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.