Millie* was abused by an adult cousin from age five. She was well into her teens before she was able to tell someone, and the police able to act. That was when we began to support her.
As any five year old would, I put my trust in my cousin because he was an adult. But he took advantage of me and made me feel like it was all my fault. He said if I told anyone I wouldn’t be his ‘special little girl any more’, he also said I would go to prison and be in a lot of trouble.
Over the years it had been getting worse as he was doing more stuff to me. I was 17 before it stopped. When one of my young cousins came to visit I got worried about what might happen and wanted to protect her.
I spoke to my auntie and we went out in the car with my mum. I told them what had been happening. A few days later my mum phoned the police and they came and interviewed me and took statements.
It was a difficult time and my doctor put me in touch with Children 1st. Thanks to them I was able to confront my cousin and show him I’m in power not him.
Millie recently wrote to her Children 1st worker:
"I hope you understand this took a lot of courage and inspiration. I got all my inspiration from you. I really appreciate all the help you have gave me. If it wasn’t for you and Children 1st I don’t think I would have been here where I am today."
Abuse and neglect in childhood leave lasting emotional scars. Recovery is possible, with support. But it takes time, empathy, commitment and consistency.
- £10 could pay for art materials used in one-to-one abuse and trauma recovery sessions.
- £15 could pay for half an hour of call taking from ParentLine Scotland.
- £25 could pay for a therapeutic support session for a child who has experienced abuse and trauma to help them recover and move on.
* Names and some details have been changed. The image is of a model.