Jess was the envy of all her friends at school, none of them had an older boyfriend to buy them presents and pick them up from school. Chris told Jess that he loved her, and if she loved him too, she’d sleep with him. They spent a lot of time in his flat, where they’d listen to music, smoke and have sex. Jess was besotted. Unlike her parents and teachers, he treated her like an adult and she wanted to feel mature. But she wasn’t an adult, she was 14, and Chris was 30.
When Chris started inviting his friends over and letting them touch her and have sex with her, she didn’t know what to do. Soon, he was picking her up in the morning and driving her to flats all over the country, where she’d be forced to have sex with men as old as 65. She tried to make it stop but if she protested Chris would beat her. Once he hurt her badly enough that she had to go to A&E but Chris went with her so she couldn’t tell them what really happened. He also told her that he would hurt her parents and little sister if she told anyone and so the abuse continued for 4 long years. On her 18th birthday she ran away to London and ended up sleeping on the streets where she was picked up by a homeless charity. Only then was she able to tell her story. Jess is still too scared to return home.
Case Study courtesy of the NWG Network: www.nwgnetwork.org