ON a regular basis, newspapers such as this report on rapes and sexual assaults.

The severity of the attacks may vary and while those responsible may end up before the courts and even in prison, many others go unreported and the victims try to get on with their lives.

Whichever path an incident takes, the effect on victims cannot be calculated and is different from person to person.

Some may put a brave face on things and try to pretend nothing happened, but always being affected by it.

For others, their lives are shattered and they are unable to maintain employment or relationships.

Some turn to alcohol or drugs in a bid to escape the trauma of what happened to them.

Today, we report on a brave 23-year-old woman who was raped as a 13 year old. For eight years, she carried the burden of the attack and felt unable to tell anyone about it.

Although she was drugged and raped, she said the attack left her feeling dirty, guilty and ashamed.

She had done nothing wrong. She was targeted by someone who went to great trouble to carry out the attack.

The brave victim read out a statement about the impact the attack has had on her, ultimately changing her life. She blamed herself and thought other people would too. While she remained silent, she felt tortured, but having spoken out, she feels stronger and better able to cope.