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The horror of Janie Haines: how a girl split herself into 2500 personalities in order to survive the cruelty of her father


Source: Air force

In court on that day, one female witness listened. But six people spoke through her mouth, ready to talk about the bullying she had experienced.

Фото: Depositphotos

“I went into the courtroom, took my place, took the oath, and then a few hours later I returned to my body and left there,” she recalled this day in an interview Bi-bi-si Janie Haines

When Jenny was a child, her father was constantly raped by Richard Haines. The Australian police call what happened to her one of the worst cases of child abuse in the history of the country.

To cope with psychological trauma, her mind resorted to amazing tactics - he invented new personal identities for her in order to distance himself from the pain experienced. The bullying was so cruel and continuous that, according to Janie, in order to survive, she had to come up with 2500 different personalities.

In March, court hearings were held in which Janie testified against her father on behalf of several of these individuals. Among them was a four-year-old girl named Symphony.

This was the first time in Australia and probably in the world that a victim diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder had testified on behalf of her multiple identities and was able to obtain a conviction.

“We weren't afraid. We waited so long to tell everyone exactly what he did to us, and now he could not silence us, ”said the woman.

On September 6, a court in Sydney sentenced 74-year-old Richard Haines to 45 years in prison.

Attention: the text contains a description of violence.

Photo: video frame YouTube / 60 Minutes Australia

“Even in my head, I didn't feel safe”

The Haines family moved to Australia from London in 1974. Janie was four years old, but her father already then began to mock her. In Sydney, his actions became completely sadistic and were repeated almost daily.

“My father's bullying was calculated and planned. They were deliberate, and he enjoyed them every minute, ”- said Janie in court. As a minor victim, she had the right to remain anonymous, but chose to refuse it in order to be able to reveal her father's name.

“He heard that I begged him to stop, he heard me crying, he saw the pain and horror that he caused in me, he saw the blood and the physical damage he inflicted. And the next day he deliberately started doing it again, ”Janie recalls.

Haines inspired his daughter that he was able to read her thoughts, she said. He threatened to kill her mother, brother and sister, even if she even thought about torture, not to mention telling them about it.

“My inner world was taken over by my father. Even in my head, I didn't feel safe. I lost the ability to comprehend what was happening to me and draw my own conclusions, ”she shared her impressions.

To hide her feelings, the girl expressed her thoughts through the words of the songs:

“He ain't heavy / he's my brother” (He is not a burden, he is my brother) - when I was worried about my brother and sister.

“Do you really want to hurt me / Do you really want to make me cry” (Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?) - when thinking about what she experienced.

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Her father limited her interactions at school to minimize her contact with adults. Janie learned to be quiet and invisible because if she was “noticed”, for example, when a swimming coach told her father that the girl needed to develop her talent, her father would punish her.

Janie did not receive medical attention after injuries from beatings and rape. As a result, she developed serious chronic diseases.

Now Janie is 49 years old. Her eyesight is irreparably damaged, her jaw, intestines, anus and tailbone are damaged. She had to undergo several serious operations, including a colostomy, in 2011.

The violence in Janie's life continued until the 11 years, when her family returned to Britain. Soon after, in 1984, her parents divorced. She thinks that no one, not even her mother, knew what she had experienced.

Photo: video frame YouTube / 60 Minutes Australia

"In fact, he mocked Symphony"

Modern Australian experts call Janie's condition a dissociative identity disorder (DID). According to them, this is to a large extent connected with the terrible violence that she experienced in her childhood - lived at home, in a place that was supposed to mean security.

“DRI is really a survival strategy,” child psychologist Pam Stavropoulos, a child trauma specialist, told the BBC.

“This is such a sophisticated survival strategy that many consider extreme. But remember that this is how the child reacts to extreme experiences of abuse and psychological trauma, ”she said.

The smaller the age of the child who has survived the trauma, and the worse the treatment with him, the higher the likelihood that he will resort to dissociativeness to cope with the situation, resulting in a split personality.

Jenie said that the first personality that appeared in her was Symphony - a four-year-old girl who exists in her own temporary reality.

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“She suffered every minute when my father abused me. When he abused me - his daughter Janie - he actually abused Symphony, ”Janie explained.

Years passed, and Symphony herself began to come up with new personalities to cope with the experienced violence. Each of hundreds and hundreds of personalities had their own role in helping to cope with elements of violence, whether it was a particularly scary episode, images or smells that evoked traumatic memories.

“The alter personality came out from behind the Symphony and became a distraction. My alter personalities served as protection from my father for me, ”the woman commented.

When we talked about this, about half an hour after the start of the interview, Symphony appeared. Jenny warned that this could happen. The fact that she is about to switch, you can guess from the fact that it is becoming more difficult for her to formulate an answer.

“Hi, my name is Symphony. Janie is in trouble. Let me tell you everything, if you don't mind, ”she said quickly.

Symphony has a higher voice, more lively intonation. She speaks like a little girl, barely catching her breath between words. We talked for 15 minutes. The symphony remembers in the smallest detail the events connected with the “evil dad” that took place decades ago. This is impressive.

“This is what I did - I took everything that I consider valuable in myself, everything that is important and pleasant for me, and hid it from my dad. Therefore, when he mocked me, he mocked not a thinking human being, ”said Symphony.

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The personalities of Janie who helped her survive

  • Muscle is a teenager in the style of Billy Idol. Tall and wears clothes that flaunt his strong arms. He is calm and caring.
  • Volcano (Volcano) - very tall and strong, dressed from head to toe in black skin. Hair dyes in a straw color.
  • Ricky is only eight years old, but he wears an old gray suit. He has a short haircut and his hair is bright red.
  • Judas is not tall, with red hair. He wears gray trousers from a school uniform and a bright green sweater. It always looks like it's going to say something.
  • Linda / Maggot is tall and slim, wearing a 1950s skirt with pink poodle appliqués. She collects her hair in an elegant bun, and her eyebrows - a house.
  • Rick wears huge glasses - the same as Richard Haines wore. They cover his face.

In March, Janie was allowed to testify in court on behalf of Symphony and five other personalities, each of whom could talk about various aspects of the violence. Only the judge was present at the hearing, because the lawyers felt that for the jury these testimonies would be too traumatic.

Haynes was initially charged with 367 charges, including multiple episodes of rape, sodomy, sexual assault and carnal abuse of a child under the age of 10. Janie, in her various personalities, could give detailed testimonies in court for each episode. Her multiple selves have helped her retain memories that would otherwise have likely been lost through trauma.

Prosecutors also called psychologists, DID experts, to explain the peculiarities of Janie's condition and evaluate the reliability of her testimony.

“My memories as a person with DID remain as intact today as they were the day they formed,” Janie told the BBC. After that, she briefly spoke of herself in the plural: “Our memories just froze in time. If I need them, I'll just go and get them. ”

Symphony intended to reconstruct the details of the crimes committed in her seven years of life in Australia “in the smallest detail”. The Jock, a tough 18-year-old, would have witnessed physical abuse, and an elegant young woman, Linda, had to share how the abuse affected Janie's performance in school and her ability to relate to people.

Symphony hoped to “use testimony to grow up,” Janie explains. “But we analyzed one 1974, and he was already scared and gave up, he could not cope with it.”

After more than two hours of testimony from Symphony, on the second day of the hearing, Janie's father changed his testimony and pleaded guilty to the 25 episodes - the worst, according to Janie.

Dozens more were counted during the sentencing.

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"DRI saved my life"

“This case is an important milestone, as far as we know, this is the first time that testimony of different persons with DID has been accepted by the judicial system and ultimately led to a conviction of the perpetrator,” explains Dr. Katie Keselman, president of the Blue Knot Foundation, an Australian organization that helps survivors childhood trauma.

Jenny first reported violence in 2009. The police investigation leading to the sentencing and imprisonment for Richard Haines lasted 10 years.

In 2017, he was extradited to Australia from Darlington in northeastern England, where he was serving a seven-year sentence for another crime. Before that, he lived with various relatives of Janie, whom he told that his daughter was lying and manipulating people.

Upon learning of violence against Janie, her mother, who divorced Haines in the 1984 year, began to actively help her daughter achieve justice.

But for decades, Janie's attempts to get help in overcoming the consequences of her injuries ran into the rejection of specialists. She says that counselors and therapists refused her because her story distrusted them or seemed so traumatic for them that they themselves could not handle it.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Refusal to communicate - disconnection from oneself or the world - is considered a normal response to trauma.
    DRI can be provoked by surviving if a person (especially in childhood) has experienced a trauma for a long time.
  • Lack of adult support or the presence of an adult who says the injury was not real can contribute to the development of DID.
  • A person with DID may feel that there are several “I's” in him that think, act or speak in different ways and may even have conflicting memories and experiences.
  • There is no special drug treatment for DID - specialists mainly use pronunciation therapy to help patients.

Despite the fact that today this diagnosis is recognized and its existence is conclusively confirmed, DID is usually in doubt among the layman and even some doctors.

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“The nature of this condition is such that it causes distrust and discomfort due to the reasons for its occurrence. Partly because people find it difficult to believe that children can be subjected to such abuse, says Dr. Stavropoulos. “This is why Janie’s case is so important - because this case provides a broader awareness of this very complex, but common condition, which is still not fully accepted.”

Janie says her DRI saved her life and soul. At the same time, her condition and her trauma led to serious life difficulties.

Jenie devoted her whole life to studying, receiving a master's and doctoral degree in law and philosophy. But she could not work full time. Now she lives with her mother, and both of them depend on their social pensions.

In her statement of the damage she suffered, Janie notes that she and her personalities “live with apprehension, constantly on guard. We must hide our multiplicity and strive for consistency in behavior, relationships, conversations and beliefs, which is often impossible. It is very difficult to manage opinions and views with 2500 votes inside. ”

“I shouldn't have lived like this,” she says. "Make no mistake, it was my father who provoked the appearance of DRI in me."

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6 of September, when the father was sentenced to 45 years of imprisonment, Janie sat a few meters from him. Haines, a seriously ill person, will be able to apply for parole no earlier than in 33 of the year.

In sentencing, Judge Sarah Haggett said that Haynes would most likely die in prison. His crimes, she said, were "appallingly disgusting and perverse."

According to the judge, in the verdict it is impossible to reflect the seriousness of the harm caused by the defendants.

“I really want my story to be known,” Janie said in an interview with the BBC ahead of sentencing. “I want my 10-year fight for justice to be the fire that will clear the field for the people who follow me.”

“If you have a DRI as a result of violence, then it is now possible to achieve justice. You can go to the police with a report and they will believe you. Your diagnosis is no longer an obstacle to justice, ”Janie summed up.

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