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  • Published 20130424
  • ISBN: 9781922079978
  • Extent: 288 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TINA IS BEAUTIFUL and hopeful, but she tells me she checked herself into hospital at the age of nine to escape her stepfather’s sexual abuse. She says she had no idea this desperate cry for help would lead to many years in foster care and eventually to living on the streets. Her teens were full of worries about where she would live, often fearful of becoming homeless again. Short stays with relatives frequently led to fights, so she’d move on. Later, when Tina was in a relationship, there were fights with her boyfriend, which at times led to physical violence. They were now working this out, she tells me assuredly.

Her big break, her second chance at a normal life, came when she received a placement at a youth accommodation service in Liverpool, which provided enough stability for her to finish high school and get a job in a childcare centre. Now, despite all the trauma of her twenty years, Tina is studying at university to realise her dream of becoming an early childhood teacher. She and her boyfriend volunteer with the State Emergency Service and she imagines a future in which she will give back to a society where, she says, there are still so many things going wrong for girls.

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