I was sexually exploited by a local gang at 14years old. The ages of these boys ranged between 14-19.
I was initially raped by three of these boys who were aged 17-19. They got me drunk and took pictures of me. One of them then started blackmailing me to do sexual acts with his friends and threatened to post the pictures to my parents or put them up around the local area for everyone to see.
From then it felt like my life was taken away from me. I had no control over my body, it felt like it didn’t belong to me. I had these boys turn up at my school or at the bottom of my road demanding I come and meet them. I would be approached in the street and taken to places to perform sexual acts and get so many calls on my phone.
When I tried to fight back I was either physically or emotionally abused this led to dissociation. A way of me surviving each encounter. I become very disconnected from myself and everyone around me.
Regardless, the pictures were posted online. From then on I was known as the local hoe and continually bullied and ridiculed by people in my school and in the local area. I felt worried about going out as I was often recognised. Not once did my school offer any support nor did the police.
I felt like I was the one to blame, a problem.
For so many years I felt dirty and undeserving of life. It was something I never spoke about but was always the big elephant in the room for me. I never understood what my experiences really meant. I went through life carrying so much shame, self hate and guilt, until I offloaded it all one day to someone.
From then on I understood what my experiences meant and that it was not my fault. I had nothing to be ashamed of and I was finally free. I did report it to the police over 10 years later. I may have not got the outcome I wanted but it gave me the control back I had lost all those years ago.
Nobody should ever go through abuse and feel alone. We need to carry on talking.
For many years I have worked supporting vulnerable people. I am currently a social worker and hope one day to start up my own service supporting those in need.
Let’s keep talking. #youarenotalone #standingtogether