Michaela's story How our Childline counsellors helped Michaela from 2002-14

Girl sitting by wall

My dad touched me inappropriately for the first time when I was 4 and when I was 5 he started to rape me. I didn't know it was wrong at the time. I didn't like it but he said 'if you tell anyone then the police will take you away for being bad'.

I was also witnessing my dad being violent towards my mum and there were often a lot of fights that got out of hand. One time he was violent to her and my granddad came in while she was lying on the floor and he punched my dad.

Other times the neighbours would scoop us up and take us to their houses to get us away from the violence.

"I didn’t talk to them about the sexual abuse at that time as I didn’t know that it was wrong."

I started to call Childline when I was 8. Because of everything that was happening, I was very angry and had a temper so I talked to them about that and the violence at home but I didn't talk to them about the sexual abuse at that time as I didn't know that it was wrong.

Later on I opened up to them about the sexual abuse and the fact that I was self-harming. The police were able to use the notes from my contacts to Childline and my dad was convicted.

Childline gave me a voice and honestly saved my life. On my darkest days they were there and even on my lighter days they were eager to hear when things were going well too. They were friends to me at my lowest time.


Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.

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