I am a mother, a campaigner for victims and survivors, I am a survivor of CSE.
I was a victim of child sexual abuse, in my home life that went on for many years, which left me vulnerable, that vulnerability made me perfect pickings. I then became a victim of CSE.
I went through the whole court process for the child sexual abuse I suffered, which ended with a positive outcome. I struggled with domestic violence as an impact of CSE. I thought he loved me, I thought we were in a relationship.
I now understand he was grooming and emotionally manipulating me. He introduced me to drugs and alcohol, I used to get drunk to try to forget everything that was happening to me. He emotionally controlled and manipulated me into regularly having sex with other men. I didn’t want to, but if I didn’t, he would beat me. He would drive me to different houses, then leave me there, he didn’t want to be seen with me in the car, so I had to sit in the footwell or lie on the backseat.
I tried counselling, but it wasn’t for me; I felt they could never understand… How could they? They hadn’t been through what I had.
One day after he had beaten me up, I decided to report him to the police. So every time he laid his hands on me, I dialled 999; eventually he stopped coming around.
Now I am an adult, I am able to use all of the horrible things that happened to me throughout my childhood to help other people who are feeling the way I did. I have since accessed specialist ‘trauma based therapy’, which was provided by the Holly Project, the therapy was lead and focused around me.
Now I feel alive, and able to live without the shame I should never have felt.