A young woman left with crippling anxiety after a serious sexual assault is struggling on zero-hours contracts as she tries to get into work.

Jenny, 20, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was unemployed for nine months after crippling stress over her attacker's trial became too much and she had to take time out.

The former hairdresser had dreamt of being an air hostess but is now struggling to afford to live while trying to find work on the cruel Universal Credit regime.

BBC's three part documentary Universal Credit: Inside the Welfare State tonight focused on Bolton Jobcentre, one of the busiest in the North West, where 500 people move onto Universal Credit every month.

Jenny tells the cameras about the attack: "This particular night we went out to a neighbour's house and he got me drunk.

"Looking back there were signs that he was a bit not right. Things he used to say, things he used to do.

Jenny recounts her ordeal

"But at the time I was young and naive. And then got back to his house, he was pouring me drinks, and it gets a bit blurry.

"He sexually assaulted me that night, twice. And when I woke up the next day, it was horrible.

"The thing is that 80% of rape cases don't even get took to court. The way I look at it I was one of the lucky ones. I know it sounds sick, but I was old enough to know right from wrong.

"I was working at a salon, managed to stick at the job, but two months before the court date my head had gone.

"Then I quit working. And this is my first job since."

Jenny is 'bubbly' and friendly - but has been through a lot

She admits she doesn't know if she's mentally ready and is "cacking herself" but "enough is enough" - and she has to get back to work as she doesn't want to be "40 and looking back thinking 'where's my life gone'."

The "bubbly" young woman is shown eagerly searching for work in the Greater Manchester town, where the show revealed that 7% of all 18-24-year-olds are classed as unemployed, far higher than the national average of 3-4%.

Meeting with work coach Annie at the Jobcentre, she is told her friendly personality will soon see her get work in the hospitality sector and she finds this to be the case - but only on a zero-hour contract at a new restaurant, a situation which soon comes back to bite her.

She had dreamt of being an air hostess
Jenny is 'cacking' it about going to work - but she perseveres

"The wage aint that good here," she tells the cameras, revealing she is on £6.30 an hour as a waitress.

With her flat costing £60 a week, she adds up her hours and begins to question whether it even pays to be in work.

Two weeks in, she is forced to apply for a £250 advance on her Universal Credit - essentially a loan which will be deducted from future payments.

Universal Credit is paid monthly - and in arrears - and Jenny has no savings and bills to pay.

She begins to feel exasperated

Universal Credit will top up her salary but takes 63p from every pound she earns.

With it always being paid a month behind she never knows how much she will receive - and this is proving tough.

Little things like washing - her boss demands she come in with a clean shirt every day and she only owns two - become major issues in terms of cost.

She tells work coach Annie: "I've been getting anxiety shakes before work and have had to back on the tablets."

She just wants a 'proper job' - but times are hard

Later in the episode Annie is shown worryingly trying to get in touch with Jenny, who is not answering her calls.

It turns out she has had a fall and badly hurt her knee, taking 10 days off to recover.

Panicking, she won't get any money for those 10 days, with no back-up or sick pay.

This sees her take out another Universal Credit advance - plunging her into more debt and increasing upcoming deductions.

Work coach Annie at her desk in Bolton Jobcentre

Worried Annie tells the cameras: "She's been through so much and was in such a good place. She was so excited and enjoying the job."

Jenny is shown three weeks later, working at the restaurant. Since then, she has only been offered one six hour shift in a week.

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"How hard is it these days to get a proper job?" she says to the cameras.

And in a final cruel blow, she does not receive hardly any money from Universal Credit because it is calculated from her wages last month - and does not take into account the difficulties she has faced this month.