Exclusive: 'He's still my Dad' - Gloriavale assault victim speaks out on father's abuse

Ex-Gloriavale assault victim Connie Ready is feeling the pain of her father's sins, using the law to hold Clem Ready to account.

Clem was convicted and sentenced in May to 12 months supervision for assaulting his two daughters Connie and Prayer Ready.

He disciplined his daughters using his open hand and objects including a shoe, slipper, belt and on one occasion a framing square to discipline Connie.

Prayer was aged between five and 12 years old when Clem Ready would use physical discipline, and Constance was aged between five and 17.

The charges, of assault with a weapon, span a period of 13 years.

Prayer died when she was 14 after choking on food in June 2015. Following her death, Connie ran away from Gloriavale and went to police with the allegations in her memory.

"You don't want to be pressing charges against your own Dad," Connie told Newshub.

"I felt a responsibility to [Prayer] that I needed to do the right thing by her. I wanted her to know she was worth something, that she was worth everything."

Connie says the beatings were not that bad - she didn't have bad injuries, just bad bruising. But she wanted Gloriavale "held to account" for its culture of child discipline.

From left to right: Connie, Clem and Prayer Ready.
From left to right: Connie, Clem and Prayer Ready. Photo credit: Supplied

The case has been kept secret until now because Clem Ready had name suppression, and all details linking him to Gloriavale were also suppressed.

That suppression was lifted on Thursday after a hearing in the Court of Appeal in Christchurch, where Newshub made submissions arguing it was in the public interest.

Gloriavale fought to have this case suppressed. So Connie, who now has a new baby and a new life, fought back to get it out in the open.

"It's more than just about me and about my Dad - it's about all of those people who are still in the community," she said.

"The biggest thing I can do to help them is to raise awareness about what does happen inside."

At Clem's sentencing, Judge Tony Couch partly blamed the "pressure" of life inside Gloriavale for his lashing out.

"The defendant was undoubtedly under pressure to conform to community values and practices," he said.

Judge Couch saying the long hours he was made to work and Gloriavale's culture were "very real factors" in reducing his sentence.

"They help to explain the offending and, to an extent, reduce his culpability."

Connie is clear: the leadership is also "culpable".

"They created the whole discipline issues, they created them and they didn't have any cures for the problems that they had created," Connie says.

Part of Clem Ready's defence was that he was unaware of the anti-smacking law that came into effect in 2007.

"That comes down to the leadership, because the leadership control what outside information comes into the community," Connie says.

And she has message for her father - from the outside.

"I still love him, he's still my Dad - I just wish things could have been different."

A family united by love, but divided by Gloriavale.