At aged 16 Jenny was raped by a man significantly older than her who she considered to be her boyfriend. In the aftermath she tried to carry on normally but she couldn’t. Jenny didn’t feel able to tell her family through a sense of guilt and shame. She became extremely depressed, self-harming, abusing alcohol and had thoughts of suicide.
After many years of one-to-one counselling and support from Barnardo’s, Jenny’s life has been transformed from a very dark place to one where she has now accepted that the rape was not her fault. Jenny’s self-esteem and confidence has increased significantly. She is emotionally stronger and more resilient and feels able to move on with her life. She says “being raped took 10 years of my life – I won’t let it take any more”.
Barnardo’s runs projects and schemes across the country supporting children, young people and families where abuse has happened. We offer therapy and counselling, and help support children through court proceedings. We also work to increase public awareness of sexual abuse and to help children and young people protect themselves.