Rape victims react to Bonhill attacker being jailed for string of attacks (Image: Sourced)
RAPE victims have reacted to their attacker being jailed for 11 years after a string of horrific attacks.
We previously reported how Paul Callanin, 35, was sentenced after carrying out serious sexual assaults on women in the West Dunbartonshire area between 2005 and 2013.
Now the brave survivors of these attacks have waived their right to anonymity to share their “relief” that he is “locked up” at last.
Alex Bhengu-Smith, 31, and Violet Fox, 33, were teenagers when they were attacked by Callanin who betrayed their trust.
Now they have told the Glasgow Times that they are glad he “can’t hurt anyone anymore.”
Rapist Paul Callanin was jailed for 11 years (Image: Police Scotland)
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In a joint statement provided by the survivors they said: “We are incredibly relieved that this is over and we can start to put it behind us and move on with our lives.
“Now we can begin to heal ourselves and help support other survivors.
“We’re glad he will be locked up for at least 11 years. We don’t need to worry about him. He can’t hurt anyone anymore.
“We are confident other survivors will come forward about Paul Callanin and his sentence will be extended.
“We want anyone else reading this to know that we believe you and are here for you.”
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Alex Bhengu-Smith is speaking out after being attacked by Paul Callanin (Image: Newsquest)
We previously reported how Alex, from Alexandria, has suffered panic attacks since being raped and broke down in tears after Callanin was finally found guilty at the Glasgow High Court in February.
She said: “My body had been running off anxiety and fear throughout the trial. I broke down in tears when we finally got the verdict we were hoping for. I was sobbing with sheer relief.
“I didn’t know if it was happy or sad but I cried from my whole body for each of us and everyone else affected by this animal.”
Violet Fox said the clock is ticking for abusers (Image: Sourced)
Violet, 33, from Dumbarton, also suffered from PTSD after being attacked and lost their job.
Now they feel they can “take on the world” and warned “the clock is ticking for predators” who want to keep their victims silent.
Violet said: “Paul is a major danger to women, he has done this to multiple people and had to be stopped.
“You never think a pal will turn around and take advantage of you, you should feel safe with your friends.
“Most attacks are committed by people you know, it isn’t always a boogey man hiding in the shadows.
“The clock is ticking for predators who think they can keep us silenced and get away with it.”
You can call Rape Crisis Scotland for help on 08088 01 03 02, You can also contact Women’s Aid on 0131 226 6606.
These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate:
Samaritans – for everyone call 116 123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org