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  • I'm inspired by Benjamin to write you something about some of the kids I used to work with. I used to work in a children's home. The bad kind. The kind for 11 to 17 year-olds with "challenging behaviour". Every day we would write short reports on their activities, and the word I came to use most often was "inappropriate".

    Today I'll tell you a bit about Libby. Not her real name. I'm not allowed to tell you anything about her which could lead to her identification.

    Libby came to us aged 14, when she was thrown out of the house - literally - by her mother, together with a black bin liner full of her clothes.

    Libby was red haired and freckled and full of spirit - and had been abused since she was very small, by a series of men who were her mother's partners. She first came to the attention of social services at the age of two, when she was "thrown upstairs" and seriously hurt by one of these nasty guys (thrown upstairs? I still have a problem with this concept)

    When she was seven, her mother's then partner was jailed for seven years for sexually abusing Libby.

    You do the sum... seven plus seven.

    When Libby was fourteen, she was discovered in the act of sexually abusing a two year old girl.

    She never spoke about it, but she wrote down, for the benefit of a psychologist, her reasons for committing this dreadful act.

    "I wanted someone else to know how I felt"

    Also the fact that her abuser was about to leave prison may have been a factor...

    I have more to tell you about Libby. She was brave, clever and much more lovely than she knew. But I'll leave it for another day, when I'll tell you how and why she left us. She wrote me a letter, when she left, and I still carry it around with me.
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