Shannon* was 14 when she was referred to SWYS's Youth Crime Prevention program by Police.
Shannon* was fourteen when she was referred to SWYS's Youth Crime Prevention program by Police.
Life took at tragic turn when Shannon lost her father in a horrific car accident when she was 12. Dealing with the grief and loss of her father is hard for anyone, but it was a particular blow to Shannon at such a young age.
When life finally started to resemble some form of peace for Shannon another tragedy occurred: she was sexually assaulted on her way home from school.
She soon started using drugs and alcohol, and was self-harming to deal with the mountain of pain she felt inside. She became known as the angry girl at school, amongst her friends and at home.
Shannon was expelled from mainstream schooling; her relationship with her mum was not supportive and her physical and mental health were beginning to deteriorate. Shannon started attending a behavioural school and began working with a case worker from the Youth Crime Prevention Program. Shannon had struggled to connect with anyone before but this time it was different: she really wanted to change the destructive path she was on.
With the intensive support that this program provides, life for Shannon started to improve. Shannon and the case worker began working together on her self-esteem, emotional awareness, drug and alcohol harm minimisation, self-harm reduction strategies and getting her education back on track.
Three months after entering the program, Shannon and her mum reconnected. They began spending time together working on craft projects; something that neither of them could have ever envisioned.
Shannon is also linked in with counselling support on a fortnightly basis where she is learning how to deal with the pain inside in productive ways.
The school she now attends reports that Shannon's behaviour has been remarkable and that she now applies herself to school work and is not the angry girl that they first met.
*name has been changed for privacy reasons