The Pain We Endured – A Mother’s Story

Wayne Gordon stole everything from my daughter. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Everything changed when I discovered this monster had sexually violated and raped my innocent daughter when she was only 8 years old. He had no conscience when he raped her, while she fought to protect her baby sister who slept next to her in the bed. The abuse went on for several years.

Wayne Gordon was a friend of my ex-husband’s. Now I look back I see how he manipulated his way into my life. I was a vulnerable single mother who honestly believed he was good guy. I fell victim to his lies. How could I have been so gullible, so stupid? He offered to babysit my children on numerous occasions. As a mother I felt overwhelming guilt for allowing this monster into our lives; I still do to this day. Self-doubt consumed me. Could I protect my children as a mother? Could I ever trust my judgement again? Could I ever allow someone close to my family again?

Before my daughter disclosed the abuse, she suffered an emotional and mental breakdown. She turned to drugs and alcohol and became dangerously promiscuous. Eight years it took for her to disclose the abuse. She did this through a suicide note stating that she could no longer carry the burden of what had happened to her. She made several attempts to take her own life. My happy little girl was gone.

My beautiful daughter became a child I no longer knew. I felt helpless as I could not help her. She became withdrawn and angry, and so much harder to control. Nights spent searching the streets for her, worrying about her physical safety, not knowing what harm she was doing to herself. A once happy, intelligent, thriving student became a dark shell of herself. Wagging school and turning against the people who loved her most. The relationship she had with her brother, her sister and me crumbled.

As a single mother I struggled with endless guilt. I could not protect my daughter. Everything I tried to do caused more anguish, not only between her and I, but within our family. Wayne Gordon stole everything that was once normal. I was desperate to help my daughter as she was spiraling down a very dark and ugly path. This was not her fault, but I did not know how I could help her.

My daughter was spiraling out of control. I went to my local Police station and I met with my local MP’s in the hope I could get some much-needed help. My daughter was wagging school, using drugs and alcohol to numb her pain. She was expelled from a school she had once excelled in. I attempted to work with ex-army personnel to try to get a boot camp together to help troubled youth like my daughter. No agency wanted to provide the financial backing so this was not possible. My daughter was moved into a specialised school.

It was at this new school where my daughter met a caring and dedicated school counsellor.  She reached out to my daughter. I believe it was her that saved my daughter’s life. I was asked to meet with the counsellor with my daughter present and she disclosed to me what Wayne Gordon had done to my daughter since the time she was eight years old. My heart sunk, my first thought – I wanted to kill him. How could he have done this to such an innocent little girl, my darling daughter.

I rang my sister stating I wanted to find him and confront him with what he had done. My sister made me see that it was not worth my suffering and my children’s future as I could be the one who went to prison. My daughter has attempted suicide several times and I fear that what this monster did to her will be too much to bear and she will end up killing herself.

Charges and Sentencing

When my daughter was only 16, she found the courage to speak to the Police. She wanted to tell them exactly what Wayne Gordon had done to her. We drove several miles to the Police station only to be told that there was no one that could take her statement. My innocent daughter had carried this burden alone for 8 whole years; she found the courage to speak up but there was no one available to listen. It took what seemed like a lifetime for the Police to take her statement. After my daughter gave her statement; another victim came forward. Both my daughter and another young victim would testify at the same trial.

I believe there were several other young victims in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland region as he preyed on single mothers with young daughters. He befriended them, offering to babysit so he could take advantage of the most vulnerable victims.

I remember the sleepless nights, the tears, the anguish, and the guilt leading up to the court case. The overwhelming feelings that tormented me because I had not protected my daughter from this monster. He took everything from her. He violated her innocence, her childhood, her trust in people. My daughter became a person who felt dirty and tainted. Our relationship crumbled because as her mother she felt that I should have protected her and stopped the monster who raped and sexually violated her.

At the sentencing, my heart sank when Wayne Gordon was brought into the dock. In my mind all I could think about was how I wanted to physically inflict pain upon him. My daughter and I stood together reading our victim impact statements, with tears streaming down our faces, pain clinching right to our soul’s. I remember looking over at Wayne Gordon. He hid his face like the coward he was. I was so angry; how dare he hide his face! I asked the Judge to have him stand up so that he could see the pain he had caused my daughter and myself. The Judge showed us compassion. You could see that our Victim Impact Statements had also made an impact on him. Finally, we felt listened to.

The Judge adjourned the Court so he could go away to find out the longest non parole period. Wayne Gordon was sentenced to 12 years behind bars; a sentence that should have been life especially after everything he had stolen from my little girl. He had to serve a minimum of 6 years before he would be eligible to apply for parole. He did not receive name suppression. Others needed to know what he had done to my little girl.

Parole Hearings

Our first Parole Board hearing was in 2013. My daughter and I attended the first and second parole board hearing together but after these first two it just became too much for her. Each time she heard that Wayne Gordon was coming up for parole the memories of what happened became too much to bear. She used alcohol to excess to numb her pain.

I was not going to give up fighting. I continued to go to every single Parole Board hearing, sometimes twice a year. I fought because Wayne Gordon had to serve his full sentence, he could not be released after only six years. I feel if I did not attend each Parole Board hearing my daughters’ monster would have been released. I was a mother not willing to give up my fight for my innocent child.

Media

I went to the media because I wanted to write a story to protect others from Wayne Gordon. To reach out so if there were other victims they too could come forward. He did not get name suppression, his name needed to be made public. The media were not interested in what my innocent daughter had suffered because of Wayne Gordon’s disgusting abuse. Her voice, her survival was not considered newsworthy. 

Released

Wayne Gordon was released in December 2019 after serving his full sentence of 12 years. He has served his six months parole conditions and is now a free man. He cannot be trusted. I believe that he will harm more innocent young victims. I do not believe he has served a long enough sentence. Unlike my daughter’s sentence, unlike my sentence; we will suffer for a lifetime. 

My daughter who is now a grown woman still has buried inside of her the feeling no self-worth. She can function normally for days and then something will trigger all those buried feelings. She still carries the burden of Wayne Gordon’s demons. It is so unfair that Wayne Gordon’s actions, his horrific abuse still have the power to hurt her every single day. The consequences of his actions make her doubt who she really is. Her punishment goes on and on; it never leaves her. 

I am so proud of my daughter and what she has become – she is a survivor and I hope one day that she will have the courage to rise above it all.

As a mother I ask all those innocent victims who have been harmed, to please speak up. Talk to a trusted adult. Our children need to be safe. By speaking up you may save another innocent victim from being abused. It will be hard but disclosing the truth can also be extremely empowering. To all the parents who have children who have been sexually abused please keep fighting; your children need your strength. Believe what your children are telling you. Seek the justice they so rightfully deserve. Attend every Parole Board hearing, fight to stop these abusers being released back into our communities.

We need the media to let everybody know who these offenders are. To print the details of what each offender has done. To openly warn others about the risk of associating with monsters like Wayne Gordon. I would hate another family to experience what we have. The devastation is overwhelming.

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Do you want to make a difference?
Due to growing demand, the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) and Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) are on the search to grow our advocating teams.
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Thank You
We will be in contact with more information soon!
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