Charlotte's Story

Charlotte hated the children’s home and often went off on her own just to get away.

She met Justin while getting food one evening and though Charlotte was only 13, she told him she was 16.

They talked and he invited her back to his.

"He seemed really nice. He let me borrow his phone and told me I could call him whenever I wanted.

"He told me I was beautiful. No-one had said that to me before."

Over the next few weeks, Justin and Charlotte met up several times. He bought her earrings and gave her money to buy herself new clothes.

One weekend he drove them to London and booked them both into a hotel for the night.

They had drinks together in the room, but Charlotte didn’t remember much of the evening after that.

"I felt really sore when I woke up. Justin said I couldn’t handle my drink but I wasn’t sure. I asked him to drop me off at hospital and he left me there."

Charlotte was examined and the nurse asked her if she’d had sex. Charlotte said no.

Afterwards, Charlotte continued running away from the children’s home in the hope of seeing Justin again but he never showed up.

"I was so depressed I couldn’t eat. He never returned my calls. I started cutting myself.

"I just wanted the pain to end."

One afternoon, Charlotte was picked up by the police because the people at the home were worried she was going to kill herself.

Another officer came to speak to Charlotte about some photographs they had found of her on a man’s computer.

"When I realised what had happened in the hotel room, I felt so ashamed. But the officer told me it wasn’t my fault.

"She said I wasn’t the only one and Justin had done this to other girls my age."

The police helped Charlotte make a statement about what happened to her and Justin was eventually jailed.

Charlotte got counselling and is now living with a foster family and making friends at school.

 

Charlotte's story is a fictional account based on the experiences of children in the UK who have been the victims of sexual exploitation.

Charlotte's story
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