Willow Project helps sibling sexual abuse survivors

A survivor of sibling sexual abuse is determined to help those who are suffering in silence.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 2:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:14 pm
Zoe Cunningham

Zoe Cunningham, 42, who was born in Luton, was sexually abused by her brother for more than three years starting from the age of nine.

She has now launched a website, The Willow Project MK, aiming to support victims of abuse seeking help.

The website tells Zoe’s story and provides links to charities, whilst Zoe has ambitions to start her own helpline and ensure The Willow Project MK becomes a registered charity.

She said: “The website has only been going a few weeks but I’ve had people of all ages contacting me with their stories.

“It makes you feel better as you are not the only one. They get in touch saying, ‘I can’t believe what I have read, thank you, thank you!’

“They have never heard anybody speak out like that.”

Zoe, who lives in Wolverton, is hoping BBC Three Counties Radio will be covering her project, whilst she also plans to meet with her local MP, Mark Lancaster.

The determined lady has big plans for The Willow Project MK, and would like to give talks to school children and parents to help make them aware of sibling sexual abuse – her own family does not believe her.

Zoe said: “I used to abuse alcohol and use it as a coping mechanism – I don’t know where I would be without my boyfriend or my doctor.

“It doesn’t matter who your abuser is, the after effects are the same for every victim.

“I would advise anybody who is suffering from mental health symptoms due to abuse to seek help from a doctor. Speak to a good friend and find support groups.”

Zoe’s brother has now died and was never the subject of a police investigation.

Visit her website: http://www.thewillowprojectmk.co.uk/

Any victims wanting to talk to the police about sibling abuse or incest should call 101.