Powerful words from a survivor of child sexual exploitation
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These are the powerful words of a survivor of child sexual exploitation. She was abused in this county and the offender put behind bars following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police.
She wants to use her story to raise awareness of this important issue and stop what she sees as the silence which enables offenders to keep on abusing.
Her mother has added her perspective too and has been equally brave in speaking out against the abuse and supporting her daughter in her mission to prevent other children suffering as she did.
Read on. These are powerful words.
While you were at work……I was being sexually abused
While you were playing golf…. I was being sexually abused
While you were at the hairdressers…. I was being sexually abused
While you were out for dinner…. I was being sexually abused
While you went food shopping…. I was being sexually abused
While you were with your friend…. I was being sexually abused
While you were tending to my siblings…. I was being sexually abused
While I told you, I was meeting up with friends…. I was being sexually abused
An estimated 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused, just let that sink in for a moment….1 in 20 CHILDREN left with thoughts such as this, as they struggle to deal with the trauma and devastating impact of their suffering.
Childhood sexual abuse like many other forms of abuse does not discriminate, any child can be a victim regardless of race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status and together it is our duty to create awareness and deter for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren and the many generations thereafter.
We must think, spot and speak out against abuse.
We must educate our children in healthy relationships and encourage them at every opportunity to use their voice.
This is my daughter, brave, courageous, and a childhood sexual exploitation survivor.
As a parent I am embarrassed to admit that I never thought it possible this could happen to my child! She came from a stable loving home, with two parents who love her wholeheartedly, parents that she could trust and confide in whenever she needed to, parents that did everything to offer her an environment where she felt safety and security every day.
Yet here we are two years on from her disclosure now knowing first hand how that stigma of it only happening to certain children is so wrong, and with the knowledge that even though we offered all of these things and more it still took her five whole years to find the courage and strength to talk….to find her VOICE.
So, parents/ caregivers please…. please be vigilant just because a child is smiling, involving themselves in family activities and seems happy does not mean they are…. if you have any suspicions or doubts speak to someone…. report them, no matter how insignificant you feel they may be.
Dear children of today and of the future if you are reading this and the slightest part of this resonates with you, I beg of you to use your voice…. speak to someone, parent, grandparent, another family member, a care giver, a teacher, NSPCC, Childline, simply anyone you can trust. This IS NOT your fault and WE WILL believe you. You are Brave, you are strong, you are courageous, and you are worthy of using your voice.
Together we can stamp out this despicable crime and must adopt a zero-tolerance attitude towards it.
Together we can encourage, empower and give back the voice to childhood sexual abuse and childhood sexual exploitation survivors.
Together we can and we will make a difference.
Yesterday was National Child Exploitation and Abuse awareness day. Let’s keep on raising awareness and get this message out there. Our children deserve to be safe.