My Abuse Hell, By DJ Chris Needs
One of Wales’ best loved radio personalities has revealed how his life has been tainted by horrific sexual abuse he suffered as a child.
BBC DJ Chris Needs made the revelations about the ordeal in his new autobiography, having finally plucked up the courage to talk about it.
The Radio Wales presenter was just five years old when the man, who was a family friend, first raped him.
Having been bullied into a silence he kept for almost 50 years, he regrets that both his parents died without knowing the truth.
He is also angry that his abuser died unpunished – and urges anyone who suffers child abuse today to speak out.
In his autobiography, Like It Is, Needs says the abuse still gives him nightmares.
“My mother and father went to their graves totally unaware of a major incident that changed my life for ever – me being repeatedly raped by a so-called family friend who was so dear to them,” he says in the book, to be published by Y Lolfa on November 3.
“It all started when I was about five and lasted through to my early teens.
“I have thought hard and long how to write about this horrific period in my life.”
He deleted chunks of his initial draft because when he read the words he found them too graphic and upsetting. Instead, he provides only an outline of the events.
“The man who raped me from the age of five or six made me do terrible things, and shall we say that not an area of my body was left alone by this bloody pig of a man.
“The worst part of being a rape victim is the anger. I still live with this every day of my life.
“I wake up sometimes in the night after a bad dream and sob my heart out.”
He says youngsters whosuffer abuse now can speak to people about it, something which he felt was impossible during his childhood.
“Thank God there are many organisations out there to help.
“I hope nobody has to live through the things that happened to me.
“Things are different now. If this happened nowadays he would most certainly be behind bars.
“But as it stands he’s dead, and I thank the Lord that he is, so he can’t do these things to anybody else.
“His words still haunt me. ‘Don’t you dare tell your mother and father or you will be sent to borstal for being a queer’.
“I didn’t even know what being a queer was.
“The only thing that pains me now is that my folks never found out about this pig of a man. He got away with it, and here am I still suffering, and that will never leave me.
“I hope he rots in hell, twice over,” writes Mr Needs, 53, who was made an MBE in June 2005 for his services to broadcasting and charity in Wales.
He says he will always have to live with the results of the abuse.
“I honestly believe that the reason I am what I am today, a totally unhappy person, covering things up with comedy as best as I can, is because of him.
“He made me aware of this way of life.
“I knew everything about the male body and nothing about the female.
“This man made me feel different about myself and this I will never forgive him for.
“I am still very frightened of aggressive men and gangs of lads.
“To this day I get frightened of some strong men, and I hide away from crowds, just in case I am set upon.
“No one knows what I went through.
“At the time all I wanted was to be alone and gather my thoughts and get over the physical and mental pain as best I could.”
The book also describes the homophobic bullying he encountered when growing up in Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, and the big emotional impact of his mother’s death.
He writes, “I spent my youth hiding the fact I was gay and hiding behind camp jokes.
“I regularly used to get hecklers but I had some great put-down lines.
“If someone male made a nasty gesture towards me I would simply say, ‘You’re safe as houses. It’s only men I’m after,’ or ‘I saw you in the toilet, ten tonne of dynamite with a two inch fuse.’
“That would certainly get their backs up.”
“I never set out for an argument, I just wanted a chance to show Wales what I was about, but most of the time the ‘straight’ people just laughed at me.
“This went on for years and put me off Wales for a long time.”
Like It Is, published by Y Lolfa will be released on November 3, priced £9.95