My name is Jade. I am 32 years old and I grew up in and out of care, suffering emotional, physical and mental abuse at the hands of my birth mother, and stepfather and then by my foster mother. My daily ordeal involved suffering regular beatings, being starved of food, being made to sleep on the floor naked, constantly watched whilst I showered, having my hair cut off, being called a ‘slag’ repeatedly from the ages of 12-15 years old, which resulted in suffering acute body issues and having a breast reduction at 17 – the youngest girl in Britain to undergo such surgery on the NHS.
After 5 years of physical and mental abuse it were only when my foster mother slammed a door on my arm and teachers refused to send me home, did social services act and remove me from the house of horror.
From the age of 15 I spent a couple of years in a state of depression and confusion even attempting to take my own life. In hindsight I know I did not want to die, I just wanted the pain to stop. I struggled to understand why adults who were meant to love, nuture and protect children could cause the damage they did. Additionally, the authorites ignored every incident, even documenting and stating they would have no other placement for me if they removed me from my foster carers care.
In 2015 I decided to access my social work files, to which I saw that local authorities had ample opportunities to remove me not only from foster carers care, but my own mothers and step fathers. They had repeatedly ignored and failed to act and protect myself from the age of 4. From reading my files I realised I needed to act and these authories needed to be held accountable for their failings. I launched a claim against 2 councils, Lancashire Social Services which “compensated” me in 2018, and Rochdale MBC who “compensated” me in May 2020. In 2016 I decided to put pen to paper and write about my life in The Bad Room.
I am a qualified fitness instructor and trained dance teacher and spent eight years as a Business Development Executive to a leading training provider delivering apprenticeships in the HMP, NHS and Education Sector.
I fought for years to make something of my life and not become another lost cause in the social service system. I want this story to come from a place of strength. I want anyone who reads my book and has experienced the same failings in the system to find strength in not being a victim. Everyone has a choice – whether they let their past define them and their future. I hope my story helps people find the strength to fight for what they want in life. I will dedicate the rest of my life to helping other victims to find their voice and changing a flawed system.
The Bad Room
The Bad Room by Jade Kelly | Waterstones
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