For most of us the thought of never seeing our mums again is unbearable, but for Annabelle Forest seeing hers again is not an option.
“Nothing can hurt me as much as my mum and that man,” she says.
“My mother was an evil woman and I’ll never forgive her.”
Such vitriol comes from the horror of Annabelle’s childhood and the 11 years of hell she was put through.
The victim of a notorious sex cult that operated from a quiet Welsh cul-de-sac, she was initiated into it by her own mother at the age of seven.
Even worse, she was abused by her mother as a teenager under the orders of the cult’s leader Colin Batley - the man she can’t even bring herself to name.
Now a mum herself and living happily in another part of the UK, Annabelle has taken the brave step of recounting her horror in a bid to get others to speak out about suspected abuse.
She has written a book that tells how she was just seven-years-old when first forced to watch her mother perform a sex act on Batley.
At the age of 11 she raped by him in her own home and three years later she was made to take part in group sex with her mother.
Batley was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection in 2011 with a recommendation he spend at least 11 years in jail.
Jacqueline Marling was jailed for 12 years for her part in the group’s crimes but Annabelle, which is not her real name, says she can never forgive her mother for putting her through such torture.
“To be abused like that by your own mum beggar’s belief,” she says.
“I went to the sentencing in court because I wanted to see her one last time, I wanted her to reach out to me, to say it was all his fault and she was under his spell.
“But she didn’t. She just made a face and asked what I was doing there.
"She went to prison unrepentant and I suppose that made me realise it wasn’t just him. She was evil too. As a mother myself I can hardly believe how she treated me. It was unnatural and cruel.
“But there is no point getting depressed about it, you have to live for the future. But I never want to see her again. Nothing can hurt me as much as they did, but that is what makes me stronger.”
Now Annabelle has revealed the true extent of the horror she suffered at the hands of the cul-de-sac cult in her memoir The Devil on The Doorstep: My Escape from a Satanic Sex Cult.
The cult’s twisted ideology, based on a bizarre text called the Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, formed the backdrop to Annabelle’s childhood.
The children of the cult, based in a small cul-de-sac in Kidwelly, were cut off from other children, forced to take part in long church services and obey Batley’s every whim.
“We weren’t even allowed to look in his eyes,” says Annabelle.
“He ruled our little community with an iron will and we were made to do what he ordered for fear of angering the Gods.”
In Batley’s ‘Church’, children were led to believe they were proving themselves to the Gods by passing tests, which usually involved sex with either him or other cult members.
Annabelle recalls the first time he raped her when she was just 11-years-old.
“The worst thing about it was the fact that he made me think I was doing it out of choice,” she says.
“It was awful. The most painful and shocking thing that had ever happened – but it was my path, that’s what he told me, and if I didn’t do it I would go to the Abyss, which was our version of hell.
"Colin knew how to manipulate you, to make you believe anything he said.”
But Annabelle’s most horrific experience was when her own mother assaulted her at the age of 14.
“Afterwards, Colin asked me if I enjoyed it and I knew what I had to say – I had to say yes. But inside I felt like dying.”
The tests did not end there – at 14 she was forced into a relationship with another cult member five years her senior and by then she was having regular group sex with Batley and her mother.
“I was a schoolgirl by day and a sex slave at night,” she says. “It got so bad that at one point I tried to take my own life.”
Aged 18, three months after having Batley’s child, she was forced into prostitution.
It was the love of her daughter that saved her and gave her a reason to live - she bravely escaped in the dead of night when her baby was one year old.
By the time of her escape she had slept with over 1,800 men – the proceeds of which had all gone towards ‘the Church’.
In 2011, her evidence helped convict Batley for life as well as three others, including her mother.
Today, Annabelle lives a happy and contended life with her partner and her two children but she says the recent Rochdale case brought back chilling reminders about her own past.
“It was astonishing to me that people who came into contact with these children thought they were behaving this way out of choice. When you have control over a child and you can intimidate them, they will do anything you say.
"It was the same for me. Too many people looked away, too many people ignored the signs. It astonishes me that we lived in that small cul-de-sac for so many years and not one person saw anything that gave them cause for concern,” she says.
“After the case, people said they thought things were odd, but nobody said anything and saying that after the case is a waste of time. It was like the case in America where the girls were locked up in the house for years.
"Why did no-one think it strange that all the windows were boarded up? And how did no-one notice anything about the girl in Germany who was locked in the basement?”
Annabelle says that if her book makes one person think, or saves one person’s life, it has been worth it.
“If there’s one thing I would like to achieve with my book, it would be for others to start really paying attention to the community they live in. You can’t just walk around living in a bubble. There are abused children everywhere – it just takes one person to see it and that life could be saved.”
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