December 4 2013 Latest news:
Jessica Earnshaw, Reporter
Saturday, August 31, 2013
A young Chigwell woman, who was sexually abused as a child, is helping teenagers who have been through something similar to herself.
Lucy Dalby, 23, is a mentor and ambassador at the charity Step Up.
It was founded by her mum, Shelley, 10 years ago, after Lucy was abused by family friend, Anthony King.
Her work with young people who have also been abused has earned her a nomination for the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.
She said: “When I was younger, children always wanted to talk to me about their abuse and ask me questions. So when I was older I started to make home visits and talk to people about what they had been through and find out how I could help.
“In a way I am glad it happened to me as if it had happened to someone else who wasn’t as strong, they wouldn’t have been able to act positively and help others using their own experiences.”
When Lucy was eight years old, King, who had known her parents for 20 years, was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a child and one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child.
She said: “I don’t think anything can shock me anymore, I’ve definitely developed a thick skin. People often want to talk to me about the abuse I faced and discuss how I overcame it, and what my relationships are like now.
“People say that those who have been abused, go on to abuse, which makes me incredibly angry. I really want to change people’s attitudes and show that, with the right help, you can have a normal life.”
Lucy’s work with the charity also sees her go into schools and raise awareness of abuse and teach people how to spot the signs.
Speaking of her nomination, Lucy added: “I am completely shocked, I thought it was a joke. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything.”
To find out more about the work of charity Step Up, visit stepupcharity.org.uk.