A SWINDON beauty queen is using social media to help break the silence surrounding child abuse.

Terriann Evans, who has been crowned Miss Wiltshire Sovereign Great Britain, spent most of her childhood in foster care after suffering emotional and physical abuse.

The 20-year-old said: “School was also horrible, I was bullied every single day. I had hair removal cream put in my hair, people used to physically hit me and were verbally horrible to me.

“It didn’t really help with the situation at all so I had to just put up with it. It was like 24/7 torture when I was younger.

“It has been a secret for a huge part of my life, I only told my closest friend and her mum.”

Terriann lived in Stoke-on-Trent until the age of 15 moved to Swindon after winning a full scholarship to study at the Wilkes Academy.

She now lives with her partner, but is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Terriann said: “Sleeping is really hard for me because I wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares, but I just take sleeping medications at the moment.

“I just find that when I talk about it, it is helping me.”

She decided to open up to support other children and young people who are going through a similar ordeal.

With a new Facebook page – #neverfeelashamed – that she set up with her friend Becca Tasker, 27, Terriann wants to provide a safe place for people to talk about mental health issues and abuse.

“We have a private email address on there for people to confidentially message us with any problems that they have, and we will give advice and talk to them and actually understand what they are going through,” said Terriann.

“Sometimes when you are a child you have solicitors and social services who say they understand the situation but some of them have never been in this situation so they can’t help.”

The group, created last week, has already 50 members and has received some positive feedback.

Terriann added: “One woman said she is really grateful to be part of the group and that it actually helped her to sort her life out a little bit.

“We already have 50 members. We are looking to reach as many people as possible and change as many lives as we can. If we even help one person, our job is done.

“When I was younger, I didn’t get this kind of support, social media wasn’t a big thing.

“And now that everybody is using social media, we can use it for our advantage and it’s just an amazing feeling as we go worldwide and do what we want to do.”

Hometruths provides specialist services to survivors of domestic violence and abuse living in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Director Kim Swinden said: “There lots of reasons why people do not speak up or take a long time to do so.

“It is different reasons for everyone, but the common reasons are often due to fear, not realising they are being abused, not realising it’s something they can get help for, feeling ashamed, feeling isolated with no-one to turn to, maybe trying to speak about it but the person they share with doesn’t understand.”

Terriann, who once held the title of Ms Swindon Galaxy, is raising funds for the NSPCC and Caudwell Children in Stoke on Trent, which helps disabled and autistic youngsters and their families with practical and emotional support.

She added: “I also try and help the community as much as possible by volunteering.

“I have a lot of events lined up, like the MFor Festival on July 27, giving blood on July 30 and feeding the homeless.

“So far as a group we have raised over £400 for Caudwell Children but it won’t stop there.”

Terriann will be competing to become Miss Sovereign Great Britain on August 17.