'It's not my secret to keep': Sex assault survivor tells her story - APTN NewsAPTN News

‘It’s not my secret to keep’: Sex assault survivor tells her story


Shirley McLean
APTN National News
Leslie Cawley kept it secret for decades allowing it to fester.

“I never had a good night sleep,” said Cawley, 53. “I’ve had nightmares like the majority of my nights.”

Those nights would bookend depression and suicide attempts.

Then Cawley got the strength to share the secret.

“It’s not my secret to keep,” she recently told APTN National News.

That secret led to her uncle David Couch being sentenced to 18 months in jail last month – the courts found him guilty of sexually abusing Cawley when she was a little girl between 1971 and 1980.

“The hardest thing of this whole ordeal was keeping the silence,” she said. “It was the silence that kept trying to break me over and over again.”

She needed to tell what happened in a cabin near Whitehorse all those years ago and she did in 2014.

“I could take the demon, this boogeyman out of my life, out of my nightmares and bring him into the light,” she said.

But even then it was still a secret, or her identity was. The courts put a publication ban on her identity.

The court has lifted that ban at the request of Cawley who wants people know her identity and hear her story hoping to help others.


Tags: , , , ,

6 Responses to “‘It’s not my secret to keep’: Sex assault survivor tells her story”

  1. Lillian.beaudoin2@gmail.com'
    Lillian Beaudoin September 5, 2017 at 11:50 pm #

    Brave, beautiful woman! I applaud you for your courage and strength! Secracy gives sexual assault POWER! Your VOICE is being heard. Your abuser has LOST his power! Stand Tall. Stand Strong. You are a HERO! Love and prayers are flying out to you!

  2. brydgesjanieann@gmail.com'
    Janie Ann August 31, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    Apologize for posting your name wrong….it is Lesley. TC.

  3. brydgesjanieann@gmail.com'
    Janie Ann August 31, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    Thank you for showing us all that secrets keep us sick and offenders free to abuse. His sentence is definitely not fitting to the violation because Cindy carried this with her for a lot longer than 18 months. Bless you Cindy ….

  4. mjrochon@eastlink.ca'
    mary jean August 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    God bless you yes you tell who it was and take back your power He is the Criminal and the public should know .. That way they will see the face of evil!

  5. andre-leonard@usa.com'
    Andre Leonard August 30, 2017 at 1:57 am #

    Leslie Cawley is a very brave lady. I applaud her for coming forward and placing the guilt on the person responsible David Couch. What is sad is he only received 18 months instead of 18 years.

    Many more are carry a burden that is not theirs and should report their abusers.

  6. cachild61@gmail.com'
    Cheryl August 29, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Sexual Abusers need to be accountable for their actions. Thank you for sharing your horrific story.