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By supporting us, you will transform the life of a child like Emma...

Unloved, lonely and isolated, Emma was targeted by an abuser. Emma thinks she was seven or eight the first time it happened.

"I don’t like to remember, it hurts. But I do know that after that I started behaving badly at school, I didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I ended up running away when I was 14. I was sleeping rough and staying on friends’ sofas. Everyone had let me down and I didn’t want to get hurt anymore. I met an older man who I believed loved me and all I wanted was to be loved by someone."
The man Emma met and believed to be her ‘boyfriend’ was in his early 30s. He showered her with attention, gifts, alcohol and drugs.
"I really thought he loved me, I would have done anything for him."
Emma managed to run away and was found by the police, but she was too distressed to give her story. However, the police put the young girl in touch with a Barnardo’s worker, who managed to gain her trust and slowly Emma began to reveal her true story.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a major child protection issue across the UK. Hidden from view and going unnoticed, vulnerable young girls and boys are groomed via the Internet and are then abused, leaving them traumatised and scarred for life.

Read more about Barnardo's CSE support services and their CSE research and lobbying activities.

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