Our practitioner was there to help
A part of life
Alice was six when she was sexually abused by her father. ‘I didn't have a clue at the time what had happened; I just knew I was upset and something was wrong.’
She grew up thinking abuse was a part of childhood. When she was drugged and abused at a house party, she thought it was normal. ‘I thought I was on the planet just to be used by men’.
Alice became a very anxious 16 year old. Every time she left the house, she would face her abusers. She started missing school and stopped going out with mates.
As much as she wanted to, Alice couldn’t talk to her mum about it. ‘I was a carer for her and she has bipolar, so it was very hard to talk to her.’ Alice toughed it out alone, unsure what her future would look like, until she met Suzanne.
Picking up the pieces
Suzanne is one of our practitioners who specialises in child sexual abuse and exploitation. She was a stable presence in Alice’s life, someone Alice could depend on.
I know I can talk to her about anything. I was able to ring her even when we weren’t in sessions.
Together they worked through the signs and dangers of sexual exploitation. Alice began to make sense of what had happened. She now knows if someone is trying to take advantage and has the confidence to get out of dangerous situations. ‘I’ve been able to put it all into action’.
Alice meets Suzanne
Since meeting Suzanne, Alice has become more confident and no longer self harms.
My self worth is now there.
She still gets anxiety and painful flashbacks, but she is determined to challenge them. Alice no longer sees herself as someone to be abused.
I am more
than that I am more than that
Becoming a musician
Today, Alice is a signed musician. She’s always loved singing but now she’s doing it for real.
I've come a long way
She’s also the person people talk to when they’ve got something going on. 'I can always take at least one positive out of all the negative things’.
She likes it when people call on her. ‘It always makes me feel better, because I want to go into helping people.’
Positive about the future
I'm more positive about the future
Alice still feels anxious and scared at times, but she doesn’t let it drag her down. She is optimistic about her future and wants to give something back.
‘If there’s one message that I could give to other young people, who are having their own challenges, it would be there’s always a way to get out of a bad situation. There is always a way, no matter how deep you’re into something.’
This is a true story but names and identifying details have been changed to protect the young person and the photographs have been posed by models.
£5 a month could pay for a hot meal, shower and living essentials for a young runaway
£10 a month could pay for a front line worker's phone so children in danger can contact them
£20 a month could pay for a family to have mediation sessions to resolve conflict at home