French woman says having six children by her father: Report

April 30th, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by admin  

Paris, April 30 (DPA) After the case of Elisabeth Fritzl in Austria, a French daily Wednesday reported the story of a French woman who said she was raped by her father for 28 years and bore him six children. Lydia Gouardo, now 45, told the newspaper Le Parisien that her nightmare began when she was only nine years old, shortly after her stepmother plunged her in a tub filled with boiling water.

She said she was often raped three times a day. “My stepmother sometimes helped him,” Gouardo told the newspaper.

The last time she was abused sexually was Nov 13, 1999, one week before her father died, she said.

Unlike Elisabeth Fritzl, Gouardo was not locked up. “I thought what he did was normal. I only ran away when he beat me,” she said. “Every time (I ran away) I told my story, but I was always taken back to him.”

She said that when she went to hospital to deliver the six children her father sired, she told hospital workers that her father was their father. “No one ever reacted.”

Gouardo said she still lives in the village of Coulommes, in the house she shared with her father. “But I talk to no one,” she said.

“And I am furious with my neighbours. Some of them lived here at the time and said nothing. Neither did the police officers who came when my father beat me.”

She shares the home with her boyfriend and her nine children.

Her father’s death freed her and eventually led to charges being filed against Gouardo’s stepmother. One week ago, a Paris appeals court gave her a suspended sentence of four years in prison for not reporting a crime and for sexually abusing one of Gouardo’s sons.

Gouardo said she would like to help Fritzl, perhaps become friends with her. “I feel less lonely,” she said. “Maybe there are other cases like that, in small villages where people just close their shutters.”

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