A fundraiser to help a sexual abuse survivor who waived her right to anonymity achieve her dream job has raised almost €18,000 in the past week.
David Masterson was jailed for 17 years last week for sustained abuse of his daughter Charlene Masterson over a seven and a half year period.
In her victim impact statement, Ms Masterson, who waived her anonymity in order to campaign for greater awareness and support for individuals suffering abuse, said she had always wanted to become a nurse or a teacher but was prevented from doing so by her abuser.
Now, her friend Aoife Rose O'Reilly has set up a fundraiser to help Ms Masterson pursue that dream as she “embarks on a new journey in life".
“Charlene stated in her impact statement in court that she had always wanted to train as a teacher or a nurse but her father had refused to allow her to pursue such a dream, and that today she is stuck in a line of work she has no passion for," Ms O'Reilly said.
“To raise some money in the interests of helping Char achieve her dream would help to open this new chapter in her life in brightness and hope.”
In a touching tribute to her friend, Ms O’Reilly wrote that Ms Masterson is today “standing tall” after years of blackmail, rape and abuse.
“She has sent her father to jail and bravely waived her right to anonymity so she can help put a smiling face on this insidious and awful crime which affects women all over Ireland and further afield.
“To help her now would be a beautiful act of solidarity.”
Over 740 people have already donated to the fundraiser, including Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald who commended Ms O’Reilly for her “great act of friendship” and said Ms Masterson “deserved the world.”
Ms Masterson (32) has been widely commended for waiving her right to anonymity, including by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
In a tweet, he said her decision to speak out about the horrific abuse inflicted by her father could not have been an easy one, but her “bravery and eloquence will have helped and inspired many, many other people in abusive situations".
The decision of Charlene Masterson to waive her anonymity and speak out about the horrific abuse inflicted by her father cannot have been easy, but her bravery and eloquence will have helped and inspired many many other people in abusive situations.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 22, 2021
Judge Michael White, who presided over her case, said her "courage, tenacity and composure" stands as "an example to us all."
You can donate to the GoFundMe, which aims to raise €27,000 to cover Charlene Masterson’s tuition fees here