Rebecca Leyland, now 22, was a happy schoolgirl who lived with her mum Sandra, now 45.
But her innocence was stolen from her when her aunt's boyfriend, school bus driver Frederick Roskell, raped her on the back seats.
It triggered a lifelong phobia of school buses and the little girl would stay late at school and walk home so she wouldn't have to get on one.
But when she had her own child at 18 she knew she had to come forward so other innocent children would not be abused.
It proved the catalyst she needed to move on with her life.
And seeing the "monster" who raped her jailed for 16 years made Rebecca realise she was free.
Rebecca said: "In court he looked weak and pathetic as he fought to avoid my gaze.
"In that moment I realised, I was no longer scared of him."My rapist may have stolen my childhood, but he can't take away my future."
Rebecca from Preston, Lancs., was only a five-year-old when Roskell would take the school bus at weekends and drive his girlfriend's family to parks and the coast.
They also visited a local cemetery where they would play hide and seek.But one weekend he let all the children off the bus except Rebecca.
She said: "The other kids jumped off but he stopped me and held me back.
"His big, bulky body loomed over me and then he pinned me down.
"I didn't know what it was at the time. I was only five.
"But he raped me on the back seats of the school bus.
"I was confused and I didn't know what was happening.
"I just knew that it hurt and I didn't like it.
"When it was over I burst into tears.
"I asked him why he hurt me when I just wanted to play with the others.
"But he ignored me, and dragged me off the bus and into the cemetery.
"He took me to two graves and pointed at them.
"He said: 'That's my mum and dad and if you tell anyone what I did I'll bury you next to them.'"I was terrified."
From then on the abuse took place regularly.
"He would abuse me whenever nobody else was around," she said.
"The outings on the school bus that had once brought me such joy filled me with dread.
"I knew what he was doing was wrong, but I was too afraid to tell anyone in case he killed me."When she was seven Roskell split up with her aunt, who asked not to be named, and Rebecca did not see him again.
Follow Me On Twitter & Instagram: @effiongeton