Manchester

Girl urges domestic abuse victims to get help

A teenage girl from Greater Manchester who was abused by her step-father has urged victims of domestic violence to seek help.

Brooke (who has been given a different name to protect her identity), aged 15, also witnessed her mother being abused.

She is backing a Greater Manchester Police campaign against domestic violence, launched on Valentine's Day.

"I just want children to know that you are not the only one going through it," she said.

Brooke said her step-father had held her family hostage with a heroin needle one Christmas Eve and tried to throw her sister from a motorway bridge.

'Extremely brave'

"It started when I was about 10 and it got worse and worse and worse," she said.

"It just started with shouting and then my mum tried to hide that.

"Then he just didn't care - he hit my mum in front of anyone. He would try to sexually abuse her, he would pin her down.

"She used to try to fight back, to try to get us upstairs."

She said her step-father had made her feel weak, alone, and that she had done something wrong.

Greater Manchester Police said Valentine's Day was a "timely reminder that victims of domestic abuse don't have to suffer in silence".

Det Supt Phil Owen said: "This young girl has been extremely brave in coming forward to tell her story and it reminds us of the impact this crime has on many children, who feel they have nowhere to turn to for advice."

He added: "We are determined to send a clear message that there is no excuse at any time for domestic abuse."

Mr Owen said the force had specialist domestic abuse officers to give victims support.

Police are placing giant Valentine's cards in each of Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs and are urging people to sign them.

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