex abuse disclosure shocks mother

A BUNDABERG mother was left in “a state of shock” after her 11-year-old daughter revealed her step-dad had touched her while she was in the bath tub, a court was told yesterday.

The woman was called on to give evidence in the trial of her ex-partner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the Bundaberg District Court.

The woman said that in November 2006 she had been walking past the bathroom when she saw the man leave the room while her daughter was still in the bath.

When her daughter got out of the tub, the woman spoke to her in the hallway and asked whether the girl's step-father had ever touched her.

The woman told the court that after her daughter said he had, she told her to tell her immediately if it ever happened again.

“She seemed shocked that I knew what had been happening,” she said.

“I was deliberately keeping control of myself and kept my thoughts and feelings to myself to try and protect my daughter.”

The woman said she did not take her daughter to police that day because she was in a state of shock.

“I was on the last day of completing a course with Impact and the teacher noticed something was wrong and that was when I told them,” she said.

The woman said two days after she was told about the alleged abuse, she moved her daughter and other children to a domestic violence shelter and, with the help of staff, arranged for the girl to see police.

The woman then returned to the house with her children after the man had left.

But over the next few months, the man was allowed to return to the home, and lived with the family for up to a month before the daughter was taken away by Child Safety Services in March 2007.

Defence barrister John McInnes asked the woman if her ex-partner helped the children out in the bathroom. The woman said he had, but only when the children were quite young.

The man has pleaded not guilty to one charge of rape and one charge of indecent assault of a child under 12 who was in his care.

The trial continues.

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