Emma’s Story Transcript
"I was just hanging around at the park with my mates when I met Dave. I’d seen him driving past a few times, he was really good looking. I couldn’t believe it when he came over to talk to me.
"He offered to take me for a drive in his car, said it was cooler than hanging around the swings with my friends all night.
We had a laugh and got on really well. He said he really liked me and that I was really different to the other girls he knew. He started to turn up every night. He'd take me out in his car. We'd go out for pizza or we’d just sit and chat.
"Dave was so generous, he was always buying me presents like a top up card for my phone, he said that I could get in touch with him if I needed to. My friends were really jealous, I started hanging round with them less and less, because I had so much more fun with Dave. He’d text me and email me all the time, he was really interested in what I was doing and who I was with.
"My mum was being really nosey. She was always wondering who I was texting and why I was on the internet so much. She was so overprotective, having a go at me just because I was a bit late home.
"I really liked Dave, he understood me. And he was always buying me new things - new clothes and jewellery. My mum said I was acting different, but I just thought I was a bit more grown up. Dave liked me to dress a certain way but I didn’t mind, I just like to keep him happy.
"He took me to really cool parties with all his friends. They were all really nice and I had a really good time. Dave even gave me beer and vodka, but he said it didn’t matter. he said I was mature for my age. He said it would make me have a better time.
"My parents used to go mad when I didn’t come home until the morning after but I didn’t care, I wanted to spend all my time with Dave. Sometimes I’d stay at Dave’s for a few days. We’d just hang around his flat. Mum even reported me missing to the police but I thought she was just over-reacting.
"But after a while things started to change. Dave started to get really jealous if I spoke to anyone else or wanted to see my friends. He said they didn’t understand me like he did and they didn’t really want to spend time with me. But he bought me a brand new phone, but only he had the new number and he kept my old sim card. I thought because he loved me so much that he just wanted me all to himself.
"But one day Dave asked me to do something for him, he said he owed his friend some money but if I was nice to this friend he would let him off. I wasn’t sure what he meant but something didn’t seem right.
"Then I realised he wanted me to have sex with him, I didn’t want to, but Dave said it would be ok. He said it would really help him out, and I just wanted to make him happy. It was awful, I just cried and cried and was so relieved when it was over. But it didn’t stop there, Dave changed. He became really aggressive and I was so scared that he would hurt me that I just did what he said.
"I had to drink to block out what was happening. I didn’t know what to do. Dave said there was no point telling anyone. They said they wouldn’t believe me and I would get in trouble for making things up.
"Things got worse and worse, I felt worthless and so alone. Dave started getting violent. He even punched me in the face when I asked why he was being like this. I couldn’t believe that someone I thought loved me could turn into a monster and treat me like this.
"I didn’t want to go to the police. I was scared I thought they’d say it was my fault, and I was scared what Dave would do if he found out . But Mum called them for me. The next day an officer came to my house. She was really nice. She didn’t judge me. She was really understanding. She told me none of this was my fault, and I was the victim of child sexual exploitation and they would help me.
"My mum felt really bad that she hadn’t realised what was happening. She said she knew something wasn’t right but never imagined things could get as bad as they were."