A WOMAN raped three times as a schoolgirl is urging other victims not to suffer in silence.
Danielle Armitage has spoken about her harrowing ordeal in a powerful video which has received more than 18,000 views in just one week.
The brave 20-year-old who suffered further abuse from another man is now rebuilding her life with a new partner in their first home together in Runcorn.
She has waived her right to anonymity to help combat the stigma surrounding sexual abuse.
Her life was shattered after she was groomed online when she was only 14.
Posing as a friend on a children’s website, the perpetrator, who was in his late 40s, picked her up from school and lured her into a terrifying web of sexual abuse.
“He started taking photographs and then asked me to take my clothes off,” said Danielle, who has waived her right to anonymity to raise awareness. “It was physical abuse in the end.”
“He said if I told anyone my family would get into trouble. One evening my dad took my phone off me and went through my messages.
“I woke up the following morning and the police were downstairs. I was terrified. I thought my family was in danger.
“The first time I felt safe was when they told me he was in custody.”
Her attacker was jailed for five years in 2012 for three counts of rape but, sadly, Danielle had been left scarred and traumatised.
“It was a nightmare,” she said. “I dropped out of school and failed most of my exams because I was bullied. People spread rumours and I was called a prostitute.
“I’d lost all confidence and trust with most people.”
She fell prey to another attacker and suffered three years in an abusive relationship with a drug addict.
“He dragged me by the hair and stuck my head in the sink,” she said.
“If I didn’t get up, he’d drag me out of bed by my ankles. He took every penny I had for drugs. I’m still trying to repay the debt.
“I had bruises but I was too scared to go to the doctor’s. He isolated me from all my family and friends.”
One day she plucked up the courage to escape and has never looked back.
She received professional counselling and now works as a care assistant.
“There are people out there who can help you,” said Danielle, who is still on medication for depression and anxiety.
“Although it is hard and will take time, you can get your life back and you will smile again and be happy.”
Danielle is now enjoying life with a new partner. Her confidence has been boosted after she was selected as a finalist in the Miss Cheshire contest.
“I never thought I could do something like this,” she said. “My new partner is extremely understanding and very supportive,” she said.
“The main point of my video is to focus on the most horrifying forms of abuse.
“There are 57,000 children in need of protection and 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped every year.
“These statistics are devastating. Don’t suffer in silence, speak out.”
Danielle is raising money for Variety, the charity for disabled children.