Brave author tells her harrowing story

PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 11 February 2018

Amelia Hendrey with her book. Picture: WHT.

Amelia Hendrey with her book. Picture: WHT.

Archant

A Codicote woman has published the harrowing true story of how her dad raped and abused her in a bid to give other victims strength.

Amelia Hendrey with her book. Picture: WHT.Amelia Hendrey with her book. Picture: WHT.

Amelia Hendrey, 34, wrote What Nobody Knew in the hope that readers would either relate to the issues or come away from the pages with a whole new understanding.

The nightmare started when Amelia was just three years old and her mother abandoned her in St Albans city centre.

Her mother said she was “just going in that shop”, and “will be back in a minute”, but never returned.

Unfortunately for the toddler she was sent to live with her abusive and alcoholic father, along with a step mother who made Cinderella’s look like a blessing.

Amelia Hendrey at her book signing in Kimpton. Picture: Supplied.Amelia Hendrey at her book signing in Kimpton. Picture: Supplied.

Her father battered her from a young age, breaking her bones, and caused severe damage which led to Amelia being sent to hospital for weeks and weeks.

She was sent to a boarding school which catered for children with special needs “as a way to get rid” of her, she believes, but that did not stop the attacks.

The mum-of-one does not have any mental or physical disabilities but her dad and step mum pretended she did as a way to avoid questions from social services.

On one occasion he inflicted such harmful wounds to her jaw that it had to be wired shut for weeks.

Amelia Hendrey's book What Nobody Knew. Picture: Supplied.Amelia Hendrey's book What Nobody Knew. Picture: Supplied.

The Ocado personal shopper, who works in Hatfield, said the neighbours could hear her screams, but stayed silent.

The abuse culminated in a rape which saw the bully go to prison for seven years.

In that time Amelia was sent on her own, without any life skills, to live in a hostel for recovering alcoholics and drug users - even though she was not yet one herself.

She eventually turned to substance abuse after meeting her biological mother as an adult, who was dying from a rare disease.

The book ends with the chapter ‘Me Today’ and shows the reader how far the now married, sober, mum has come.

Amelia told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Although I enjoyed the writing aspect, it was very difficult to revisit those memories but it’s all worth it if it helps someone out there deal with what they’re going through.

“There were many sleepless nights.”

She said she wanted to share her story because she is living proof that when you are struggling in such harrowing situations, the only mode you should set yourself on is survival mode.

“Hopefully if you can relate to anything in the book, it can give you strength to know that you can come out the other side,” she said.

The novel took six months to write and was sent to hundreds of publishers in draft form before Amelia decided to self-publish.

It includes genuine documents from Hertfordshire County Council social services and court cases.

Amelia said she would explain the whole story to her four-year-old daughter when she was old enough.

She said: “The feedback has all been positive so far and I love hearing people’s opinions and their thoughts.

“If you are going through any of the issues that I went through, please pick up the book.

“It will give you hope and show you that there is life out there.”

She is now working on a second book that will focus on what it is like to mother, while being motherless.

You can purchase a copy on iBooks or by visiting the following:

• Amazon - https://tinyurl.com/y72vyxom

• Waterstones - https://www.waterstones.com/book/what-nobody-knew/amelia-hendrey/9781912145720

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