When I was 17 years old, I met a man on an Internet chat room. I had just recently come out to my friends and family as gay and I was looking for friendship and support. We chatted for a couple of months and I eventually agreed to meet him in Sheffield. He sounded really nice and said all the things that I needed to hear. When I met him he was nearly twice my age, but that didn’t matter, by that time I was hooked and soon I had moved in with him.
I had been living with him for about two weeks when he came in and told me that he had arranged for me to meet a client who would be paying to have sex with me. When I said I wouldn’t and that I didn’t understand why he was asking me to do this, he started to threaten me. He was shouting at me saying that he would kill me if I didn’t. He also threatened to hurt my family and friends. I was really scared and then he hit me and this was the start.
After the first time I thought it would get easier but it never did. I felt like I had to protect my family not only from the threats of violence but also from finding out what my life had become over such a short period of time. He would take all the money off me every time I had seen a client. I was dependent on him for everything and too scared to tell anyone what was going because he was so violent and strong. A week didn’t go by without me getting beaten up.
One time he beat me up because a client had taken half of his money back when I wasn’t looking. He beat me until I was black and blue on my chest and legs, I was in agony but I was still made to see another client that same night.
I managed to get away from him in February, when I said I was going to meet my friend at Meadowhall who had just had a baby. He wasn’t OK with it but I still went along with my story that I was meeting her and he eventually agreed. I actually went to the Central Sheffield Police station and talked to some DC’s who were from the Vice Team and told them what had been happening. They asked me what I wanted to do and I told them I wanted to get as far away from him as possible. They asked me if I wanted to take the matters further like pressing charges. I said no for my own well being and for my families and friends as well. I left all my possessions behind in Sheffield and only had the clothes I was stood in. The DC’s then took me to my friends in Doncaster where I stayed until I moved to Bradford.
My experience helped me to see that I want to go to university to study Youth and Community Development and eventually work with young people who are experiencing CSE or other pressures to help them achieve their dreams & aspirations.