|Campaign:||I suffered sexual abuse as a child and founded a website to support other young people...|
I was abused by my father from a young age. It ended when I was 14, when I told my mum about it and we went to the police. Fifteen months later there was a trial and my abuser was sentenced to three years in prison.
I became an ITV Fixer when I was 17 because I wanted to build a website to support other young victims of abuse, let them know that I understand what they’re going through, that it’s not their fault, and that they can find their way out of it. When you’re being abused you feel that you’re alienated, on an island separated from the rest of society who just don’t understand.
When I was 18 I was able to ‘come out’ and tell my own story under my own name, which was very liberating. Since then I have achieved so much. I won a national award from the youth volunteering charity v, was named Lesley Pearse Woman of Courage in 2010, have been featured in the press including an article in Cosmopolitan magazine. I’ve studied Law at Exeter University, and really want to continue fighting abuse in all its forms.
This Fixers project tackling drugs and alcohol is important because abuse is often linked to substance misuse. Drink and drugs can fuel sexual abuse, and sadly victims sometimes turn to substances as a means of escaping their ordeal. This can lead to a vicious circle when victims become beholden to their abusers who supply them with their prop.