CONTENT WARNING: The following article discusses sexual assault.
Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy, who largely disappeared from the public eye following the release of her 2010 album Endlessly, has shared a moving and in-depth essay detailing her harrowing experience of being drugged, held captive and raped. The singer initially broke her silence on the experience back in February.
In the new message to fans, Duffy says she was drugged at a restaurant on her birthday, before being kept sedated over a period of four weeks and flown to a foreign country. She talks about being put in a hotel room and sexually assaulted by an unidentified perpetrator, before returning to the UK and fleeing.
“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,” she says.
The experience led to Duffy withdrawing from public life and moving houses multiple times, unable to feel safe from her abuser. The singer explains that she did not feel safe reporting the crime to the police, fearing that “if anything went wrong,” her life would have been placed in further danger.
“I could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger.”
The singer goes on to recount the aftermath of the experience, saying she isolated from other people, becoming estranged from family, and was a “high risk of suicide.” She discusses slowly recovering from the trauma of the experience after working with a psychologist.
“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,” she writes.
“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.”
The singer ends the post expressing hope that sharing her story can mean leaving the past “where it belongs,” and there won’t be any more questions about her disappearance from the spotlight.
“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,” she writes.
“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.”
See the full post on Duffy’s website.
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.
For help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.