Sex offender’s release triggers new ordeal for victim

A rape victim says the release of a sex offender has caused her much anguish.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d447381
A rape victim says the release of a sex offender has caused her much anguish. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d447381

THE release of sex offender Dennis John Lyddieth in Tuart Hill has led a rape victim to re-live the event she has tried so hard to forget.

Tuart Hill resident Susan (not her real name) who was raped in 1980, said she started to have flashbacks of the event after reading that Lyddieth was living in her area.

“When I heard that he was in my area I got this awful feeling like I was being punished over again,” she said. “I always said to myself: don’t let it ruin your life, but now all these feelings have come back up.”

Susan spoke to the Stirling Times after reading the story ‘Heartbreak over domestic violence’ in the October 6 edition.

She said she now felt uneasy about walking alone or walking the streets at night.

“Rape is not about sex – it’s about control,” Susan said. “I try not to think about the actual act but I remember feeling that I was going to die. I said to myself – he has to kill me because I’ve seen his face.”

Susan said anxiety and paranoia were creeping back into her life after a long period of stability.

“I’ve dealt with this and had been going great for years and years but its all come back to me now, it’s just because it’s Tuart Hill- it’s my area,” she said.

“Last night I had the security screen locked but you can see in. I had to go and close the front door, I couldn’t rest until I did. I’m staying up far too late because of fear.”

Susan said that in her experience, victims were not treated with the respect they deserved.

“After he (her attacker) was convicted and after the trial, the police came to my door with this brown paper parcel and handed it to me,” she said.

“I didn’t know what it was so I went inside and opened it up, it was the clothes I had been wearing on the night.

“People feel once the sentence is carried out it’s just over and done with.”

Susan said the fact that Lyddieth had re-offended in the past worried her.

Lyddieth was released on November 9 and is subject to 44 conditions such as 24 hour GPS tracking monitoring, a curfew and internet access.

Call 1800 737 732 for sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling.

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