Sally (first name) lived a completely peaceful life before a stranger revealed to her a terrible secret about her daughter, of whom she has always been very proud. “I felt like the luckiest mother in the world because my 14-year-old daughter is kind, polite and very talented in sport,” she confided in a letter addressed to Deidre Sanders, journalist for The Sun. This bubble of happiness was unfortunately shattered. One day, the mother received an anonymous letter telling her that her offspring was prostituting herself: “I am 46 years old and I cannot tell you how worried I am. Since I found out, I can’t eat or sleep anymore.”

Distraught, Sally now racks her brain for clues. In particular, she began to observe her daughter. Over time, she quickly noticed a drastic change in her behavior: “Lately she’s been buying a lot of clothes and make-up. She spends a lot of time with her friends too. She’s never been interested in boys before but it seems that she hangs out more and more with a group of slightly older boys now.” Completely lost, the mother of the family asked for advice on broaching this subject with her daughter: “How to talk to her about it? I don’t even know where to start.”

Open a frank discussion with his daughter

In her letter of response, Deidre Sanders first wanted to warn the mother of the family: “Keep in mind that this person may have contacted you to be malicious. The attitude you describe is completely normal for a teenager and may well be harmless.” The latter, however, encouraged her to bring up the subject: “You still have to make sure that she is safe and not exploited. Choose a quiet moment where you will not be interrupted. And to conclude that she could also appeal to the NSPCC, the national society for the prevention of cruelty to children. A UK charity specializing in child protection.

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