Duffy shares 'passing thoughts' after detailing rape ordeal

Duffy shares ‘passing thoughts’ on acceptance, gratitude and love as she returns to social media over a year after detailing her horrific kidnap and rape ordeal

  • The singer told fans she was ‘nervous’ to return to the platform again and ‘doesn’t envisage it being a permenant thing’
  • In February 2020 Duffy first detailed her horrific ordeal, which started as she celebrated her birthday
  • She revealed she had been held captive and raped, as she opened up to her fans in an emotional social media post which has since been deleted
  • The star later stated that she wouldn’t be giving an interview about it
  • She later revealed that the incident not only pulled her away from her career, but left her estranged from her family and loved ones as she struggled to cope 

Duffy has returned to social media for the first time since sharing details of her horrific kidnap and rape ordeal in February 2020.

The singer-songwriter, 35, told fans she was ‘nervous’ to return to the platform again and ‘doesn’t envisage it being a permenant thing,’ after first revealing the four-week period when she was abducted abroad and raped.

In a series of posts, Duffy shared uplifting quotes on an array of topics including acceptance, history and love, with each accompanied by her signed name.

Candid: Duffy has returned to social media for the first time since sharing details of her horrific kidnap and rape ordeal in February 2020

Her first post featured a title card with the word Hi, which Duffy captioned: ‘Sharing passing thoughts. I don’t envisage this being a permanent thing, something to connect. Nervous. Doing it anyway. Duffy.’

The next post, titled The Sun, read: ‘It’s painful for a seed in the dark, before it meets the sun,’ followed by a card titled Acceptance, which said: ‘Sometimes, as hard as it is, we have to understand there are things we cannot accept and accept there are things we cannot understand.’

The next black and white card, Music, said: ‘Starves a hurting mind and feeds the heart,’ while Attraction mused: ‘Attraction is like chocolate, except it doesn’t contain magnesium.’

Open: The singer-songwriter told fans she was ‘nervous’ to return to the platform again and ‘doesn’t envisage it being a permenant thing’


Reflective: The next post, titled The Sun, read: ‘It’s painful for a seed in the dark, before it meets the sun,’ followed by a card titled Acceptance

Looking back: The next black and white card, Music, said: ‘Starves a hurting mind and feeds the heart’


Musing: Attraction mused: ‘Attraction is like chocolate, except it doesn’t contain magnesium,’ while Confused reflected: ‘If you are ever confused what to do just be wonderful’

Confused reflected: ‘If you are ever confused what to do just be wonderful,’ while the card called History said: ‘If you every begin to take life too seriously, read history.’

In poignant post, the card Love stated: ‘Love is who you are. Let yourself be,’ with Heart stating: ‘Listen to your heart, it’s where God speaks.’

Duffy’s final post was aptly titled Gratitude, and stated: ‘Most problems can be soothed with gratitude for something.’


Poignant: The card called History said: ‘If you every begin to take life too seriously, read history,’ while Love stated: ‘Love is who you are. Let yourself be’

Emotional: Heart stated: ‘Listen to your heart, it’s where God speaks’

Prior to the series of posts, Duffy’s grid has simple featured an image of herself posted three weeks ago. 

Last year Duffy revealed for the first time that she had been drugged at a restaurant where she was celebrating her birthday, before being abducted abroad and raped, and then flown home where she was held captive in her own home.

In April the star wrote about the incident for the first time, writing about it in detail on her website.   

Soothing: Duffy’s final post was aptly titled Gratitude, and stated: ‘Most problems can be soothed with gratitude for something’

Ordeal: Last year Duffy revealed for the first time that she had been drugged at a restaurant where she was celebrating her birthday, before being abducted abroad and raped

‘It was my birthday, I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country,’ Duffy wrote in a lengthy essay entitled The 5th House.

‘I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me. I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after it happened.’ 

‘I was stuck with him for another day, he didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn. I could have been disposed of by him.

Anguish: The Welsh singer-songwriter previously spoke about the incident in February, and said she would not give a face-to-face interview about the ordeal

‘I contemplated running away to the neighbouring city or town, as he slept, but had no cash and I was afraid he would call the police on me, for running away, and maybe they would track me down as a missing person’

‘I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days, I did feel the presence of something that helped me stay alive.’ 

‘I flew back with him, I stayed calm and as normal as someone could in a situation like that, and when I got home, I sat, dazed, like a zombie. I knew my life was in immediate danger, he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill me.’

‘The perpetrator drugged me in my own home in the four weeks, I do not know if he raped me there during that time, I only remember coming round in the car in the foreign country and the escape that would happen by me fleeing in the days following that.

‘I do not know why I was not drugged overseas; it leads me to think I was given a class A drug and he could not travel with it.’

The star, full name Aimee Anne Duffy, goes on to tell how, in the immediate aftermath, she was too terrified to go to the authorities, for fear of her attacker locating her.

Horrific: She detailed how during a four week period she was drugged at a restaurant where she was celebrating her birthday, before being abducted abroad and raped 

She wrote: ‘After it happened, someone I knew came to my house and saw me on my balcony staring into space, wrapped in a blanket. I cannot remember getting home. The person said I was yellow in colour and I was like a dead person.

‘They were obviously frightened but did not want to interfere, they had never seen anything like it. Thereafter, it didn’t feel safe to go to the police. I felt if anything went wrong, I would be dead, and he would have killed me.

‘I could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger. I really had to follow what instincts I had. I have told two female police officers, during different threatening incidents in the past decade, it is on record.’

She continued: ‘Once someone threatened to ‘out’ my story and I had to tell a female police officer what information the person held about me, and why the blackmail was so frightening.

‘The second incident was when three men tried to enter my house as intruders, I told the second female officer about the rape then also. The identity of the rapist should be only handled by the police, and that is between me and them.

‘The first person I ever told was a psychologist, months later, a leading expert in the UK in complex trauma and sexual violence.

Candid: In February, Duffy revealed she was held captive and raped, as she opened up to her fans in an emotional social media post that has since been deleted

‘I have no idea how I was so lucky to find her all those years ago, her beautiful blue eyes, pink sofa, huge library, amazing brain and skill. Without her I may not have made it through. I was high risk of suicide in the aftermath.

‘She got to know me, saw me as a person, learned about me and navigated me. She did it very gently. I could not look her in the eyes for the first eight or so sessions, eye contact was something I struggled with.

‘The thought of recovering was almost impossible. In the aftermath I would not see someone, a physical soul, for sometimes weeks and weeks and weeks at a time, remaining alone.

‘I would take off my pyjamas and throw them in the fire and put on another set. My hair would get so knotted from not brushing it, as I grieved, I cut it all off.’

Explaining her reasons for sharing her harrowing story now, Duffy said: ‘I am sharing this because we are living in a hurting world and I am no longer ashamed that something deeply hurt me, anymore.

‘I believe that if you speak from the heart within you, the heart within others will answer. As dark as my story is, I do speak from my heart, for my life, and for the life of others, whom have suffered the same.

Speaking out: Duffy said, ‘The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time’ (pictured in 2008)

‘I have no shame in telling you either I had spent almost ten years completely alone and it still burns my heart to write it.

Who is Duffy and how did she become famous?

Duffy, whose real name is Aimee Anne Duffy, was born in 1984 and was raised in Nefyn.

When she was 10-years-old her parents divorced and she moved to Pembrokeshire with her siblings.

She has suffered serious hardship in her life and at the age of 14 she was placed in a safe house after her stepfather’s ex-wife paid an assassin to kill him. 

At 15 she ran away back to her father’s house in Nefyn.

It was at the age of 15 that she started to sing in local bands.

She went to University in Chester where she was advised by a lecturer to become a singer.

In August 2004 she was introduced to Rough Trade records.

It wasn’t long after this that she moved to London and in 2007 she got her big break. 

She was contracted to A&M Records and from there she released her debut album.

From there she went on to perform at various festivals and also appeared on the Jools Holland show.

In 2009 she won a Grammy Award, then from 2011 onward she took a break from music and took on various acting roles.

In 2019 she teased new music. 

‘I owe it to myself to say it, I feel obliged to explain how challenging recovering truly was and to finally disclose it. I hope it comforts you to feel less ashamed if you feel alone.’

In the end, it took for the singer to move a total of five times before she started to feel as though she’d regained some semblance of safety.

‘It took so long for me to speak because after I was raped and held captive, I fled,’ she writes. ‘I moved five times in the immediate three years after, never feeling safe from the rapist, I was on the run for so long.

‘I found somewhere to live, the 5th house, it was not as confined as the other houses, where I grieved silently, in townhouses or apartments.

‘This place I would spend solitary years to find the stability to recover, I had stopped running and relocating. I felt he could not find me in the 5th house, I felt safe. I feel safe now.’

While the star insisted that she will now ‘return to quietness’ after stepping forward to share the details of her traumatic experience, she hasn’t ruled out the possibility to returning to music at some point in the future.

However, she said her main goal was gaining closure, at least to some degree, on her decade-long anguish.

‘I can now leave this decade behind. Where the past belongs. Hopefully no more ‘what happened to Duffy questions’, now you know … and I am free,’ she concluded.

In her original post detailing the horrifying incident, Duffy revealed she had been held captive and raped in an emotional post which has since been deleted.

The singer said she had wanted to share her experience with fans ‘so many times’.

The pop star, who hails from Nefyn in Gwynedd, Wales, said she hadn’t wanted to show the world the ‘sadness in her eyes’.

Posting on Instagram she said: ‘You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter.

‘Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why’.

She said she had confided in a journalist over the summer and that it had ‘felt amazing to finally speak’ about her experience.

‘The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it.

Statement: Duffy’s full original post is seen above. She asked for her fans to respect that it was a ‘gentle move’ for her to make 

‘But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.

‘You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken?’

Duffy’s first Instagram statement in full

You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter.

Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. 

Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. 

A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. 

He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak. 

The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. 

The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine. 

You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes.

I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke. 

In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that x

Duffy

Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.

She went on to say that her heart ‘slowly unbroke’ and said that she would be soon posting a spoken interview and that all questions would be answered.

‘I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends.

‘I want to thank you for that x Duffy Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.’

The singer has previously performed an array of shows and festivals across the world. She went to University in Chester where she was advised by a lecturer to become a singer. In August 2004 she was introduced to Rough Trade records.

It wasn’t long after this that she moved to London and in 2007 she got her big break. Her breakthrough came in 2007 when she released the single Rockferry. She was contracted to A&M Records.

A year later she released the single Mercy, which catapulted her fame and career, her album Rockferry was also released that year – selling over 1.6 million copies.

It was produced by Bernard Butler, who is best known as the lead guitarist from the band Suede.

After the album was released Duffy had revealed that Butler hadn’t initially been paid for his work on the album.

Speaking in September 2008 she said: ‘At times we wondered if it would ever be released. I’m just this girl from Wales – it could have done nothing and I could have faded into obscurity.

‘Nobody ever gave Bernard any money to work with me. It was all done on a shoestring.’

From there she went on to perform at various festivals and also appeared on the Jools Holland show. One show had been supported Coldplay in Ohio in 2008.

At the time Duffy said her life had ‘flashed before her eyes’ after she set fire to her own hair.

The incident happened when she bent down to blow out a candle on a birthday cake and released it had caught onto her hair.

In 2011 it was confirmed that Duffy would be taking a break from her music career.

At the time it was believed that the break from music had been down to the sales of her second album ‘Endlessly’, which had under-performed her debut album.

Speaking in 2011, a source told the Daily Mirror: ‘She wants to have a quiet life and start over. She made a truckload of cash with the first album and through her endorsements with Diet Coke, so she’s comfortable and able to enjoy some downtime.

‘She’s not got management right now and has met a few people about taking over. But she’s just not interested.’

Since then she had taken various acting roles and had done a handful of live performances.

Talking about her ordeal: Duffy said she had confided in a journalist over the summer and that it had ‘felt amazing to finally speak’ about her experience (pictured in 2009) 

In 2012 it was reported that she had to flee a fire in her Kensington home. On October 3 2012 she rescued her two cats and dogs, leaving all of her other personal belongings behind.

It is not known whether or not her Grammy Award and her Brits were stored in the property and it was reported at the time that over 60 firefighters attended the blaze.

She hinted in 2019 that she would be returning to music. She posted a picture of herself to her Facebook page with the caption ‘#2020’.

Prior to this she hadn’t posted anything on her Facebook page since 2017.  Aside from her musical career, Duffy also worked with various companies such as Nivea. She also appeared in various eastern European commercials advertising Diet Coke.

One advert the singer starred in had previously received complaints as it showed her riding a bike without a helmet. Twenty-two people contacted the Advertising Standards Authority in 2009.

Coca Cola chiefs insisted she had been wearing reflective gear and it was later given the all clear by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Duffy: The 5th House – Full Text 

It troubles me that this story contains sorrow, when so many need the opposite of that at this time. I can only hope that my words serve as a momentary distraction or maybe even some comfort that one can come out of darkness.

We are in troubling times, where we’ve not seen such national and global worry since World War II. Now, it’s more important than ever to think about the impact we have on each other.

There will be great change to come from our shared crisis, a renewed understanding and appreciation of freedom and human connection but nothing comforts loss, only time.

I’m not an academic or public speaker but I have to mention our current crisis. These are tragic days. Like you I worry about relatives, loved ones and colleagues. Our tears are shared. The only cure now is prevention, by staying in and allowing the frontline workers to cope.

I could have decided to not release further words during these times, I don’t think there is ever a right time, since promising to follow up in due course.

If you are reading this, I must warn you it contains information some may find upsetting. This story is not going anywhere, it will remain online, if you are not able to take on someone else’s suffering or the recounting of such, I recommend you do not read on.

For me, in these hours I recall the words of Maya Angelou who once said, ‘there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’ and I share mine with you today.

I posted the words I wrote, a few weeks ago, because I was tired of hiding. Never feeling free or burden free. I had become enmeshed with my story like a dark secret. It made me alone and feel alone.

What is also hard to explain is that, in hiding, in not talking, I was allowing the rape to become a companion. Me and it living in my being, I no longer wanted to feel that intimacy with it, a decade of that intimacy has been destructive. I had to set myself free. I have been hurt and it would have been dangerous to talk from that hurt place in the past, prior to feeling ready.

Unable to do what I am doing today, previously, I also considered and explored human rights laws to change my name off public record and disappear to another country and maybe become a florist or something, so that I could put the past behind with a new life and not trouble anyone else with it, to carry it alone.

Because, although I was almost unfindable, I daydreamed of having a different haircut, a new name, a boyfriend, and become completely forever forgotten. Those dreams were lovely but what could I achieve, I would still take me with me. As time went on it then became about realising, I can’t keep hiding, as thrilling as coffee in Paris seems.

Since the incident I experienced happened, it was upsetting to think of talking openly, frightening. Seasons would pass and come and go and I would be further removed from where I once was, every year. The longer I left it, the less I could see an image in my mind, of something I recognised that I could reach back to. That’s why I, at times, would admit defeat and think I can’t ever talk and face it. So, I should just keep disappearing, turn the lights off in my life.

Having not yet established a thriving personal life, or had my own family, I would be anguished thinking if I reveal my story publicly, openly to the world, it would hinder my future romantic life. This is not exactly the advert I wanted before meeting the love of my life.

I would also worry about coming back to music and the risk of constantly facing the question of ‘what happened’, ‘where did you disappear to’, ‘why did you vanish’, ‘what have you been up to for so many years’.

I could not imagine fabricating some story, that I had been rowing across the world’s seas, I would have had to lie, and I couldn’t lie. So, between fears of not being able to emotionally withstand speaking, not being able to lie and worries of being forever single, I would decide to not speak at all, remain vanished or to daydream reinventing myself forever.

I thought the public disclosure of my story would utterly destroy my life, emotionally, while hiding my story was destroying my life so much more. I believe that not singing is killing me. So, I just have to be strong and disclose it and face all my fears head on. I’ve come to realise I can’t erase myself, I live in my being, so I have to be completely honest and have faith in the outcome.

I never knew if I would get to the place of being able to do this, I am grateful to get here. Not everyone has the privilege of being able to talk, such as I am doing today, stories much more heinous and sorrowful, more inhumane than mine, go untold every day.

All of our lives have immense meaning and value and when we come to really realise nothing matters but humanity, we begin to really see each other, by the tragedies and joys we all share. Our smiles and our tears are what make us all the same.

And while we are observing a great amount of suffering and loss in our world, in what seems like a battle that cannot be won, it compels us to truly appreciate the gift of life, and the gift of love, and the values that matter the most.

I have been very warned by some I know not to tell you what I am about to tell you. Some alluded that I would pretty much be finished in whatever chances I have to make music publicly again, some have said I would be scorned by the public, another said I would be called selfish that the rapist is still at large. It has served to delay my talking by weeks, and me just lying in bed looking at the ceiling trying to find meaning. I take my personal freedom over any amount of stones that can be thrown at me. If I destroy my future, I do it to honour my past.

Rape stripped me of my human rights, to experience a life with autonomy from fear. It has already stolen one third my of life. Deep down I do know it would have been a shame and done such an immense disservice to my existence to just delete myself and forget what I had experienced in music publicly.

It was also not just my burden, so many others lived with the big question too of ‘what happened’. The record label, live agents, promoters, publicists, musicians, stylists, hairdressers, make-up, lighting, production, crew, people I would meet, people I once knew. No one, utterly no one, knew what happened. It kept me removed from those I could actually trust. Mostly I did not want to trouble anyone else with what I had experienced.

The final catalyst of wanting to talk was unusual I think, what really finally made me go ‘I just can’t bear the weight of this anymore’. It was so simple but so profound, what would be the catalyst to make me un-trap myself.

It was being told by a male, I had come to know and really like as a friend, that ‘most men would run a mile if they knew you were raped’. I crumbled. I felt very hurt for a few days and reflected a lot and I thought, one night, like an epiphany, that the knowledge of my truth ‘makes me no less lovable’. The dream of love did die, I finally realised it didn’t need to. And just like a light came on I realised ‘I know what it is to hurt, therefore I know what it is to be human’.

Please skip the next twenty lines if you do not want to read the exact account of the kidnapping.

It was my birthday, I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country. I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me. I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after it happened. I was stuck with him for another day, he didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn. I could have been disposed of by him.

I contemplated running away to the neighbouring city or town, as he slept, but had no cash and I was afraid he would call the police on me, for running away, and maybe they would track me down as a missing person. I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days, I did feel the presence of something that helped me stay alive. I flew back with him, I stayed calm and as normal as someone could in a situation like that, and when I got home, I sat, dazed, like a zombie. I knew my life was in immediate danger, he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill me. With what little strength I had, my instinct was to then run, to run and find somewhere to live that he could not find.

The perpetrator drugged me in my own home in the four weeks, I do not know if he raped me there during that time, I only remember coming round in the car in the foreign country and the escape that would happen by me fleeing in the days following that. I do not know why I was not drugged overseas; it leads me to think I was given a class A drug and he could not travel with it.

After it happened, someone I knew came to my house and saw me on my balcony staring into space, wrapped in a blanket. I cannot remember getting home. The person said I was yellow in colour and I was like a dead person. They were obviously frightened but did not want to interfere, they had never seen anything like it.

Thereafter, it didn’t feel safe to go to the police. I felt if anything went wrong, I would be dead, and he would have killed me. I could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger. I really had to follow what instincts I had. I have told two female police officers, during different threatening incidents in the past decade, it is on record.

And as I grieved what ‘I must have done to invite this into my life’, I read something that said, ‘in the end, it’s never between them and you, it’s always between them and God’. That helped me a lot in the absence of justice.

Once someone threatened to ‘out’ my story and I had to tell a female police officer what information the person held about me, and why the blackmail was so frightening. The second incident was when three men tried to enter my house as intruders, I told the second female officer about the rape then also. The identity of the rapist should be only handled by the police, and that is between me and them.

The first person I ever told was a psychologist, months later, a leading expert in the UK in complex trauma and sexual violence. I have no idea how I was so lucky to find her all those years ago, her beautiful blue eyes, pink sofa, huge library, amazing brain and skill. Without her I may not have made it through. I was high risk of suicide in the aftermath. She got to know me, saw me as a person, learned about me and navigated me. She did it very gently. I could not look her in the eyes for the first eight or so sessions, eye contact was something I struggled with. The thought of recovering was almost impossible.

In the aftermath I would not see someone, a physical soul, for sometimes weeks and weeks and weeks at a time, remaining alone. I would take off my pyjamas and throw them in the fire and put on another set. My hair would get so knotted from not brushing it, as I grieved, I cut it all off.

I am sharing this because we are living in a hurting world and I am no longer ashamed that something deeply hurt me, anymore. I believe that if you speak from the heart within you, the heart within others will answer. As dark as my story is, I do speak from my heart, for my life, and for the life of others, whom have suffered the same.

I have no shame in telling you either I had spent almost ten years completely alone and it still burns my heart to write it. I owe it to myself to say it, I feel obliged to explain how challenging recovering truly was and to finally disclose it. I hope it comforts you to feel less ashamed if you feel alone.

After the rape and kidnaping I had a handful of romantic experiences and each one would ‘love bomb’ me and want the person on the album cover, while I was just a person hurt. It was futile.

You may wonder where was my family? Those who wanted to help – were just too far away. The toll of me hiding, this last decade, also meant I was estranged from all. What happened was not only a betrayal to me, to my life, a violence that nearly killed me, it stole a lot from other people too. I was just not the same person for so long. Rape is like living murder, you are alive, but dead. All I can say is it took an extremely long time, sometimes feeling never ending, to reclaim the shattered pieces of me.

This may hit a nerve with you reading this because I know you are all isolated at this time. I should probably embellish on how I survived that seclusion, further down this piece.

I promise you, I know a pain, to the guts of all my being and I cannot let it cloud my life anymore. I now stand in all of me. But I do not want your pity. I’m telling you all this to put my wounds to the light where the dark can no longer keep me. I would not be telling you the account of my experiences if I did not now know true healing.

I’m not proud of my story, I mourned wishing I had been dealt another hand, but it happened, and I have come to terms with it.

It took so long for me to speak because after I was raped and held captive, I fled. I moved five times in the immediate three years after, never feeling safe from the rapist, I was on the run for so long. I found somewhere to live, the 5th house, it was not as confined as the other houses, where I grieved silently, in townhouses or apartments. This place I would spend solitary years to find the stability to recover, I had stopped running and relocating. I felt he could not find me in the 5th house, I felt safe. I feel safe now.

When the ordeal happened, it destabilised me so severely, it took years and years, around 90,000 hours. I sometimes didn’t know how I could make it through, it was hard and almost impossible. But I got here, as will you. Hallelujah.

I came back to Wales recently, I stood and looked at the sea and felt a part of me breathe again, I had distanced myself from it all. Then the catalysts I mentioned, being told ‘most men would run a mile’, made me face the fear of it not hindering my romantic life. Ironically rape is not only a sexual assault, it’s a brain injury … and although I may sometimes get frightened still, it has nothing to do with love.

Finally, the realisation that very thing that hurt me, will become the very thing that heals me. I faced a deeply inhumane experience; only humanity can heal that.

Ostracization and isolation is known to be a form of torture. If anyone would have told me I would share my times of isolation, with a nation isolated, I would never have believed them.

What I can share though, at this time, during this shared experience is the science. The brain’s ‘dorsal anterior cingulate cortex’, which registers physical pain, is activated when we are isolated.

Knowing the mind’s science enables you to manage it. And isolation is a small price to pay for saving lives, therefore we must be strong in the face of it. This demands us all, as one, to act for each other; never has mindfulness been so vital as it is now.

If you are reading this and are sad my encouragement to you is that … to know pain, you must first know how to love. Only the absence of love causes pain. So, go find it. Seek love in everything, even in a teacup.

There is also a real science to being grateful. Research shows that gratitude can heal your body, mind, and those you are grateful to. So, by being thankful, for what you do have, and the selfless acts of others during this time, lifts you and them.

And of talking of community and human thoughtfulness, some of you really helped me in real time when you wrote comments beneath the original statement I wrote. You put ‘do not be afraid to run for cover’, another said ‘breathe, just breathe’ as I was worried about what I had done, when it went so quickly to the news, as I could not sleep some nights.

One of you wrote ‘I feel you will always be protected from here’ I agreed, I knew what you meant. I faced my greatest life lesson to speak.

Before our current crisis people offered me their homes, to come and have food with them, their telephone numbers and personal stories. It’s been very intimate to be with those comments, that people wrote, and read them. And this is what defines the power of people, of kindness, and humanity. I did not expect any kind of reaction similar to the volume of what was seen. Thank you. I did not speak to seek friends, but the kindness was an emotional experience for me.

I also received messages, from others whom were sexually abused and raped, of all ages and races and places and genders. I want you to know I saw and read them. I read every word, and your story lives on in me.

If you saw the messages I have received, on Instagram, from young males whom have been raped, women whose cases were adjourned, lives that have been stolen in violence. One young man said, ‘I will never be able to be liberated like you’ (from rape). He cannot walk the streets of his home, afraid. This is a weapon of war. I hope they too can find a way to be liberated in their own way, as I am finding mine.

Anyone cynical about what I am doing- please don’t be. I have no control where my words travelled or will travel. I spoke as a human being, from a remote town, overlooking the sea, in the middle of nowhere. This is not fireworks and champagne for me. Nobody who reveals such a wound feels elated, only release.

And so, what about music from here maybe you ask? When I sing, I feel like a bird. But It’s not what this is directly about. I’m doing this to be freed, for all of me to be freed. What follows remains to be seen.

I also won’t be doing any more unannounced statements on this. As liberating it’s been to finally speak and to finally sing, albeit on radio, I will now return to quietness. I thank Jo Whiley for letting me share a song on radio, during these times. Meant a lot to me.

I know this much though, I owe it to myself to release a body of work someday, though I very much doubt I will ever be the person people once knew. My music will be measured on the merit of its quality and this story will be something I experienced and not something that describes me.

And as for you … They do say nothing worthwhile came without sacrifice, your personal actions, decisiveness and commitment, is making the difference now. As we come together, we see results, and there is just so much hope to take from that.

And I really don’t know what’s next for me. I would like to experience me being who I really am, for the first time, privately. To feel a peace that I have been, until now, only half feeling.

I ask myself now, as I write this … what makes me feel more beautiful, more hopeful and more at peace? So, if I do indeed press SEND and put this online, I hope it brings me the smile in my eyes, the light in my life, that has been absent for just so long.

I can now leave this decade behind. Where the past belongs. Hopefully no more ‘what happened to Duffy questions’, now you know … and I am free.

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