Female abuser, Female Victim, Years 7 - 9

Erin’s story

Melissa took advantage of Erin’s difficult home-life, befriended her then isolated her from her family and friends, making her think that Erin couldn’t trust anyone else. Erin was lulled into a sense of security and then backed into a corner with the threat of owing money she didn’t have, making her feel trapped – with only one way out (which of course wasn’t the case). Melissa’s actions were carefully orchestrated over time and used manipulation and threats to keep Erin scared and vulnerable.  

Do not ignore the warning signs if you or a friend are at risk of sexual exploitation. See http://notinourcommunity.org/get-help/ to understand the options for help. 

01. Melissa looked out for me, she was older than me sure but she had my back. Told me who I could trust and who I couldn’t. She let me stay at hers when I wanted to as well. It was great to have somewhere else to go, to get away from my stupid mum and her stupid alci boyfriend.

0.2 I met her at by the youth club, she worked at the pub round the corner and we always used to end up waiting for the same bus, she asked me for a cig one week and we’ve not stopped talking and hanging out since.

03. She has parties at hers some times and guys come over. I think she sleeps with them for money, but I don’t judge, ‘a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do’, that’s what she says anyway. She’s invited me to join the party tonight, I don’t want to go home so I’ll just borrow some of her clothes.

04. She made us a couple of vodka and cokes before the rest of the guests got there. Loads of people came the house is buzzing, I felt drunk for the first time in my life, I had a right laugh with all Mel’s mates. I said when she had her parties I always wanted to be there.

05. She had one every week and I went every time, one night they invited me into a mini party happening in the attic room, I didn’t know what they were doing at first but I realised they were getting high when one of the guys started hallucinating. They passed it to me and I did it, thought it would have been rude not too and they’d probably all think I was a loser!

06. When I woke up everything was a blur, I didn’t know what I did, but when I got to the kitchen Mel looked mad! She said that I had gone too far and taking advantage of her. She said I owed her £300 for all the drink and the drugs I’d used.

07. There was no way I could pay that back – I started crying and panicking I didn’t know anyone with that much money! I’d never had that much money in my life! I told her I couldn’t do it and she told me to calm down, we’d work something out. She made a cup of tea and said I could help her with some of the men that came around, if I slept with a few of them we’d be square. It was my only option.

08. I started staying at Mel’s more and more I didn’t want to do anything after the men had had their way with me, but then she started adding to what I owned her saying that as I was there so much I had to pay for food and water.

09. I couldn’t see a way out, every time I got on top of what I owed her the debt grew! On top of that I found out that mum kept reporting me missing when I didn’t go home. Maybe if I let the police find me they’d help. Then again maybe if they found me they’d charge me for being drunk and doing drugs. I might even, technically, be a prostitute now.

10. My period was late and I freaked out, not all the men used condoms and I was only 13, so mum wouldn’t let me get the pill. I told Mel and she took me to a walk in clinic to do a test. She wanted to come in but the Nurse made her wait outside. They asked me loads of questions and asked me to wait whilst they spoke to someone.

11. Someone from social services came in and we talked about the situation I was in. She didn’t judge me just wanted to help. I stayed in the room with her whilst they asked the police to look into Mel, she had left, I think she knew I said something. I was trapped, and I’m still getting over what happened, but I have help and I’m getting there.

Do not ignore the warning signs if you or a friend are at risk of sexual exploitation. See http://notinourcommunity.org/get-help/ to understand the options for help. 

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

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