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Emma Lewis

I am a community development worker from Swansea.

I didn’t get the perfect start in life. My mother was fighting her own battles with addiction and she couldn’t keep me safe.  I was taken into care when I was 10. I struggled in my foster placements and desperately wanted to be home with my mother and stepfather.

I first disclosed the sexual abuse I’d experienced at the hands of a family member when I was just 12. I was about to become a teenager, and I was with my friends when it all came out.  At that age, I didn’t have the right words to fully explain what had happened to me, or the tools to make sure something was done about it.

I left care at 18 to live independently with no qualifications and few people to guide me. My life was turbulent and unstable.

In 2011, with the crucial and invaluable support of others in Swansea, I co-founded the Roots Foundation. I now lead a team of development workers and volunteers who support young people leaving care to ensure they get the help they need.

Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse don’t always have a place to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings especially in Wales which has lots of rural communities. I want to hear what victims and survivors have to say and act as a voice for them.

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