Christmas is a great time for most people and we hope that everyone has a good festive time.
We hope though that you can spare a thought for young people who are currently experiencing abuse in their home, the place they live or on the streets. Most abusers are people known to the child and in a position of trust with them. Most young people never tell about abuse until they are older. Some young people flee from the abuse and risk life of the streets rather than live with abuse. Others simply suffer and tell no one. Why don’t they tell? Because they love the abuser. Because they fear child protection agencies. Because they have been silenced and taught not to tell. Because they are afraid of what might happen. There are so many reasons not to tell.
These young survivors are invisible and unknown to authorities. Having said that, we know that they are out there and can look out for them. We can let them know that we care. We can think about them and raise awareness about abuse.
We at 18u are in contact with some of these young people and we are able to provide them with someone to talk to in complete confidence. Though it can take a long time before the young survivors learn to trust us, having someone they can talk to breaks down the isolation. We are able to provide them with information such as where to charge a phone when you are living rough; how to get advocacy service or legal help; how to treat a wound or infection; how to get a termination; how to begin to talk about abuse; etc. There are so many things that young vulnerable people don’t know about, and they need a safe way to get this information. they need to be able to talk and trust someone.
More than anything, they need a fully confidential service so they can learn to trust. That’s what we provide!