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I was sexually assaulted by my counsellor – the one person that was supposed to help me

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Every now and then I remember fleeting moments of the events that took place in the small windowless ‘counselling room’ in 1989 – where I was assaulted.The flashbacks of my assault are vivid; re-lived by a recent application I made to volunteer in supporting LGBT+ youth – in the same city I received my ‘counselling’ – just a street away from where the incident took place.

In the summer of 1987, I was a 15-year-old working a paper round and thinking about how to explore my sexuality. It was a time when the AIDS epidemic was at its height and homophobia was rife in the UK.

The age of consent for gay people was 21, and young people like me were living under Section 28 – a law that prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in educational settings.

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