Friday, 9 January 2015

‘My Mum And Stepdad Kept Me In A Wardrobe And Raped Me Nightly’ (PHOTOS)


Lauren weighed as much as the average two-year-old when she was found, aged 8 (Picture: PA Real Life)



Lauren Kavanaugh, now 21, lived in the 4ft by 9ft closet from the ages of three until eight, held there by her mother Barbara Atkinson and stepfather Kenny Atkinson who were convicted of abusing her in 2002 and jailed for life, not eligible for parole until 2031.

The evil couple called Lauren their ‘little secret’ – only bringing her out to rape and torture her – but were caught when they showed her off to a horrified neighbour who alerted police.

When Lauren was pulled from the tiny cupboard in 2001 she was eight but weighed just 25.6 lbs, the same as the average two-year-old.

Kenny and Barbara Atkinson (Picture: Dallas County District Attorney’s Office)


She was rushed to surgery where she was fitted with a colostomy bag, but her organs were shutting down.
However, she recovered and now she is a student who supports other victims of abuse.

Recounting her ordeal, she said: ‘One day mum was so sick of me sobbing.She grabbed my arm and told me, “get into the closet”.
‘I was huddled in there for hours under a rail of dresses and shirts. I thought it was a punishment. There was no water or food, just darkness.’

Sometime later she recalled being pulled out and raped. She was only three.


Inside the wardrobe where Lauren was forced to live (Picture: PA Real Life)


She continued: ‘They put country music on blaring to hide my screams. After hours of abuse, I was bundled back into the closet, confused and in agony.

‘From then on, it became my new home. I couldn’t do anything in the darkness. I slept in there and had to use it for the bathroom.

‘The carpet was drenched in urine and I lay under a thin, wet blanket.’
She was also tortured and burnt with cigarettes.

Lauren’s organs had started to shut down when she was found (Picture: Dallas County District Attorney’s Office)


Her brothers and sisters were not abused. ‘Sometimes I could hear them laughing and playing outside,’ she admitted. ‘I was weak from hunger and was tied down so I couldn’t fight back.

‘I had to eat anything I could find in the closet. I was only let out for torture. One day, mum ran me a bath and pushed my head under water.

‘When I was six mum put a bowl of macaroni cheese in front of me. She told me I could chew it – but then had to spit it out.’

After being rescued Sabrina and Bill Kavanaugh adopted her – but her early trauma had a lasting impact and she would hide food for later, worried it would vanish.

She did not know how to play with toys and at night she would try and sleep in her wardrobe at night.

‘The first time I saw grass I was eight and I thought it was biting my feet,’ she said. ‘When I had baths I would yell, “don’t drown me”.’



She stored food because she didn’t know when she would be fed again (Picture: Dallas County District Attorney’s Office)

She returned to school and completed her exams.

‘I’ve started studying psychology at college,’ she said. ‘I plan to go to university next year. I’ve even moved into my own flat.

‘My dream is to qualify as a counsellor.But I really want to help victims like me to overcome their abuse and be strong.

‘I’ve been in their shoes and come out the other side.’



Lauren, pictured with a friend, now hopes to help others who have been abused (Picture: PA Real Life)

Source: Metro


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