A harrowing autobiography by a Romanian woman who was abused throughout her childhood and turned her life around thanks to a Trowbridge charity has gone on sale.

Coming out of the Shadows is about 26-year-old Roxana, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, and the abuse and servitude she suffered in her early life – as well as nearly being forced to move to Italy to work as a prostitute.

Eventually, through working with Romanian support project The Way of Joy, funded by Hilperton-based People Against Poverty (PAP), Roxana was placed with a new family in her early teens and completed her education.

PAP supports disadvantaged children and young people in Romania, Nepal and Haiti helping to provide food, medical care and education.

Jenny James, PAP’s office manager, said: “Without the involvement of Way of Joy you dread to think how this girl’s life might have gone.

“This is an incredibly brave book and it is horrible to think about how this girl has suffered. But at the end of the book you get a feeling of just how wonderful she is and how her life has changed.”

PAP raises funds through a sponsorship scheme in which people donate £22 a month to support a child in need.

The sponsored children write and send pictures to the families offering them financial support and Roxana has travelled to Dilton Marsh many times to meet her sponsors.

Roxana said: “We all have a history. We all have a story behind us, more or less spectacular, a life of events lived with intensity.

“But few dare to open their hearts to tell of those things that were carefully hidden from the world.”

To buy Coming out of the Shadows or for more information about PAP’s work visit www.peopleagainst poverty.com.