Melissa Stewart, 25, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, kept the assaults she suffered at the hands of Carl Turner, 34, a secret for years before finally reporting him after he struck again on her 21st birthday.
In January this year, Turner was jailed for four years and three months.
Now Melissa has bravely waived her right to anonymity and hopes to encourage others to speak out about their abuse.
She explained how she and Turner had always been close.
"Even though Carl was nine years older than me, we had loads in common and were more like siblings," Melissa said.
“I was even chosen to be a bridesmaid at his wedding.”
But, on the morning of his wedding in 2006, Turner betrayed his niece's trust in the worst possible way.
She recalled: "Wedding guests were sleeping at my house so I stayed at Carl’s to make room for my relatives.
“We fell asleep watching TV, but when I woke up in the morning, Carl’s arm was around my chest.
“Suddenly I realised his hand was groping one of my breasts. When I confronted him, he claimed he was just giving me a cuddle.
“I didn’t believe him but I pretended everything was normal.”
For the next three years, Melissa remained close with Turner, but at a fancy dress party for Melissa’s 17th birthday, he sexually assaulted her again.
"He told me I looked gorgeous then groped my breasts and my bum," she said.
“He pretended he was joking around so I played along. I never told a soul what he’d done, I just felt too embarrassed.”
For the next few years, Melissa acted like nothing had happened.
But in 2012, on the way home from a club after her 21st birthday party, Turner took advantage again.
Melissa recalled: "Carl’s wife had just split up with him so he was really upset.
“After we finished our food, it was really late and Carl invited me to stay over.
“He was insistent about me sleeping in his bed – I was exhausted and relented.”
Tired from the late night of partying, Melissa passed out - but in the night she woke to feel a strange sensation between her legs.
"“Horrified, I realised it was Carl," she said. “I was so scared, I couldn’t move.
“Then I felt something go inside me. I pretended to be asleep. Eventually, he stopped and nodded off without saying a word.
"The next morning, back at home, I scrubbed myself in the shower but I couldn’t get clean.
“That night, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t believe how Carl had betrayed my trust. We were so close.”
For the next week, Melissa felt numb – barely leaving her house and refusing to see any of her friends.
As time went on, she avoided Turner as much as possible
Two years later, aged 23, the feelings she’d bottled up came flooding out and she told her mum.
Melissa said: "She was really shocked and started crying – but after that, she acted like everything was normal.
“I was confused but realised she was probably in denial about what her own brother had done."
When Melissa confided in another family member, they convinced her to tell her dad and, together, they urged her to report Turner to the police.
In July 2015, Melissa gave a statement to officers and Turner was arrested.
In January of this year Turner, of Elderberry Road, Bury St Edmunds, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court and pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration.
He was also found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, sexual activity with a child under 16, and causing or inciting sexual activity with a female aged 13 to 17.
Judge David Goodin described Turner as having a "sexually extrovert personality" and a "pronounced interest in sexual activity with no concept of sensible boundaries".
As well as his prison sentence he was forced to sign the s*x offenders’ register for life.
Melissa said: “I’m so relieved the jury saw through his lies and, finally, I feel like I can put everything behind me.
“But Carl’s actions have affected me and I never celebrate my birthdays like I used to.
“Now I’m focusing on the future. I’m so glad I spoke out when I did and want to urge others to get justice too.”
Via The Sun UK