I have a very vivid memory of an incident at home in around 1998 to 1999.

My step sister is four years older than me, and was always in trouble. One day, we both were in our bedroom when she was smoking out the window, for the umpteen time. Our step mum had warned her many times. My mother left us and remarried when I was ten years old.

My dad is a strict big man but he never hit us, his voice was enough. My step mum, on the other hand, is a petite woman who ruled her daughter and even occasional me with her hands and, sometimes, objects.

When she caught my step sister smoking, I was so scared even though I was then around eleven years old. I hid under my bed as my step mum barged in, catching my step sister red-handed. The first slap across her face was incredible. Unfortunately for my step sister, people in the street saw it and started laughing.

I saw everything through the mirror. My step sister was wearing a short pink nightie which barely covered her bottom and the slaps, as she was hit, could be heard in the street, from where I heard giggles. Then, shockingly, her knickers were yanked down and her backside was now getting slapped many times as my stepmum held her down on the bed.

Then a belt was unhooked from the wardrobe and the sound of the belt hitting my stepsister’s bare bottom was something I will never forget. I sobbed when I heard her scream from the pain.

TCo