Johnny’s Story

But one day, he asked me to be nice to his other older mates – he wanted me to do sexual things and I went along with it ‘cos he was my friend as he’d bought me all the nice stuff.

I thought he was my friend but he wanted more than just friendship…

“I am 14 and things weren’t great at home, my mum and dad were in the process of splitting up and it wasn’t nice to be around them, so I simply wouldn’t go home. I’d hang around the streets and meet new friends.

One of my new friends was Rob; he was 50 and much older than me, but really sound. He totally got me and understood what I was going through; he even offered to let me stay at his when things were bad.

Rob would be really kind to me, buying me new clothes, topping up my mobile and even letting me drink alcohol. He even brought some of his other older mates and some other lads my age around to take drugs.

But one day, he asked me to be nice with to his other older mates – he wanted me to do sexual things and I went along with it ‘cos he was my friend as he’d bought me all the nice stuff. He also got nasty and threatened me and my family if I didn’t go along with what he wanted.

It hurt and I felt ashamed and dirty. I was angry and upset.

Things got bad at school then too my behaviour became violent and my temper was short. I wouldn’t turn up and wouldn’t go home at night either. I then got excluded.

Eventually, through my mum reporting me missing again, I ended up with a social worker and a designated youth worker I began to realise that I had been taken advantage of, I thought he was my friend but he wanted more than just friendship.

I slowly started to stay at home more and stop hanging round the streets; even though mum and dad had split up they were both very supportive and didn’t blame me. I also completed my youth offending programme for anti-social behaviour and am back at school on an educational placement.

Life is better now and I can see a future for myself, something at the time I didn’t think I’d ever get.”

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Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

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Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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Holly’s Story

He told lots of lies and the group were older than me and had more influence and made me feel like it was my fault. So I went along with what they asked..

He told me he loved me but I realised it wasn’t true…

“When I was 13, things at home were quite busy; there were often lots of friends, family and strangers visiting and we all smoked cannabis.

One of the male visitors, Dave, started to pay me attention and compliment me on how I looked. This made me feel really special, ‘cos I felt really down and lonely, I didn’t have many friends.

He’d buy me presents and take me places, call me every day, sometimes three to four times a day and he’d be texting me all the time. Things were good, he told me he loved me.

After a while, he said as he’d been nice to me, he wanted me to be nice to him in return.

He and his friends wanted me to have sex with them. He told me he loved me again and again and that doing things to him and his friends would make him happy and if I loved him too I’d do it.

He told lots of lies and the group were older than me and had more influence and made me feel like it was my fault. So I went along with what they asked.

As a result of being ‘nice’ to his friends, I got pregnant but I lost the baby. This made me feel even worse, like I deserved it and I didn’t see a way out. I didn’t trust anyone and experienced a panic attacks when I left home to go to college.

Through college, I took part the National Citizen Service Programme (which I loved taking part in, made me feel good) and got talking to a youth worker from Catch 22.

She was nice and for the first time ever I felt I could trust someone. I told her my story, she believed me and told me it wasn’t my fault. We reported the abuse to the police.

She supported me and spoke with me about keeping safe, friendships and relationships, internet safety and about options for my future.

Thanks to Catch 22, I’m now dealing with my panic attacks and my drug use is under control. I no longer see Dave.

My self-confidence is better, I’ve signed up as a National Citizen Service ambassador to tell other young people about the benefits of taking part.”

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Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

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Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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Sophies story

I was made to have sex with his mates, even though I didn’t want to. I felt I had to, cos he has been so nice to me I wanted to make him happy.

“Things at home are challenging – my two older brothers have learning disabilities and mum and dad’s attention are always on caring for them and meeting their daily needs.

Now I am 14, I understand a bit better how difficult it must be for my parents, but when I was 11, I felt really alone and unloved, I felt like mum and dad didn’t even notice I existed. I didn’t want to go home.

So I used to hang round the local park and got talking to some boys who were 18. They were really cool. They’d talk to me and be interested in what I had to say. One boy in particular, Craig, paid special attention to me. He’d flirt with me and tell me I was cute.

Over time, me and Craig got really close and would separate from the rest of the group. He’d buy me presents such as perfume and lipstick and clothes so I’d look extra cute.

Soon I started not even bothering with school, I’d just go to Craig’s flat even though his mates were there. He wouldn’t let me out of his sight, told me I was special and I was his. I was flattered, no one had ever paid so much attention to me before. He was the one I knew it!

Then one time, we went to one of his mate’s house – I hadn’t met this mate before. He told me that if I loved him as much as he loved me, then I’d do what he told me to do to his mates.

I was made to have sex with his mates, even though I didn’t want to. I felt I had to, cos he has been so nice to me I wanted to make him happy.

But it didn’t make me feel happy. I started to be really sad and not take care of myself properly. I just didn’t want to try any more. When I did go to school, other girls would call me stinky.

At this point, I’d go missing from home for days on end when Craig would take me to other mate’s houses to be nice to them too. Mum and dad just didn’t understand.

That’s when mum reported me missing and the social services got involved. It turned out to be a real life saver.

My social worker found me a one to one youth worker who would listen to me and not judge. I told her how I felt and she helped me deal with the abuse and recognise that I was in control and could make it stop. She helped me report Craig to the police and even they were really helpful and understanding.

My youth worker even helped smoothed things over at home, it turned out my mum and dad were really worried about me.

Now things are going great – mum and I spend some time on our own each week and we even sometimes go shopping. I like that. I’m back at dance club after school each week and I event go to a performing arts workshop too. I’m also back at school and really enjoying it. I don’t run away from home anymore and I’ve not seen Craig either.”

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Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

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Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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KNOW THE SIGNS

Martin’s story

I told him everything about Gary. He said it wasn’t my fault and we should speak to my mum and dad. He came with me and helped me speak with them.

He bought me gifts and said I was special…

“I have Asperger syndrome, which means I have problems with social interaction. At school this makes it difficult for me to make friends – they don’t understand my condition and I’m often left on my own.

My passions are football and football online games. When I play football or my favourite football games online, it makes me feel happy.

Once, another player, Gary, started to chat to me online when I was playing a football game we liked playing as the same team and we had lots of things to talk about.

We started to chat nearly every day and I enjoyed talking to someone who didn’t make me feel left out. He asked if I played football after school, I said yes. He asked me where I played and which school I went to, as he was my friend I told him. He said he’d come and watch me where I played and I told him – he said he’d come to my next match.

When I played football the next week, Gary turned up to watch. He was a lot older than he said he was, he said he was 18 and I was 12, but in real life he was my dad’s age.

But as we were friends he said it didn’t matter. He bought me gifts and said I was special. Every week he’d come to my matches and bring me my favourite chocolate bar and drinks. He’d buy me more football games and top up for my mobile so we could text. He said we were best friends.

During the summer holidays, when my mum and dad were working, he asked me if I wanted to go for a drive to watch my favourite football team. We went and it was fun.

Our drives became every week and then things changed. He introduced me to some of his friends. He said that as me and him were friends, I must be nice to his friends too. He said if I didn’t he’d tell everyone about our chats online when we talked about loads of cool stuff and I’d taken some silly pictures and sent them to him.

So I went along with what was happening for over a year. Each week Gary would take me to a ‘party’ where his friends would be.

I was very upset and hurt and I didn’t really know what to do.

One day, my football coach asked me if I was OK cos I hadn’t been speaking very much recently, I have become addicted to my mobile phone and my love of the game seemed to have disappeared. He said I could tell him whatever the matter was and he would help.

I told him everything about Gary. He said it wasn’t my fault and we should speak to my mum and dad. He came with me and helped me speak with them. We reported the Gary to the police and they took him away. He is in prison now.

I found that when I told my coach things started to get better. I’m now at college doing well and my love for football has returned.”

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Parents Against CSE 0113 240 5226

Report by calling

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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www.ceop.police.uk

KNOW THE SIGNS
Other
Organisations

To report CSE call Merseyside Police on 101  or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.

To report CSE call Merseyside Police on 101  or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.