At the age of eight I was abused by a family member and by ten-years-old I was regularly self-harming – banging my head and sticking needles in myself. I then started cutting and overdosing.
When I was 12, I was taken into care. I’d stopped going to school but even the carers couldn’t cope with me. I was eventually placed in a residential unit away from the area I was from.
By then I was regularly getting in and out of older men’s cars and taking drugs.
Whilst at the unit I met another girl who was being sold for sex by someone she thought was her boyfriend. I then got involved and was exchanging sexual acts for drugs, alcohol and somewhere to hang out or stay over.
I got involved with older men because I thought they would be my friend or love me.
At one point I was even held against my will in a flat.
Just before my 16th birthday I was placed in a secure unit for my own safety where I got help from the Barnado’s Cymru Seraf Service.
My Barnado’s worker keeps in regular contact and is helping me to stay in one place and keep myself safe.