April 30, 2012 · 1 Comments
‘He should have been the one helping me, but he was the one abusing me’: Girl, 15, raped by father who forced her to ‘play wife’ reveals how decade of abuse tore her apart
07:52 EST, 30 April 2012
11:27 EST, 30 April 2012
A daughter forced to act as her father’s ‘wife’ has waived her right to anonymity to help other abuse victims. Emma Frost, 22, was left devastated after suffering a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of her father.
Now, after seeing him jailed for life, she is taking the brave step of sharing her story in the hopes she can help others who have suffered a similar plight.
Emma, from Clacton, Essex, says: ‘I stayed silent for years because I thought nobody would believe me.
‘Your parent is the person you are supposed to turn to for help, but he was the one abusing me. I felt trapped and it tore me apart.’
Tragic: Emma Frost was subjected to a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, who forced her to live with him as a ‘wife’, raping her regularly and making her serve him
Now a proud parent herself, Emma says she was relieved her father was jailed, but she will ‘have the memories forever’. ‘I suffered in silence for too long and I want to help other young women,’ she says
Christopher Frost, 45, began abusing his daughter when she was nine years old.
‘I remember the first time I was watching TV in the lounge when he came in and sat next to me for a cuddle. But he had a towel in his hand and draped it across our laps.
Afterwards her dad told her that was a ‘special cuddle’ – something that would go on to happen more and more frequently over the next few years.
‘I knew it was wrong and I hated it, but I didn’t feel able to tell anyone so instead I started releasing my anger by playing up at school.’
Eventually unable to cope with her worsening behaviour, her mum put her into care in 2001 weeks before she turned 12.
Emma, pictured as a child with her sisters, says the sexual abuse from her father started when she was nine. ‘He called it “special cuddles” and it began happening more and more frequently,’ she says
‘They didn’t understand what was wrong with me so my family just thought I was out of control and a nightmare. They couldn’t cope so I had to go.’
Life in the children’s home was tough and Emma had no visitors apart from her father.
‘People can’t understand why I let him visit me, but without him I had nobody. I was just a frightened little girl.’
Every few months her father would take her into town and tried to win her trust back by buying her cigarettes and alcohol.
When Emma turned 15, her father came to visit with the news that her mother had left him and asked Emma if she would like to leave the children’s home and come to live with him.
As a result of her father’s abuse, Emma became unruly. Unable to cope, her mother sent her to a children’s home, aged just 12. Her father was the only one to visit and, when he split from her mother, he persuaded Emma, pictured here in her teens at the height of the abuse, to move into his house where he would rape her
‘Naively I thought anything was better than the children’s home. I also hoped he had changed as it had been more than three years since he had touched me,’ she says now.
In December 2004 Emma moved in to her father’s home. At first, Frost did not touch his young daughter. Instead, he insisted the teenager was to be responsible for all the housework.
‘He said if I wanted to stay I had to do all the cooking and cleaning. In effect I was taking on my mum’s role in the house,’ she says.
A few weeks after she had moved in, Emma came home to find Frost drunk. Enraged, he shouted at Emma for leaving him on his own.
The next morning, he came to Emma’s room to apologise for losing his temper, and offered her a bottle of Bailey’s to make amends.
Emma’s father, Christopher Frost, pictured with Emma, right, as a teenager, was found guilty of sexual abuse in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison
Frost began pouring his young daughter large glasses of the liqueur. Before long, Emma was blind drunk and overwhelmed by nausea.
She fell asleep on her bed and awoke to find her father touching her – but she was too trapped in her drunken stupor to scream or move. When she finally came around, she began piecing together the harrowing events.
‘I confronted him but he denied it and said I must have been dreaming. But just days later I woke up to find him touching me again and I lashed out.’
Emma was so frightened that she head-butted her father.
His reaction was to warn her angrily that if she ever lashed out against him again, he would take her back to the children’s home.
Terrified Emma felt she had no choice but to comply.
By now, her father’s behaviour had grown yet more twisted. He had started calling Emma by her mother’s name, and would force her to serve him.
One night in January 2005 he made his daughter get out of bed at one am to cook him a roast dinner.
While she was peeling the vegetables she saw he was lighting candles in the sitting room.
Then he laid a blanket on the floor and called her in to join him. Despite her horrified pleas, Emma’s father raped her.
When it was over he ordered her to continue cooking – and then forced her to sit opposite him to eat the meal.
Christopher Frost was sentenced to a minimum 10 years and 10 months and added to the sex offenders register indefinitely
‘I knew then that it was some sick fantasy that I was his wife and we were having a romantic night, I felt sick but had nowhere to turn, I’ve never been so afraid.
That night she was forced to sleep in his bed with him. Life at home became a living hell as the abuse continued.
Against all odds, Emma managed to enjoy brief moments of normality by having secret boyfriends.
‘Even though I was being abused, having real boyfriends was my way of not letting dad own me. It was a way of feeling normal,’ she says.
Emma was working in a chip shop to raise money to escape when she met Graham Brett, 30. They started dating in secret. But one day, Emma’s father followed her when she left the house and confronted them.
‘He started screaming at me that I was a slag. Graham thought he was just an over protective dad.
‘How could I tell him the truth, that he was jealous of him for being with me?’
Foster dragged his daughter home, where he flew into a rage, smashing plates on his head and shouting: ‘Look how much I love you Emma.’
‘I was just shouting at him that it was wrong and he was my dad, he wasn’t supposed to be doing these things to me,’ Emma says.
In the aftermath of his rage, Frost begged his daughter for forgiveness before pleading with her to have sex with him one more time.
‘I was so revolted that I turned away because I thought I would be sick. He was begging me not to leave.
‘And despite my desperation to escape, I was already thinking I had nowhere to go except the children’s home.’
Emma kept in contact with her boyfriend Graham and a few months later fell pregnant.
As her father had undergone a vasectomy, Emma was certain the baby was not his.
When she broke the news to her father, Emma says he broke down in tears, asking his daughter if she was going to leave him.
But shockingly, even now the nightmare wasn’t to end. Emma’s boyfriend Graham, who was still unaware of his girlfriend’s hellish situation, lived with his mother.
When Emma gave birth to a baby daughter nine months later, she had no choice but to return from the hospital to her father’s house with her newborn.
‘I hated him holding her, but I never left them alone for a second,’ she recalls now.
‘Even if I went to the toilet I took her with me.’
Emma has managed to find happiness with partner Graham Brett, with whom she now has two daughters. ‘They have shown me what a real family is,’ she says
Weeks later Emma was given a council flat that she planned to share with Graham.
Soon afterwards, in October 2009, Emma’s mother made contact. Emma agreed to meet her – and in an emotional confession, she told her mother everything that had happened.
Emma’s appalled mother urged her to call the police.
‘Mum was devastated, she had no idea but I wanted to be sure the rest of the family believed me too so I tried to record him admitting it on my phone,’ she says.
Next, Emma told Graham. ‘He wanted to go straight round but I didn’t want dad running away before he could be properly punished.’
A police investigation saw Foster arrested. The trial started on 17 October 2011 and Emma, who had since given birth to another daughter, was called to give evidence from behind a screen.
The jury at Ipswich Crown Court found him guilty of four counts of rape, five offences of indecent assault, sexual activity with a child, and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Judge Rupert Overbury told him: All these offences were calculated and planned. The effect of your offending is incalculable.’
On 16 December last year Christopher Foster was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of ten years and ten months. His name was added to the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Emma, who is studying for a degree in psychology so she can help other victims of abuse, said: ‘ I was relieved but I will have the memories forever. Graham and my daughters have shown me what a real family is. I suffered in silence for too long and I want to help other young women. My psychology degree will help me do that.
As part of her mission to raise awareness and help other victims of abuse, Emma is preparing for a sponsored walk to raise money for the Phoenix Post, a support community campaigning against childhood abuse. She will walk 26 miles on 16 June.
To pledge support via PayPal please visit www.thephoenixpost.com
By Emma Brown