It’s no wonder they wanted to be invisible…
Lily* spent her whole life trying to be invisible – to the bullies at school and to the stepdad who starved her, beat her, and sexually abused her. It didn’t work.
Last Christmas, Lily and her older sister Jasmine* had no way to hide. There was nothing they could do to stop their stepfather from doing appalling things to them. Things no child should ever experience.
It was only when they came into the care of Barnardos that they could begin to build the trust and confidence they need to let themselves be seen again.
Sadly, Lily and Jasmine's story isn’t isolated. In Australia, 1 in 6 girls are physically or sexually assaulted by the age of 16^, and the impacts of child sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Many survivors endure hidden emotional scars that can put them at a very high risk of developing mental health issues.
*Models used and names changed to protect privacy. ^Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child Protection 2018/19.