Yasemin Yapiciogullari, 23, a nursery worker, has been sexually abused by her pedophile grandfather Tony Marshall, now 76, when she was just 6 years old.
Tony Marshall preyed on his granddaughter from the age of six and would sexually abuse her at weekends, at Christmas parties, and at family birthdays while making sure that he was out of view from the rest of her family.
Her granddad would come over for family dinner, and get her to play on the computer upstairs while he abused her.
“I thought this was something that happened to everyone,” Yasemin said. “I didn’t think that was something that was wrong.”
The horrible abuse went on for 11 years while Yasemin was between the ages of six to seventeen. It was around 2005 to 2016.
Yasemin has waived her anonymity and shared that her childhood was stolen by this dreadful abuse.
When she was around six years old, Yasemin told her teacher at school that someone at home had done “naughty things” to her.
Social services investigated her parents and Tony but did not discover the abuse. By this point, Yasemin was too scared to tell anyone else about her evil grandfather.
“I had already told my teacher, and nothing had come of it,” she said. “I was too scared to do anything. I knew that it was wrong, but it was the drill. I kind of put up with it, dealt with it.”
In November 2017, with the help of her now fiancée, Yasemin, formed a plan to get a confession out of her grandfather. They spoke to an expert, who explained that they had to record her perverted grandfather admitting to his crimes.
“I never thought he would get locked up,” she said. “There were so many opportunities to catch this person out during my life, that I thought he’s invincible.”
Yasemin carried on with the plan during her brother’s birthday. She invited her grandfather upstairs to speak about Christmas presents.
Then she started to make small talk and kept her cool while the camera on her phone was secretly recording and asked his abuser directly.
“Why did you touch me?” she asked Tony.
Marshall tried to change the subject by talking about his career in carpentry but he finally confessed to his filthy crimes, saying: “I thought you liked it.” Then he left the room.
“It was so disgusting to hear him say that, how can you think that a child would like something like that?” Yasemin said. “I thought about how you robbed me of my childhood, left me depressed and anxious and that’s all you can say.”
“I told myself, “I am going to get you”.”
Yasemin took the confession tape to the authorities, and they arrested Tony who she has now sent to prison with 13 years of jail time.
However, Tony denied most of the assaults. But he was still convicted of eight of the 11 historic sex abuse charges after trial.
These include two counts of sexual assault on a girl under 13 by touching, three counts of sexual assault on a girl 13 or over, and two counts of causing a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
He was also found guilty of indecent assault on a girl under 16, which connected to a separate victim.
Tony was sentenced to a total of 13 years and nine months at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
“For the first time in years I felt like I was free,” Yasemin said. ” felt relief knowing that he’s not coming back here.”
“I don’t have to still suffer all that abuse and worry about him doing that to anyone else,” she said. “No doubt he is sitting behind bars suffering, and I’m sorry to say but I love it.”
“I love the fact he’s suffering, I want him to suffer the way that I did. The pain that not only I went through, but my whole family went through,” Yasemin continued. “You were thinking of your own little sick fantasies, but you weren’t thinking about anyone else in this household.”
”You weren’t thinking about your three children that you have.”
Tony’s sexual abuse has a huge effect on Yasemin’s life.
“I do feel like it did rob me of my childhood. It’s completely ruined being normal,” she explained. “A lot of people say you shouldn’t let it define you, but the damage is already done. I can’t just do normal things.”
Yasemin explained that she waived her anonymity because she wanted to take control back from her abuser.
She always thought that there must be more victims, and after the police have opened the case they discovered that Tony had also sexually abused another woman in Suffolk, in the late 1990s.
“It was because I knew in my heart, without a doubt, there was someone else,” she said. “This other woman has also got her justice. It’s such a horrible thing to have to happen to anyone, no one should ever endure something like this.”
“To know she has some sense of relief as well, makes me feel better about myself. I hope if there is anyone else out there who has suffered, they can get their justice as well.”
The abuse has inspired Yasemin to work in a nursery so she could try and protect young children from experiencing what she has suffered.
“I didn’t want another child to endure anything like what I went through,” she said. “I’m not superwoman, I can’t stop every situation like that from happening.”
“But when I’ve heard things which haven’t sounded right, I’ve told safeguarding officers straight away,” Yasemin said. “I do not want them to grow up feeling like everyone failed them.”
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