real-stories-text

Jane’s Story

Sam becomes Jane’s first love. He’s older, funny, interested in her and takes her into an exciting world of parties and new experiences. For the first time, she is really in love.

Then things change. Jane finds herself trapped in a relationship where Sam and his friends show that their motives are much darker than it first appeared.

This is a story about sexual exploitation, it highlights one way in which a young person can be groomed and then exploited by an older ‘friend’. It is important to remember that there are many different forms of grooming and exploitation.

There are two versions of the film both of which are available to download and watch for free.

This made for TV version features appearances from senior figures in education, health, policing and leading charities that provide support for victims of sexual exploitation.

This shorter version, is based solely on Jane’s Story and should be used to start a discussion around the issues it raises.

Written and produced by eskimosoup. Filmed and edited by Nova Studios. Executive producer is the Police & Crime Commissioner for the Humberside Police Force area.

Thank to everyone that contributed to the making of the film.

The case studies on these pages are all based on the real stories of real victims. Names and other information has been changed to protect identities.

Sharon's story

Names and other details have been changed to protect identities.

When I was around twelve I was hanging around with another girl who was older than me, I thought it was really cool that she wanted to be my friend. What I didn’t realise is she had been abused when she was younger.

I was always going missing from home once I’d met her; she took me to parties all the time, where she made me have sex with lots of different men. They all gave me drugs and alcohol whilst I was there, I didn’t realise what was going on.

When I was fourteen I was referred to a project which was helping me get my life back on track. I didn’t want to keep going missing, being forced to have sex, drink alcohol and take drugs. All I wanted was a normal life.

However, the girl who took me to the parties kept contacting me so I had to change my mobile number, Facebook profile and even move away from my family to a care home. I felt so alone because I lost contact with my friends, so I started going missing again so I could see some of the friends I missed.

After a while I wanted to go back home to have a ‘normal life’, which was great, I was going back to school, going to youth club and meeting real friends, my own age.

Unfortunately I saw the girl I had been trying to stay away from whilst I was out, she was really nice to me and convinced me to go back with her, promising to give me my bus fare back home. When I got to the house I was plied with alcohol and drugs and raped by two older men.

I am determined that I will get my life back on track and I won’t go through all of this again. I am so glad to have the care project*, social services and police to support me and help me move forward from that horrific period of my life.

Sharon is being supported to help her access medical attention, and advocate on her behalf with social care and the police, so she doesn’t have to keep repeating her experiences to multiple agencies.  She continues to work with the project and is moving forward at her own pace.

*The Care Project is run by Cornerhouse to support victims of exploitation and help young people deal with what they have been through.

Harry's story

Names and details have been changed to protect identities.

Before I had even reached the age of thirteen I was groomed by a taxi driver, even though I didn’t really understand what had happened.

I started talking to females on the internet and meeting up with them, even though they were strangers, I didn’t really see why it was dangerous.

My life started getting really crazy, I was going missing from my boarding school all the time and the police would find me at people’s addresses, I later found out some were known sex offenders. Whenever I was at these addresses I was always given drugs and alcohol, as long as I would steal something for them, so I did.

When I ran away from school I’d often go to parties where sex, drugs and alcohol were always available, everyone at these parties was doing it so I didn’t see why it was wrong.

I was fifteen when I was referred to the care project*, I hate going out at night now because I’m scared I’ll be raped.

Harry has learning difficulties and attends a special school. He continues to work with the care project and other agencies to help him understand and recognise risk both online and in ‘the real world’; this is something he still struggles with.

*The Care Project is run by Cornerhouse to support victims of exploitation and help young people deal with what they have been through.

Max’s story

Names and other details have been changed to protect identities.

Like all my mates at 14, I loved playing games online and was really obsessed with some games. When playing the games I sometimes needed to buy credits to get onto the next stage, but I couldn’t afford them.

I started chatting to other people online and was getting on really well with a female. We chatted for months and after a while she convinced me to send indecent pictures of myself to her in exchange for game credits.

I later found out that I was being groomed by a male, pretending to be the female I’d been talking to. I was so worried about people finding out and thinking I was gay that I started cutting myself and self-harming, I even thought about committing suicide.

I now understand that I was being taken advantage of and what happened wasn’t my fault.  I don’t go online as much anymore and I’m working hard at school.

Max and his family received support and help with what happened and how to recognise potential signs in the future.  Max has also learnt how to deal with difficult situations like this if it did ever happen again.

Megan’s story

Names and other details have been changed to protect victims’ identities.

By the time I was fourteen I lived by myself, I wasn’t really in contact with my family much and didn’t have many friends because I didn’t go to school.

I thought the people I hung around with were my friends; they let me sleep on their sofa and gave me drugs and alcohol whenever I stayed there. I didn’t think I needed anyone else and became dependant on these men and women.

To ‘pay’ for them letting me stay and the drugs and alcohol I felt I had to give something back. I would work off my debt by sleeping with the men they told me to, sometimes it wasn’t even where I was staying and they would send me to other parts of the country.

I’m sixteen now and realise that they were exploiting and abusing me, they weren’t really my friends at all.

Now I have the care project* helping me get on with my life, it’s been great to know that if I need someone for help, or just to talk to, there’s always someone at the end of the phone. I can even meet up with them if I want to. I’ve moved away from the unsafe places I used to go to and now live in a young people’s hostel with other people like me.

Megan is being supported by a social worker who is helping coordinate all the services to assist Megan. She is learning to become more independent, rather than depend on older males and females she’d been involved with.

*The Care Project is run by Cornerhouse to support victims of exploitation and help young people deal with what they have been through.

Logos1Logos2 copy