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.