A student at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has appeared on ITV London News urging people to speak out against sexual abuse.
Ackley Da Silva, 17, featured in a report on the programme on 13 September to talk about a film she made with Fixers, an organisation that gives young people a voice to make a positive difference on issues important to them.
The powerful film called Step Into the Light features an actor portraying an abuse victim struggling to talk about what happened as they relive their ordeal through flashbacks.
Ackley explained in the ITV report how she hopes it will empower young people to speak up if they have been going through sexual abuse.
She said: “The idea of this project came from discovering that so many young people have been through this in the North East London community.
“People tend not to speak about sexual abuse because they feel they might not be believed, they might feel ashamed or guilty about what’s happened to them.”
In the report she interviewed two anonymous victims about the horrific ordeals they endured and how they struggled to tell anyone about the abuse.
One said: “It ruined any relationship I tried to get into because it’s always the memory of it being there.
“I did in a way blame myself for going to someone’s house I didn’t know, but after that I realised I was just a kid.”
Another said: “I couldn’t tell anyone, I couldn’t do anything, and when I had the courage to tell someone the person I told didn’t believe me.”
Ackley is studying an Applied Science Diploma Level 2 at CONEL following a Prince’s Trust course during which she got involved in the community project.
“We want to encourage young people to tell their story and seek expert advice,” she told ITV News.
If one person speaks out about what they’ve been through, it has been a mission accomplished for me.”
Step Into the Light is currently in post-production and expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
- Last Updated: 11 October 2017