Tired of the endless rows, Hannah H finally gave in to the demands from her 11-year-old daughter to have a Facebook account.Little did she know that she had opened the door to a paedophile who lived in her town – and the events that followed were life-changing.
I don’t think she tells anyone about it, not because she’s ashamed, but because she hasn’t allowed it to define her.
I told her that I wanted to write this article, I asked her if it was ok, she looked at me thoughtfully and said: “Yes, I think you should,” and gave me one of her quiet smiles.
After it happened I took her phone off her, closed down her social media accounts and told her that she had to stay downstairs with the rest of the family. She became more involved with the family, she played with the younger children, cooked dinner with us and got back into reading again.
It wasn’t as a punishment, I just couldn’t think of any other option. We spent weekends in bookshops finding new authors and discussing characters. She would ask every now and again if she could have a new phone, I’d say no.
I realised at that point and too late that computers and phones should be downstairs, and used with supervision only.