A mother's fight to clear her son's name
Exploitation doesn't just affect the children who are being exploited. It affects whole families. Here's the story of a mother who fought for her son's future after he got caught carrying drugs. Luckily, he got a second chance. Jenny describes what she went through to clear her son’s name.
A difficult age
Robbie was a bright and thoughtful teenager. He enjoyed school and time with friends and family. But his behaviour started to change. He became distant. Jenny assumed he was just going through a difficult age.
‘It felt like I was losing my son. I didn’t know whether he was dead or alive.’
First he was caught shoplifting. Then he went missing for weeks. When he got home he wouldn’t talk about it. The officers that found him suspected he was being groomed. Jenny didn’t know what to do.
‘I made the difficult decision to leave my home and eventually my job, to help my son escape the vicious circle of returning to his groomer.’
Losing my son
Caught in the act
Not long after this, Robbie was found carrying drugs in another city and taken to a police station. The officers sat in front of him were charging him with intent to supply. He was silent. The men that forced him to sell drugs scared him more than prison.
Jenny was in shock. Robbie wasn’t a drug dealer, he was a victim who needed protection.
‘Robbie told the police officer that he was scared and there was no way the police could ever protect him. If he talked, the men that were in charge would kill him.’
Every day was a fight to prove Robbie was innocent. One of our therapists, Alex, helped Jenny through this difficult time. She listened. She gave her advice. She was there when Jenny couldn’t face things alone.
‘The stress of a court case is huge and throughout it you’re just existing.’
It was really refreshing to just have someone to talk to and not judge me.
Someone to rely on
‘Alex was so nice. She was upbeat and smiley all the time and that rubbed off on me. Having that positive attitude around me really helped. ’
‘I think Alex just kind of brought me out of the hole that I was in. She would make me feel calm. It’s definitely had such a positive impact on my life. She has also helped improve my relationship with Robbie, by us communicating better and helped me to improve how I speak to him.’
A chance to move on
Finally, after seven long months the judge cleared Robbie of all the charges. Fast forward to today and things are very different. Instead of years behind bars, Robbie is safe at home with his family again. He has a job and is thrilled to have passed his GCSE’s. Jenny is so proud of him.
‘He’s now taking his driving lessons and saving up for a course. He just seems so much lighter where he is now mentally. It’s so good to see that.’
‘Through therapy with Alex, I found myself. Not the old me, but a better me and I am learning, growing and understanding more every day.’
She gave me my hope back
‘If I could say one thing to parents going through something similar, it’s that seeking help is going to have a positive impact on you. Alex showed me that I was not alone and there was a way out.’
Make a difference
Every young person should have a say in their future. For those, like Robbie, that find themselves trapped in a life of forced crime and sexual abuse, it can seem like there’s no hope. And at Christmas, when isolation builds and support systems disappear, many young people don’t see a way out.
Together, we can help them break free. Because with your support, our project workers are there side-by-side with young people, helping them find belief and confidence, so they can leave behind the life they hate. Every phone call, message of support and coffee shop meet-up will help young people see that their future is theirs to own.