As part of our #NoAddressInThePress Campaign, where we are raising awareness of the harm that’s caused when private addresses are printed in the press, we spoke to a young person who was directly affected by an article about her father.
Can you remember what was printed?
When my dad went into prison, a newspaper article was released. The article included false information about my dad’s case as well as our street name, there was only 8 houses on our street, as well as the fact that my mum was standing by him, and that he had 4 children living at the home.
How did it make you feel?
At the time of the article, we were staying at my grandma’s house, I was scared. My mum didn’t want me to see the article but our neighbours and people we knew were sharing it online so of course I did.
After I read it, and I saw our address, I was terrified to go back home, I felt extremely unsafe.
There was a time I was scared to even take the bin outside cause it involved walking out my back door and though the back garden. All of the gardens were attached and during the summer our neighbours were outside a lot. Even walking up to Tesco, or to my bus stop to get to college, was enough to cause anxiety.
I was constantly in full alert, feeling like I had to watch my back.
With the article being posted online, I was terrified someone at my college would see it. It pushed me to be open about it, to get the upper hand, but it was terrifying because I wasn’t really ready to talk about it. But I had to.
Opening up to lecturers and asking for support, and why I needed it, was one of the scariest things, I just didn’t have any idea how anyone would react.
I was left with no choice but to talk about it, and to be open, because a journalist considered it to be other people’s business. It made me feel sick that it was considered okay to share all this information, especially with children living in the house.
I was 16 at the time, but my brother was 14, and my younger sisters were 5 and 6.
How did you come to the decision to move?
There was many factors that made us move, we knew we’d have to.
To start with, my sisters had moved school and we now live closer to their school. There was no way my dad would want to go back to where we lived previously. We also moved to be closer to my family because at the time my grandma was really ill.
My dad is actually due to be released soon and I’m scared for that will be said this time around, even though we have moved out of my old town, I’m scared a new article will post our new street name and location and the entire process will happen again.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Under article 16, the UNCRC states that I have a RIGHT to a private family life. I have a RIGHT to privacy unless it’s something that could potentially cause me harm.
This lack of privacy…this information that was put out there, that article, took that right away from me at the age of 16 and put me and my family in harm’s way.