At a time in her life when she should have been enjoying her childhood, Ellie found herself being taken advantage of sexually by a group of older men.
Ellie had been in and out of care from an early age as her mom, an alcoholic and a former drug user, had struggled to care for her. Unhappy with her life, by the time Ellie was 13 she was regularly going missing from home. Alone and vulnerable, it wasn’t long before she made friends with a group of girls who were at risk of sexual exploitation.
Thankfully it was around this time that Ellie was introduced to a project worker from Safe & Sound Derby. Funded by Comic Relief, the project aims to find and support children and young people who are at risk of, or who are being, sexually exploited through criminal practices.
At first Ellie was reluctant to speak to project worker Sam, as she felt ‘safe’ with the adults she was hanging out with. However, following an alleged sexual assault, Ellie contacted Sam for support. She revealed that she was spending lots of time with older men who gave her cannabis, cocaine and alcohol, and also had sex with her.
Sam is now working with Ellie to help her understand her vulnerabilities and the risks she faces. With Safe & Sound Derby’s help, Ellie has moved on with her life and whilst things aren’t always easy she no longer goes missing regularly from home. What’s more, three years on she is now taking part in positive activities with the project, and most importantly Ellie is no longer being exploited.
Please note: Whilst this story is true, the names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
“Thanks to her project worker’s support, Ellie is beginning to understand her vulnerabilities, and starting to engage in more positive activities.”