When Ben was younger he was sexually abused by an older relative.
He never told anyone about what happened and as he got older he started acting up.
One day he trashed the house where he lived with his dad.
"He threw me out. Mum wasn’t interested. The police just wanted me to stop getting into trouble.
"No-one really cared. They all talked about me like I wasn’t there. I was always just the one to blame."
At 14, Ben had nowhere to go and ended up homeless, shoplifting, getting in trouble with the police and hanging around outside pubs and clubs
“I met this one guy who was really nice to me. He took an interest and invited me back to his. He said I could stay there until I sorted myself out.”
They ended up sleeping together and going out to parties together where the man would get Ben drunk and give him drugs.
A few weeks later the man told Ben that if he wanted to continue staying with him, he’d have to sleep with some of his mates at tonight’s party.
“I didn’t have a choice, did I?! I didn’t have anywhere else to go and I didn’t want to get chucked out.
“It was horrible but I just drank loads and got wasted so I didn’t have to feel anything.”
This went on for a while until one evening Ben and the man got into a drunken fight on the street outside a pub. The police were called and they were arrested.
"He knew I was underage so he told the police I’d tried to mug him. I didn't think they'd believe me because I’d been in trouble with them before.
"I wasn’t going to say anything but this one officer was nice and asked me if I was alright so I ended up telling him about me and this guy."
The older man was arrested and eventually jailed.
Ben was put in touch with a local support service where he received counselling for the abuse he suffered.
He was also helped back into education and training and is looking forward to getting his own place.
Ben's story is a fictional account based on the experiences of children in the UK who have been the victims of sexual exploitation.