A WOMAN who was sexually assaulted when she was 12 years old has been left living in fear after her attacker moved into a house on the same street as her.
And she has accused Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) of not doing enough to help her find somewhere else to live with her young children.
The young mum from North Kirklees has lived in the same home for the last six years.
She says she noticed the man, who was also a minor at the time of the attack, move into the KNH property just a few doors away from her several weeks ago.
“The council didn’t really seem interested (when I told them),” she said. “My housing officer rang me and said ‘why can’t you just live there, because he
“She’s basically saying I have to live on a street with someone that attacked me. I don’t feel safe.”
She added: “The council see it as ‘he’s done his time now, you get on with your life’. That’s how it’s making me feel.
“I have tried to be strong, but then I had a breakdown. I’m trying to be strong but I’m not, I can’t be.
“It makes it worse when I see him – it does bring flashbacks, I’ve got bad anxiety and I can’t sleep.
“Now he’s on the street it’s a lot worse, I’m drained. I am actually poorly because of it.”
The sexual assault occurred 13 years ago and the injunctions imposed on the man at the time have since lapsed – meaning there is no legal issue preventing him from living at the property.
But the woman says she doesn’t feel safe living in such close proximity to the man who attacked her.
She says she has had help from police and added: “A safeguarding officer is coming to see me. They are helping if anything happens, but the council are just fobbing me off.”
Ideally she wants to move into a three-bedroomed house where she and her children can live longer-term, instead of having to move every few years.
She said: “I haven’t got money, I’m a single parent so it’s hard. I get child maintenance from my ex-partner but it’s not much.
“I’ve got to scrimp and scrape, I’ve been in here six years and I’ve not even finished getting the house as I want it.”
A member of her family added: “She shouldn’t have to move in the first place but if that’s the case, then can we not just have a bit of flexibility?
“We’re not asking for a lot, she’s being emotionally forced out of the house.”
One local Kirklees councillor has also offered their help.
They said: “I have made enquiries with local housing officers on behalf of the family as I believe this is an exceptional case.
“I am disappointed with the response and have therefore asked Coun Cathy Scott to review the case as cabinet member for housing.
“I hope that we can minimise further distress and disruption for the family.”
A spokesman for KNH said: “We would not comment on individual tenants.”