A deaf teenager has told how she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather for four four years after he started to expose himself and molest her at the age of just 11.
Natasha Fowler, 19, was subjected to a years of abuse at the hands of Scott Bishop, now 43, who would repeatably pounce on her ‘anytime and anywhere’ while her mother was away.
Bishop, of Brighton, is currently serving a 14-year jail sentence after being found guilty of preying on his stepdaughter.
Ms Fowler has now waived her right to anonymity to share her horrific ordeal and bravely encourage others being abused to not suffer in silence.
Natasha Fowler (pictured), 19, was subjected to a years of abuse at the hands of Scott Bishop, now 43, who would repeatably pounce on her ‘anytime and anywhere’
What began as ‘playfulness’ quickly turned into a ‘traumatic ordeal’ which, Ms Fowler says, has ruined her life.
‘Scott was, at first, everything and more you could want from a stepdad,’ she recalled.
‘Being deaf makes it really hard for me to be able to communicate with others, but from the off, Scott made a lot of effort to learn sign language so that we could properly communicate.
‘Then one afternoon, completely out of the blue, he stripped naked in front of me.
‘I froze as he began to touch my private parts – life as I knew it would never be the same again.’
The teenager says she didn’t really understand what was happening, but she knew it wasn’t right.
Ms Fowler (pictured left with her mother at the time of the abuse) has now waived her right to anonymity to share her horrific ordeal
And as time passed and the abuse continued, she began wondering: ‘Is this what dads are supposed to do?’
She added: ‘He would tell me how much he loved me – I would think, is this normal?’
Before long, Ms Fowler says Bishop would pouncing even if her mum was popping to the shops for five minutes.
Bishop (pictured), of Brighton, is currently serving a 14-year jail sentence after being found guilty of preying on her
Every time her mother got up to leave, Ms Fowler would sob and beg her to take her along – without telling her why.
But more often than not, the young girl would be left behind at home under the parental guidance of the sexual predator.
Ms Fowler, too frightened to tell her mum, would keep silent as Bishop would threaten her: ‘If you tell anybody, I’ll kill you.’
‘It would be anytime, anywhere,’ Ms Fowler said, fighting back the tears.
‘Whenever my mum wasn’t around he would strip naked, touch me and make me touch him.
‘I wanted to scream for help, but I was so scared of what might happen to me.’
But three years later in June 2014, when Ms Fowler was 15, she blurted out her secret to her mother.
She added: ‘Mum hugged me and told me to report him to the police.
‘She was upset that I had kept it to myself for so long, but I thought no one would believe me.
Ms Fowler (pictured with Bishop) says her stepfather would pouncing even if her mum was popping to the shops for five minutes
‘With bruises and scratches still fresh from where he had recently abused me, I made a statement to the police right away.’
In June of 2017, a jury at Lewes Crown Court convicted Bishop, of Brighton, for a string of sexual offences involving his stepdaughter, including forcing her to commit sexual acts and exposing himself to her on multiple occasions between 2011 to 2014.
She decided to speak about her ordeal publicly for the first time and in a message to other children who might be going through abuse, she concluded: ‘It’s never too late to speak out to tell somebody.
‘If anything happens to you it’s ok to speak out about it.’
Ms Fowler (pictured with Bishop), too frightened to tell her mum, would keep silent as Bishop would threaten her: ‘If you tell anybody, I’ll kill you’