In 2013, a series of high-profile court cases sent shockwaves through the West Midlands town of Telford.
Seven men, all from the town’s Pakistani heritage community, were jailed for selling vulnerable young girls for sex.
The convictions made national news, but for one girl the chilling headlines were all too real. Holly Archer was just fourteen when her life changed forever after becoming embroiled in a frightening web of exploitation and abuse. Enduring countless violent rapes and death threats, she was forced to sleep with several men a night. As her abusers’ grip tightened, she fell into despair, twice becoming pregnant. Hours after her last GCSE exam, Holly took an overdose in a desperate attempt to end the nightmare that had become her life.
Her escape eventually came when, old enough to leave home, she fled to Birmingham. She moved house every six months, fearing her abusers would hunt her down. She eventually found the strength to return to Telford shortly after giving birth to a daughter, around the same time the police launched an investigation into the exploitation of young girls in the town. She underwent hours of rigorous police interviews but in the end decided she could not face her abusers in court.
Nonetheless, seven men were convicted of sex offences and jailed as a result of the investigation. Holly slowly began to pick up the pieces of her life and was given a job with a rape prevention charity. Having survived her ordeal, she now tells her full, shocking story for the first time.
I Never Gave My Consent is a courageous yet uplifting memoir of someone who faced the cruelest of circumstances. Perfect for readers of Cathy Glass.