If they knew I was talking to you about this, they would just make my life even worse
Sitting in an immaculate house, with all the trappings of comfort, is a girl whose body language reveals she is far from happy. The 14-year-old is sitting in a corner of the sofa, hunched, with her knees drawn up to her chest, as she attempts to tell me what her life has been like for the past two years, since she became the focus of bullies at her Leicester school.
She wanted to remain anonymous because, she says: "If they knew I was talking to you about it, they would probably make my life even worse."
The teenager speaks in low, hushed tones, as if her bullies can hear her.
She is used to making herself seem invisible and says she has spent much of the past two years alone whenever possible.
It isn't known what triggered the bullying.
"I went to school one day and suddenly people were saying that no-one liked me," she says. "Then it got gradually worse.
"The next time, I was called a slag. Then they told me I smelled, then the names got more personal."
She doesn't like to repeat what has been said to her because it's the words that are the cause of all of her pain.
Her brow furrows and it becomes even harder to hear what she is saying.
"I did have some friends, but they told me they might get bullied because of me," she says.
That is when Shona started eating lunch alone every day, in a classroom where nobody could find her.
The girls – her bullies – are a large group who make her life hell, she says.
As well as verbally abusing her, they have sent her nasty messages online, via Facebook and via Blackberry messenger, so even when she and the bullies are not face to face there is no escape.
Earlier this year, she decided she could take no more of their relentless tormenting and she made a rash attempt to kill herself.
She swallowed any tablets she could get her hands on at home – Paracetamol and Nurofen were among them.
Her mum realised what she had done and got her medical help.
Nobody knows how many she took, but thankfully it was not enough to do any long term physical damage.
But it is clear the attempt has taken its toll on her family.
"I know it was a stupid thing to do," she says. "I can see that in the cold light of day. It's not something I'll ever do again.
"But I'd had enough. It all got too much for me and I just wanted the pain to end after another round of threatening messages."
She spent a day in hospital and now sees a counsellor once a week.
"It's helped me to talk about how I'm feeling, but I just want it all to stop," she said.
However, the torment has continued. Two weeks ago, the teenager had to be picked up from school by her mum for her own safety, and was walked to the car by a member of staff after physical threats were made against her.
Her mum's voice cracks with a mixture of emotion when she speaks about what her daughter is going through – she is sad that it has come to this, angry with the perpetrators and feels defeat because she no longer knows what to do.
She has been prescribed anti-depressants by her doctor and says she lives her life on a "knife edge".
"I've printed out evidence of the bullying from her Facebook and taken it to the school, and they say they're going to do something about it," she said. "It stops for a little while, but then it all starts again.
"I don't know what's going to happen next and I'm filled with a constant dread. I feel powerless."
She has spoken to the school about moving her daughter, but said she was advised not to.
"They said it might be disruptive to her at a crucial time when she's about to start sitting exams," she said.
But she suspects there might be another reason.
"If she leaves, I'll have to fill in some forms to say why she is leaving and that form will say that my daughter is being continuously bullied," she said.
"I don't think that's something the school would like the local authority to know because I'm not the only parent that's raised this concern."
The bullies might drive their victim away from the school anyway, and her family away from the neighbourhood.
"I'm thinking of moving somewhere new now anyway," said her mum.
"Somewhere where we can all start afresh.
"That's what it's come to."
To protect the victim, the Mercury is not naming the school.
But the head sent this statement in response to our request for a comment: "An incident took place recently at the school which we took action to resolve at the time.
"Concerns have since been raised by a parent of a student involved, which we are investigating fully and discussing with the people involved."