Adam is working with Fixers to tackle sexual abuse
Adam hopes his story will encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak out
Lance Blackwood from Street Teams
‘When I was nine my family and I went to Pakistan for a holiday and that’s where I was abused by a family member. It destroyed every sense of confidence I had. I felt disgusting and I felt lowly and impure.’
Adam Shaikh didn’t tell anyone what had happened to him for nine years.
The relative has since died and Adam, now 19, is sharing his story to encourage anyone going through the same thing to tell someone.
Fixers arranged for Adam to tell his story on ITV News Central on March 9.
‘I kept quiet because I was afraid,’ he says. ‘Mainly because I was scared that nobody would believe me. I felt really negative about myself and it brought me to the stage when I tried to take my life.’
Eventually, after reading stories online of other young people talking about their experience of abuse, Adam, from Smethwick, West Midlands, mustered the courage to tell his parents.
‘They were incredibly supportive,’ he says. ‘It was as if a huge burden was lifted off of my chest and it was as if I could finally breathe because now that someone knew, I could kind of relax and not carry the blame by myself.
‘This is a wake-up message for those who are dealing with similar situations to me. Speak to someone, let it out. Speak to an adult. Speak to someone you trust and you will be able to get through it.’
Adam spoke to Lance Blackwood from Street Teams, a charity which works with children and young people at risk of and affected by sexual exploitation.
Lance says: ‘We have a saying that abuse thrives in secrecy and what we mean by that is that if a young person who is being abused by somebody keeps quiet about it, the chances are that abuser thinks they are safe and will go on abusing other children.
‘So it’s important that someone speaks out and says this has happened to me, this person is doing that to me, to put an end to the abuse.’