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.