It all started when I went with a colleague to work away from home for a short time. He took me to a ‘Private Shop’ where he bought something and encouraged me to do the same. I declined but later returned alone and bought a mild porno book. Later I picked up an abandoned ‘Health and Efficiency’ magazine, which led me to buy top-shelf magazines from newsagents and then to send away for harder materials. With the advent of the internet, I started searching for things. I never really liked them but felt compelled to search for harder and harder sites, even though I knew it was wrong and risked destroying my marriage and family life. I went to great lengths to cover my tracks. I never told my family – they would be too badly hurt for me to allow that to happen. Finally I asked God for help (I had always been a baptised Christian believer) and found forgiveness and the strength to stop, hopefully for good. I now sometimes sing to myself the song I learned in childhood: ‘It is no secret, What God can do.’ Thank you for the opportunity to tell someone.

TRIGGER WARNING: “Please be mindful when deciding on whether to read these stories that they are emotionally impactful and may be triggering. Within people’s accounts, there is mention of rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, child sexual abuse, other forms of abuse and violence, self-harm and suicide. There are various helplines available for support.