Though she oozed confidence and impressed the judges at the blind auditions on BBC One’s The Voice last weekend, Joelle Moses has not always been full of self-esteem. The 21-year-old star recently opened up about the time she was sexually assaulted by a gang of school boys when she was just 13 years old leaving her ostracised and alone.

The Congolese born singer explained to the Sun how her attackers made her feel victimised even after they’d been expelled from school for their actions and how she had to move schools to get away from the bullying.

The gang who sexually attacked me were the most popular boys in my school… When the police got involved and the boys got kicked out people were angry at me and made me feel like it was my fault. They bullied me and made me an outcast…they peed in a bottle and threw it at me…. I felt very, very alone and music was the way I expressed myself. It was the only escape I had… I’ve forgiven them — but karma’s a b**ch.

The talented student has already been tipped as a favourite to win, though many have seen this new revelation as a sob story to aid her victory. Joelle however instists that her story was told to help other young people who have suffered similar abuse.