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"I have for 2 years had a lot of support from Devon Rape Crisis. They have been a lifeline for me whilst I have tried to come to terms with the abuse I suffered as a child but which continued into adulthood. I have always wondered how my life would of been if I had support as a child. Would I have told someone of my abuse meaning it ended sooner? Would the support back then mean my abuse has a lesser impact on me today? If I could of spoken out about my abuse as a child could I have helped my brother too? The sad fact is I won't ever know. It's too late for me as a child or young woman to get support as it simply didn't happen & I can't turn back the clock. There was no support full stop. I was alone being abused with no one to turn to for help. I was trapped and continued to be trapped for many years. I found out on Facebook that Devon Rape Crisis wanted to help young women under the age of 18. Because I often look back on how lonely and desperate I was as a child and young woman I decided to start fundraising myself. I originally decided to set myself a target of £1000 but have so far raised £5000. My flat has often looked like I'm hosting a jumble sale and I'm constantly collecting donations, selling donations and delivering donations. It takes a lot of my time but it gives me a sense of purpose. If I can help in a small way make sure teenage girls have a place to go for support I will be happy. If my fundraising means that it helps one young girl get away from abuse earlier than she would without support it will be worth it. I know from the suppot I have had as an adult how much it can help and I am sure the staff at the centre would be sensitive to the needs of younger women & girls helping them regain control of their lives. I'm not sure when I will stop fundraising, I guess when we eradicate abuse of all types and there is no need for such services. Until that day I will continue to do the small amount I can to help.

Each year I am honoured to meet up with Fee and do something together to mark the anniversary of a very tragic and personal loss. This meet up always means a great deal to me and it gives me the chance to acknowledge my loss with another person who cares. It helps make a very difficult and sad time more bearable and highlights the fact the service don't just stop caring when face to face support ends. During times when I am likely to struggle more I am grateful of the support I still receive. I can manage better knowing there is a safe person who when the time comes will stand by me."

'M'

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