The 5 Browns Sisters Admit 'Lifelong Scars' From Father's Sexual Abuse
12/08/2011 AT 04:00 PM EST
Deondra and Desirae Brown, who are part of the classical quintet The 5 Browns, are speaking out about the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father, Keith Brown.
"It's one of those things that not only do you not want to talk about, but a part of you just shoves it away in the back closet somewhere," Deondra, 33, said on the Today show Thursday. "There will be lifelong scars from the abuse that you suffer."
A little more than eight months ago, Keith Brown was sentenced to 10 years to life for sexually abusing his three daughters, including Desirae and Deondra's sister, Melody, who decided not to speak out.
"Abusers make you feel like you shouldn't tell anyone," Desirae, 32, said. "They make you feel embarrassed."
The three Mormon sisters, who were abused since they were children, kept it a secret from each other until 2007. Eventually, they decided to approach their parents.
"We thought we could deal with this within the family," Desirae said. "You just expect someone to take full accountability, and that there would be extreme remorse. That was lacking in our situation."
Desirae, who says she and her four siblings – including brothers Gregory and Ryan – are "closer than ever," adds that they want to speak out "so people can feel not ashamed anymore. The more people are aware, the less I think it will happen."