Woman’s Day – Life after Gloriavale: ‘Our nightmare is finally over!’
By Sophie Neville – Woman’s Day – 11/08/2022
Timaru mum Virginia reveals why she and her family had to escape the controversial community.
For 27 years, former Gloriavale resident Virginia Courage was tormented by nightmares. She’d often lie awake in the cramped bunk room she shared with her husband and children, frozen with fear after a terrifying dream, wondering what it meant and why it was happening to her.
“I’d pray the nightmares would end,” says the brave mum-of-11, who has become a staunch advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. “But that only happened the day I walked out of Gloriavale. I could finally sleep because I didn’t have to be scared any more.”
It’s almost three years since Virginia, 43, her husband David, 42, and their 10 children left the West Coast religious sect they’d been born into. Turning their backs on the only life they knew took enormous strength, but the point had come where Virginia realised her kids weren’t safe and she had to get them out.