I looked around the stark cell. A solid block doubled as a single bed. There was no electricity or fresh air. A tiny window sat behind external bars, with no curtain. To all intents and purposes, I was in a prison cell.
When Joni found out she was going to live in Beechwood Children’s Home, she thought it would be a welcome escape from her father’s violent beatings. But she soon learned she was in for an even worse hell. Every day brought new horrors, as the children were regularly humiliated, beaten and sexually abused. Many years later, unable to forget the scars of her past, she became a care home inspector so she could fight the system from within – little did she know how deep the corruption ran, and what they’d do to stop her.
This is Joni’s story of abuse; but it is also her battle cry.