Sex abuse siblings waive anonymity to encourage other victims to come forward (From Watford Observer)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Sex abuse siblings waive anonymity to encourage other victims to come forward
A brother and sister who were sexually abused by their father as children in Garston have bravely waived their legal anonymity to encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.
Ian and Wendy Roullier suffered years of abuse at the hands of their father Roger during the 1980s, while living in Boundary Way.
The trauma has affected the pair profoundly into their adult lives, but they have said going to the police and seeing their father brought to justice has lifted some of burden.
The abuse of the pair began after their mother left the family home when she separated from Mr Roullier, a lorry driver.
With Wendy, who is now 38, the abuse started when she was around nine. It began with her father inappropriately touching her and progressed over the years to rape.
She said: "I just remember crying, feeling like I was screaming inside and wishing it would stop. I thought it was wrong, but did not know if people would believe me."
The abuse caused her school work at Francis Combe School to suffer and she went from being a bright student with promising grades to one who played truant and dropped out early.
At age 14, Wendy ran away from home and spent a night sleeping under a temporary building in a construction site in Abbots Langley.
She later went to a video shop in the town and the owner called police who collected her and took her to her mother’s home in Berkhamsted.
However, Wendy did not tell the police about the abuse for fear she would not be believed. She later moved permanently in with her mother and her partner, ending the abuse from her father.
Ian, now a 35-year-old freelance music journalist, said he was also abused at around age 11.
The pair first talked about their shared abuse when Wendy was in her late teens and Ian in his mid teens on a family holiday with their mother.
However they both moved away from Watford, Ian now lives in Surbiton near London and Wendy in Milton Keynes. They broke contact with the father.
The issue of disclosing the abuse came up in 2009 when Wendy told her then partner about what her father had done and he went to the police.
At the time she was not ready to face the ordeal, but officers at Hertfordshire Constabulary said the door was open for her and Ian to return when the time was right.
Last year the pair decided to press the case with the police.
On July 6, Roger Roullier, 60, of Gammons Lane, was jailed for eight years at St Albans Crown Court for charges of rape, indecent assault and indecency with child relating to Wendy.
He denied a charge of indecency with a child, relating to Ian. As Mr Roullier had already admitted serious offences in relation to his daughter, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take the charge relating to Ian to trial and it has been left to lie on file.
Following the sentencing Ian and Wendy described the sense of relief and release they felt.
Ian said: “The feeling was just one of relief. It is hard to say feeling happy as it is such a horrible thing you wish had never happened. It’s like all this stress that has built up over years and years and years, now at least you can let go and come to terms with it a bit more.”
Wendy said: “It was just a massive release. It was a big, big relief.”
Ian added the pair would encourage other victims of sex abuse not stay silent and go to the police.
He said: “It is no magic wand but it has had a massive effect on mine and my sister’s life as it is like a new start. We don’t have to let this get us down as justice has been done and he is where he belongs.
“I would say, especially in Hertfordshire as they have this unit, go ahead. As daunting and as scary as it maybe, it is definitely worth doing."