It started in February 2009, I got moved into a children’s home I turned 14 the month before. I had only been here a week and a half and one of the males took me into town and introduced me to this female.
As I didn’t know anyone from the city I live in I thought I finally had a decent friend. So every day I was going to town to meet this female who is a few years older than me, we were meeting every day, I thought I was finally welcomed for who I was and not because of my past. So we used to hang out and she started introducing me to all these men who were older than me.
When I finally started school in September 2009 the female who I had been hanging around with, told me I shouldn’t go to school because school had nothing to offer me, so me being only 14 listened to her (which I shouldn’t have done) I should have got my education and listened to my carers from the children’s home. She started introducing me to more and more men who were alot older than me, she started telling me not to go home to the children’s home because I would have a better time with her and all these other people she knew. So I started staying out at night. She started buying me new clothes, make-up, anything I needed really. She started buying alcohol even though I didn’t drink but I didn’t want to say no to her, then it started with smoking weed.
I told my carers I was drinking and smoking weed and that my friend was buying me everything I wanted. I still remember the words today after 6 years, my carers said to me “she is grooming you, we are informing the police.” I said no she isn’t your lying you just don’t care about anyone but yourselves and you don’t want me to enjoy myself. Now I know they were right. So after they said that I stayed out even more and was drinking a lot and smoking a lot of weed. After a few weeks of doing this, my friend started getting me to lie about my age I was only 14 but I got made to tell the men I was 16 I didn’t know why she got me to lie. Something wasn’t right but I didn’t understand why. So she got the men to pick us up in these cars, it was a different man every day. She was telling me she owed them money but she didn’t say what for and that she needed my help in repaying them but I still didn’t understand what she was on about. So I did what she asked me, it started by giving them oral sex then it ended up been full on sex – a different man every day. I never asked her any questions, she said if I didn’t do what she said she would hurt me and tell everyone what I did and I didn’t want to get hurt and I didn’t want people to know what I had done, so I did what she said.
I remember one of the times when I was 15 we went into this car to a park nearby I had only one can of alcohol and I blacked out but I remember little things I like this man touching me in places he shouldn’t, then when I came round my jeans weren’t on and I felt mucky because of what happened even though I don’t know what happen but in a way I did know. A few weeks later we went to this house and I overheard a conversation between her and a male, he said ‘who am I having tonight and how much’, she said ‘her in the living room and £50’ after I heard that I knew what was happening. When we were on our own I asked him about the conversation and I told him ‘I don’t want to do this’, I told him my real age and he said ‘I will tell her we did something I will give her the money we will make out everything is ok and when you get away from her go back to the place you live and you tell them everything’, but I was scared of telling anyone.
At the age of 16 I got into a very good relationship and after a while I ended up pregnant and I moved out of the city I lived in to try and make my life better for me and my daughter. A few months after I had my daughter, I managed to talk to the police and tell them everything. After many years of talking to the police, in 2014 the woman ended up going to jail for a long time. Since she got sent to jail I’ve turned my life around, it has took a very long time to get where I am now. But I am proud of myself for what I have done. I started to get along with my family I got myself a job and I have a wonderful boyfriend who doesn’t care about my past he loves me for me and not what I can offer him. People who are in this situation don’t be scared of telling the police they are there to help and put these horrible people in jail for a long time. If you are at the beginning of this … get out of the relationship or friendship before it happens to you.
Remember IT’S NEVER YOUR FAULT and DON’T listen to people when they try to say it is.
If this is you inform people – don’t try solving it yourself.