A brave Blackheath woman who survived years of sexual abuse from her paedophile neighbour has spoken about life after her inspiring testimony helped put her abuser away for twelve years.

Debbie Grafham was only nine when she, along with her younger sister Lorraine, was repeatedly raped by her upstairs neighbour, Patrick Ryan, in his Greenwich flat.

News Shopper:

Debbie Graham, 53, grew up in Blackheath before away in her teens.

MORE: Best friend of pregnant lady 'attacked by students' in Penge speaks out

Recollecting her painful experiences, the 53 year old told News Shopper of the moment she tried to rescue her then seven-year-old sister from Ryan's clutches.

"She (Lorraine) remembers me pulling Patrick Ryan off of her when I was only nine.

"Consequently she fell down some stairs but luckily only had some cuts and bruises," she said.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time both sisters endured childhood abuse as Mrs Grafham told this reporter of how she, along with Lorraine and her brother David, were abused by carers while in foster care.

David passed away in 2006 at the age of 38.

"His last words to me were, 'You need to report this because it'll get you like it got me'," she said.

After years of bottling up the atrocities they endured, Lorraine made the brave decision to report what happened to police in 2011.

MORE: Human bones found in Greenwich linked with Crayford dentist surgery

Mrs Grafham said she followed in her sister's footsteps after detectives approached her to verify Lorraine's story

"They wanted to speak to me, asking 'how do we know that Lorraine is telling the truth'?

"I just told them, 'well because it happened to me too'," she said.

Following a lengthy trial process, in which both sisters courageously waived their right to anonymity, Patrick Ryan was found guilty on four counts of rape, two of attempted rape and seven counts of indecent exposure.

He was then sentenced to serve 12 years in prison in 2013.

News Shopper:

Patrick Ryan, from Plumstead, was jailed for 12 years in 2013.

However, according to Mrs Grafham, making sure he was found guilty for everything he had done to both her and her sister was imperative beyond being imprisoned.

"Before the last leg of the trial, two police officers, who were really lovely, came up to me said that if her isn't found guilty on the first count, it doesn't mean he won't be found guilty of the others.

"But I just thought 'no'. He had to be guilty of everything or nothing," she said.

In an attempt to document their ordeal, Mrs Grafham began journalling the events of the trial, which was soon picked up by a local publisher who wished to turn her notes into a book titled, A Sister's Secret, which was published in 2014.

However, recounting the heinous acts committed against them in the 70's quickly became a more difficult journey, according to her.

"When I was writing it I was fine, but when I read it back it was almost like I was writing about someone that wasn't me.

"I just thought 'this can't be published, people shouldn't now about all this'.

"But I did publish it. Every single detail I wrote was true and I wanted it out there," said Mrs Grafham.

Since then, Mrs Grafham says she has been approached by numerous women who suffered similar abuse in the past, who say that her book has helped them rethink their decision to remain quiet.

"The amount of people wo messaged me via Facebook about the book and say how much it helped them is amazing.

"Two women who had messaged me have actually gone and reported their abuse because of it.

"That's the good thing that's come out of it," she said.