Tara was only three when first raped by a relative. Now she is speaking out to ...

Tara was only three when first raped by a relative. Now she is speaking out to ...
Tara was only three when first raped by a relative. Now she is speaking out to ...

As far back as she can remember Tara Eastwell knew what her grandfather was doing to her was wrong.

Every time her grandmother turned her back, be it ducking out for some groceries or even cooking a meal for her while she was saying with them, her 'Pop' Kevin Hines would take depraved advantage.

The naval officer from Dapto, Wollongong, repeatedly raped Tara from the age of just three, subjecting her to a horrific eight-year ordeal in the 1970s and 80s.

Tara was sworn to secrecy, with Hines, who has since died, threatening to kill her if she ever spoke out.  

Tara Eastwell was an incest victim at the hands of her grandfather from the age of three

Tara Eastwell was an incest victim at the hands of her grandfather from the age of three

The mother of two was then rejected by her own family, who kept silent as they felt the incest offending who destroy the image of their family

The mother of two was then rejected by her own family, who kept silent as they felt the incest offending who destroy the image of their family

Serving navy officer Kevin Hines (pictured) was the offender. He has since died.

Serving navy officer Kevin Hines (pictured) was the offender. He has since died. 

She still recalls her reaction to a sex education talk in primary school, when Tara was in Year 4.

'They explained that sex was an act between two adults who loved each other,' Tara, who is now a youth worker living in northern NSW, told Daily Mail Australia.

'What was happening with my grandfather left me feeling sick in the stomach. In fact, I was so frightened and confused, that I would vomit at night time.

'He used to tell me "if you say anything it will ruin the family, everyone will just think you are a dirty little girl".'

Hines eventually stopped abusing Tara, but after a few years passed he assaulted her again when she was 14 and she decided to speak up.

Inexplicably, her family kept quiet, worried the shame would cause him to have a heart attack and shatter his standing in the community.

'It destroyed me. It sent me the message that I was unworthy,' the mother of two, now 42, said.

'Being sexually abused by a family member is a castration of freedom. I didn't miss out on new bikes or tennis rackets each Christmas. I missed out on feeling safe, being protected, being heard, loved and acknowledged. 

'Instead, I survived every day feeling petrified. Feeling disgusting to the core with the naïve belief I was constantly pregnant.

'I felt abandoned and neglected, but what is worse for any survivor whose family decide to protect the perpetrator and not the victim, is the second bout of abandonment. 

'In my view, it is paramount the victim is wholeheartedly swept up in every good way from the moment they disclose their ordeal. They should never be silenced.'

Kevin Hines (circled above in dark top) was a highly respected member of his local community due to his status as a serving navy officer

Kevin Hines (circled above in dark top) was a highly respected member of his local community due to his status as a serving navy officer

As Tara moved into her 20s, she turned to alcohol and drugs as a form of escapism after what she was forced to endure as a youngster.

In her 30s

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