I was sexually assaulted as a child

An actress in Welsh-language TV soap Pobol y Cwm has said she was sexually assaulted as a young child.

Sera Cracroft, who plays Eileen Probert in the S4C drama, said she was sharing her story to help others.

The 57-year-old mother-of-three added she has suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the incident and considered taking her own life.

Police investigated the allegations, but nobody was ever convicted.

In an interview with Elin Fflur on S4C’s Sgwrs Dan y Lloer, she said: “I was sexually abused when I was a small child at a friend’s house.

“While the attack was happening, I remember feeling like I was suffocating.

“I bit his hand and screamed for my mam.”

Sera, who lives in Cardiff, said she never mentioned the assault to anyone and suffered with serious mental health problems as a result.

“I hadn’t realised how much of an effect it had on me until I was older,” she revealed.

“Whenever I was under pressure or was busy the flashbacks became worse.

“I decided one day that I just couldn’t live in my skin and I decided that I wanted to kill myself.”

Sera received extensive specialist help in hospital, where she remembers people were “terribly nice” to her.

Pobol y Cwm star Sera Cracroft

Sera Cracroft has played Eileen Probert in Pobol y Cwm since 1989

Sera said sharing her story with others for the first time “was the start of getting better”.

She also described Cerian, the policewoman who asked her to make an initial statement when she reported the result as an adult, as “an angel”.

Sera added she was “so, so disappointed” to learn there wasn’t enough evidence for the police to investigate the allegation further.

She demanded the police question the man.

“I wanted him to feel a percentage of the fear that I had suffered,” she said.

But when quizzed by the police he denied ever meeting Sera.

As a result nobody has ever been prosecuted.

Sera said thanks to a lot of counselling and help she was in a “good place”.

The actress said former Welsh footballer and mental health campaigner Neville Southall has also become a good friend and has helped empower her.

“I can’t change the past,” she added.

“The only thing I can change now is how I respond to that.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, information and support is available on BBC Action Line.

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