Childhood abuse at father’s hands leaves scars
The vulnerable little girl is a woman now, but a woman left shattered and ruined by the destruction of her innocence
and dreams at the hands of the man she calls ‘the monster’ – her father.
Louise Allard knows she will never be the woman she should have been, and says her story must be told because she fears
other girls are being subjected to ongoing assaults by the men who should be the families’ protectors yet carry out crimes of sexual abuse.
As a child she said no-one heard her silent screams for help.
Louise’s wicked monster,
Raymond Edward Allard, a giant of a man in stature but a pathetic creature in his daughter’s eyes,
pleaded guilty in Lismore District Court to indecently assaulting her 30 years
ago in Kyogle.
Using the defence argument of ongoing bad health, Allard, a professional fisherman, received a suspended 12-month jail sentence
for his shameful crime after pleading guilty before Judge James
Black to one count of historic child sexual abuse.
For Louise his publicly admitting to the offence with a guilty plea was something she needed to hear, but it does not end the
tough journey she has endured where despair, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, and tortured thoughts
of taking her own life were her lonely companions.
Described as a case of historic childhood sexual abuse Louise remains the victim – estranged from her mother and two siblings
who, she says, blame her for the break-up of the family many years ago when her father finally left their home never to return.
Most people love their childhood memories, safe and secure in the strength of their family life, but for Louise it is blank.
She lost her ability to laugh and play, and lived her young life at Kyogle in fear.
She said her father was already an alcoholic and she remembers at times having to fend off his sexual advances.
Innocent Saturday mornings watching the television cartoons lying in bed with her father was an ugly memory for the 11-year-old
as it was then that she said he would make his predatory advances.
Louise says it was more than the one count he pleaded guilty to and his alcoholism was no excuse.
There was the gut-wrenching fear of going home after school knowing that, with her mother still at work, the monster could be
inside waiting for her.
It had been a relief when he finally left for good, but the lasting damage was done.
“I would spend days not talking to people, even at school,” Louise recalls. “At high school I think I had the early stages of my
depression and was silently screaming all the time. I was living in a town I hated and I needed so much help.
“I’m sure my mother knew something was going on. At 13 she gave me a book about a girl who loses her mind and her parents put her in an?institution.
“I think at the time she was trying to say there is something wrong (with me) and I remember her asking me ‘Do you
hear voices in your head?’ But I was not crazy.”
Louise could not face her monster in the Lismore courtroom and instead read her victim impact statement by video camera
from another room. Reading her statement was emotionally very difficult.
“I was abused by the person who was supposed to be my natural father. It was so hard because I had to admit then that he
was my natural father who did this,” she said afterwards.
Louise says people around her could never understand why she was so
distrusting until they heard her story.
The crime infected every corner of her life.
“I realise how much I’ve been ripped-off out of my life,” she said.
“All those special occasions like Christmas and birthdays were all ruined. Aren’t your family supposed to be part of it?
“I would dread Christmas for weeks. It was always such a bad time for me. I’m going well now but for so long I have been
suffering, and often thought of killing myself.”
When she decided to be part of the police investigation, professional counsellors told her the truth deserved to be told
and it would set her free.
“The people who were lied to all these years need to know,” she said.
“Louise Allard is still that hurt little girl who deserves to have the truth known.”