It?s a true story

AUTHOR Barbara Biggs could not have had a more extraordinary life even if she tried.

At 14, she was sold to a barrister and sexual predator and two years later, admitted herself to a psychiatric hospital.

When she was 18 she escaped Cambodia as it fell to the Khmer Rouge and was a prostitute in Japan when she was 19.

She would later become a mother, a classical pianist, a journalist and a property millionaire.

Ms Biggs tells her story in two remarkable books, In Moral Danger (2003) and The Road Home (2004), and was in Coffs Harbour this week as part of a whirlwind tour of NSW and Queensland.

She has hit the road to raise awareness about child sexual abuse ? in particular issues such as emotional attachment to the abuser.

She also wants to garner support to raise funds for treatment and support programs for pedophiles.

"At the moment there is a lynch mob mentality (surrounding pedophilia). For every dollar you spend minimising this problem at its source, the more money you save down the track.

"Eighty per cent of drug abusers, alcoholics, mental health patients and people in prisons were sexually abused in their childhood."

Ms Biggs said she decided to write the books to reassure people who had formed an emotional attachment to their abuser ? as she did ? that they were not 'freaks'.

"I also wanted to show the wider community how this attachment occurs," she said.

"There is a lot of sexual and emotional detail in what I've written."

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