Actress Sera Cracroft speaks publicly about childhood assault
Pobol y Cwm actress Sera Cracroft has spoken publicly for the first time about being sexually assaulted as a child.
In an interview with S4C’s Sgwrs Dan y Lloer series, she describes being attacked at a friend’s house during a birthday party.
Sera, who has played Eileen in the S4C soap series Pobol y Cwm since 1989, says that her main reason for speaking publicly is to try and help others who have suffered similar experiences.
In the interview shown on S4C earlier this week, she said: “I remember that I felt I was being suffocated during the attack. I bit his hand and screamed for my mother. I remember a tremendous pain in my arm as well.
“I looked at the person and I knew he was scared after I screamed. He was grabbing my arm, and it turned out that he had fractured my arm in the attack.”
Sera kept quiet about the assault for years, keeping it to herself.
“I didn’t speak to anyone about the sexual assault until I was nearly middle aged. I was getting terrible flashbacks, I was scared, I was a very nervous child”.
Years after the attack Sera says that she began to have suicidal thoughts and hit “rock bottom”.
“I just couldn’t deal with this. I was under a lot of pressure. My husband had been ill, I’d had pneumonia, my daughter was suffering with a condition that she has.”
‘Back from the brink’
Sera’s bond with her family brought her back from the brink, “I started to think about my children, about the times we had when they were little.
“I remember a nurse telling me, that there isn’t one child I’ve spoken to who would think their life better without their mother.”
Sera started psychiatric treatment soon afterwards and opened up about her experiences with the team that was supporting her.
“I’ve had a lot of counselling and that has been a help. I’m in contact with friends that discuss mental health with me.”
She now has a strong support network including former Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall, who is an advocate for mental health services.
Sera says: “I’m now in a good place”.
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