Danny's Story - Grooming
I just didn’t know, I still don’t, about who I am. If I fancy boys, or not, or if I should have been a girl. I just don’t know. It’s hard to explain.
I was 11 when I first got onto social media, ones that my parents didn’t know about. One that was about exploring who you are. I needed it. I just didn’t feel right.
I was going to my bedroom a lot, but mum and dad kept coming in. I was talking a lot to adults, after all they understand me. My parents don’t. It helps to find out who I am and explore who I am. I shared a few ‘dick pics’ – he liked them. It’s great to be noticed for once.
Pete understands me, and I’m going to meet him next week. I’m meeting someone else at a hotel as well. I can’t seem to get on with people my own age, I’m just so shy. I’m nervous, but it feels right. I’m going to go.
Later: I don’t know what to do or say. He’s not 14 like I thought he was. He’s 35. I’ve met him load now and we do things – but I’m torn between craving getting some attention for once and being confused if it’s the right thing.
I guess I’m questioning it, and still coming to terms with the relationship not being what I thought. But I’m not normal, right? I’m gay. Aren’t I? Is this normal?
Later, a parents’ view:
We constantly question what we could have done to prevent this from happening. The Police said that this same person had raped another boy; someone else that was struggling with his sexual identity.
Ben can’t yet see that he’s being blackmailed and coerced. We’re trying to get him counselling. If only we’d just been more aware of privacy settings, and had a chat with him. I might have all been different.
If you’re not sure. If you feel something’s not right, speak to someone who can help, just in case.