When I was 4 my mum married the most aggressive man. When I was 6 he started touching me and making me watch him touch himself and was told to never to tell anyone. Of course I never because I was terrified it kept happening until I was about 15, but I still had to live with this man knowing what he done. I always worried if he would try and touch my younger sisters. Just after I turned 16 he hit me and my mum chucked him out for all of 2 weeks, so I left and stayed with my auntie and uncle for 6 months. For money reasons had to go back, 2 months later my best friend came to me and told me that he had done the same to her. We didn’t want the police involved. We told my mum and he was chucked out but a week later the police were involved. When they were taking the statement 2 of my other friends came forward. I was shocked they never told me sooner. He’s out on bail and not been sentenced. I don’t know if I can live the way I’m living. I just feel so empty and alone. I don’t have anyone to speak to that best friend and me no longer talk. I don’t know if I can do it. I push everyone away all my family friends and boys.
I don’t think I’ll be a survivor.
— Lauren, age 17