Between the ages of four and ten, Jesmin was repeatedly raped by her alcoholic father and her father’s friends. On numerous occasions, she witnessed her mother, who had mental health problems, being severely beaten by her father. Before her transition to secondary school the full horrors of Jesmin’s experiences began to reveal themselves during periods in and out of foster care and residential placements. She started to self-harm, using knives to cut her legs, arms and stomach. She started to place herself in risky situations, associating with drug dealers and others who preyed on her vulnerability.
By the time Jesmin came to Caldecott at the age of fifteen, she had been gang raped and attacked on multiple occasions; she had spent a period on a psychiatric ward and in a secure unit. A number of professionals had assessed Jesmin and attempted to offer support, but this was either short-lived or terminated because Jesmin was reluctant to engage.
For the staff at Caldecott, Jesmin’s story was particularly overwhelming and difficult to hear. However, slowly she began to establish a strong bond with her key worker, Carol, and eventually became robust enough to cope with structured therapy sessions. With individual care and support, she began to open up, reduce her self-harming and re-engage with education.
Jesmin left Caldecott after three years and is living semi-independently, though she still keeps in touch with Carol especially. She is making good progress and hopes to attend college next year.
When 12-year-old Sarah arrived at Caldecott, it was hardly surprising that her trust in adults was shattered. She had suffered severe sexual abuse at the hands of her father, but was then adopted by people who she thought would give her safe and secure love. But the abuse started all over again……
She was so traumatised that she couldn’t communicate, beyond a frightened squeaking noise. She couldn’t relax or play, because she didn’t know how to.
Sarah was immediately placed in Caldecott’s nurture class and had a high level of therapeutic support. With this individual care, attention and teaching slowly helped her to open up, and learn how to talk to grown-ups and other children.
Sarah left Caldecott after five years. She went into the entertainment business, has appeared several times on TV, and is being given professional singing tuition.
Sarah understands how Caldecott helped her rebuild her life, and stays in regular contact with her former teachers and key workers.