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A lot of changes started to happen to Callum…

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At 14 Callum was starting to notice changes in his body, his body shape was changing and he was starting to have erections. His school mates were changing too, talking about girls and sex but he knew he was different, he was having feelings for other boys and he began to think he was gay.

But who could he turn to?…

He knew he couldn’t tell his parents, he was sure they would kick off or tell him he was too young for such thoughts and feelings and he did not dare mention it at school because he feared being bullied if he did.

Feeling alone and desperate to talk to someone about his feelings Callum began to search online for friendship, just someone to talk to, someone who might be feeling the same as him. He soon found a few gay chat sites and started talking to people online, it was great to finally be able to talk to people who just ‘got it’.

One new chatroom friend, Mark talked more and more to Callum, he listened to all of his worries and Callum looked forward to logging on and chatting with him.

Turned out that Mark had gone through the same feelings when he was young but was now living his life as a gay young man without any problems or regrets.

Callum really liked his new friend and began to feel he was in a relationship with him…

Their online friendship started to get really close and Mark started telling Callum how much he liked him, even suggesting that they could meet up sometime over the next few weeks.

As the relationship continued Mark asked Callum to send him pictures of himself, Callum sent a few ‘selfies’ and poses and Mark sent some back. It was not long before Mark asked for some topless shots (“show us your muscles”) and then naked shots, by now Calum felt he really knew Mark and was comfortable to take the photos that Mark asked for.

Eventually they arranged to meet up in person…

Mark said he would drive over and take him out somewhere where they could be alone, although Mark had never told Callum how old he was he had always known Callum was 14. When Mark pulled up to collect him Callum could see hew was much older than he had expected, Mark must have seen the surprise on Cullum’s face and told him he was only 24 and laughed it off telling Callum not to look so worried.

They drove for a little while and ended up on a quiet country road, where Mark pulled the car over, he then suggested that they get into the back of the car, and that they could have sex together, he said this would help Callum with his feelings.

In the back of the cramped car Mark told Callum what to do and how to do some sexual things, Mark did things to Callum too, some of those things hurt and he wanted to get out of the car but felt scared; what would Mark would say? Would he be angry? Where would he go? he was miles from home and in the dark.

When it was all over Mark drove Callum home and dropped him off in a nearby street. As he drove off he told Callum he would message him.

Callum never heard from Mark again…

Callum was confused and felt very alone. His mum noticed this change in his mood and tried her best to find out what was wrong, but the situation got worse at home until one day Callum felt he could not manage this feeling anymore, he didn’t want to feel like this for the rest of his life, so, he tried to kill himself.

The next couple of hours were absolute chaos, there was crying and shouting, the ambulance arrived…

The attempt to hurt himself was so serious that his mum had called 999 and an ambulance came out to him, the police also arrived at the house. Callum began to tell the police about Mark and what had happened the night that they had met up and gone out for a drive. Once the ambulance crew had gone and Callum was feeling up to it a worker from the police specialist CSE team came to speak to him and listen to his story. They made a referral into a project with specialists who were able to support him, they helped him understand that what Mark had done was wrong, they helped him understand he had been groomed, they helped him feel better about himself.

Mark had driven 200 miles to pick Callum up and lied about his age…

The police investigated Mark and what had happened, they looked through Cullum’s laptop and all the chatrooms and were able to see when and where Mark had ‘chatted’ from, even what device and internet browser he had used. They discovered that he lived 200 miles away from Callum and had driven for more than 4 hours the night he picked him up. It turned out he wasn’t 24 years old at all he was really 29 years old.

At court he was found guilty of grooming and the sexual offences against Callum and was sent to prison.

and now…

Callum has the love and support of his family, they didn’t kick off or tell him he was too young to be thinking about his sexuality, instead they have supported him and been happy to talk about things that Callum would have normally kept bottled up, they have helped him through the wait for the sentencing, school have been great, teachers are aware of the situation and have been able to support him, he even has a designated teacher who he feels comfortable to talk to and share any problems and worries with.