A 16-year-old girl whose family fear for her life have been forced to take drastic action, locking her in a wooden box for her own safety.
The teenager, from a rural town in NSW lives with her mother, Emma and two siblings. On the outside she appears much like any other teenager, but in order to stop her harming herself and others this young girl is locked in a wood-lined bedroom – essentially a box – barren of all other furniture except a mattress.
Her mum, Emma Perry has told current affairs show Today Tonight she has no other choice after Stephanie attempted to commit suicide 12 times in just two years.
Stephanie is locked in the small room each night and often during the day. Via Today Tonight.
When Stephanie was a child she was sexually abused, leaving her with mental health issues difficult to control.
As her mental health issues escalated Stephanie began to hurt herself and others and found herself turning everyday objects into dangerous weapons.
Emma, a single mum of three, tried to get help, but found mental health services in her area lacking and time and time again Stephanie was sent home for Emma to keep safe.
With no other option she was forced to take drastic action.
“We have turned her room into what we class as a safe room,” Emma told Today Tonight.
The windows boarded up, the cupboard the teen tried to hurt herself in disassembled and removed. Her dresser and pretty bed taken out. All her belongings gone.
Instead the room, now lined with plywood is locked each night and whenever Emma feels Stephanie may be unsafe.
The windows boarded up, the cupboard she tried to hurt herself in removed. Her dresser and pretty bed taken out. All her belongings gone.. Image via Today Tonight.
“I don't want to do it, I feel horrible for doing it, I feel like I'm not doing my job as a mum, because I shouldn't have to do it” says Emma.
The 43-year-old says she has no other choice.
“Am I going to get there (into the bedroom) and she's not going to still be with us?”
'”Is this the time I’m going to have to say goodbye?”
Her mother says she has been forced to lock the garage and sheds on their property so that Stephanie doesn’t attempt to harm herself deliberately in them, in their home she has been forced to board up the windows. So that Stephanie cannot access the glass.