I just wanted a way out, an end to it all.
I always remember life being difficult. I just thought that was the way life was. No one believed me when I told them my story, it just seemed too much for one girl to go through.
I was physically and sexually abused by my dad. It was horrific, but my life was about to get worse. My only escape at the time was drugs, and by the age of 16 I was addicted to heroin.
I finally told my friend. She actually believed me and told social services, but when my mum found out she threw me out. I couldn’t face it anymore. By then, I was 16.
Then I moved into No. 3, an Oasis Housing project. I didn’t trust anyone though, I was sure they’d hurt me and let me down. But it was different. My keyworker, Jen, never gave up on me. One day I told her what happened, she sat there and listened. Jen referred me to a counsellor and continued to look out for me. She always went the extra mile to make sure that I was ok. . I felt safe at No. 3, for the first time in my life.
“I felt I was in a safe place at No. 3. It was more like a home than a hostel... It meant so much to be given advice, and not treated violently. The staff never gave up on me.”
I have my own flat now, and a job. I’ve moved on with my life and I am happier than I’ve ever been. I’m still in contact with Jen and all the girls at No. 3, which is great.