Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Give Young People a Brighter Future; NSPCC HELPED JAMIE, 15, START HIS LIFE AGAIN

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Give Young People a Brighter Future; NSPCC HELPED JAMIE, 15, START HIS LIFE AGAIN

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter sonia.sharma@trinitymirror.com @Sharminator

A TEENAGER has told how a charity helped to turn his life around after he was sexually assaulted by other students at his school.

Jamie, who was 15 when it happened, says some boys in his year had started picking on people, bullying them and humiliating them in front of others.

The youngster tried to distance himself from the bullies but they soon turned on him too.

He said: "It was just words at first but things started to get more physical. It would happen everywhere, in lessons, at lunchtime, at every opportunity really to make me feel small.

"I would try and ignore it but it left me feeling angry and alone. I hated them for it.

"Like the bullying, the sexual assaults took place in front of others. It's hard to look back on it now, the feelings of anger, shame and humiliation were so intense. It's difficult to describe them.

"I was just so angry. I'd never felt that so strongly before. After the first assault I sat in the toilets for about an hour not knowing what to do, trying to control myself. When I came out they were there waiting for me and they assaulted me again.

"It was like once they had done it they could do it again, anytime. I went to tell someone straight away. I knew then that things wouldn't be the same again."

Jamie says he couldn't go back to school after that and "totally shut down".

He didn't see his friends and would hardly speak or eat.

"Nothing felt good," he added. "I just spent time alone in my room. I struggled to sleep at night and when I did I had really aggressive dreams and they really scared me.

"They were all about what I would do to the boys if I saw them again. I didn't feel in control. I got flashbacks too - it was like it was always going to be there inside my head like I was some kind of prisoner."

However, Jamie was given help through the NSPCC's Letting The Future In service, which supports children who have been sexually abused.

He said his NSPCC practitioner was very patient with him and over time he was able to open up and talk about his feelings at therapy sessions. He found that writing things down helped him to express his feelings.

"I found this a good way to explain how I felt when I couldn't say the words," said Jamie. "It wasn't what I expected and that surprised me.

"We didn't just talk about what happened. We talked about loads of stuff. The therapy sessions helped me understand more about some of my own family relationships. Slowly, I started to make sense of it all.

I know sceptical but talking did It helped out who "Looking back now I'm so much happier, I have gone back to school and I am planning for the future. If you had told me that a year ago I wouldn't have believed you. …

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