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Experiences Shared

These are some of the experiences of child sexual abuse shared with the Truth Project. All names and identifying details have been changed.

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Veronica was a deaf child whose parents had died, but police described the nun who abused her as ‘vulnerable’

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Veronica’s father passed away when she was young and when her mum became terminally ill the family started looking at children’s homes for Veronica to live. Her siblings were fostered, but the foster parents didn’t want Veronica as she was deaf. A home was found which had a deaf school attached.

Veronica was placed in a children’s home run by nuns. She was subjected to cruelty and abuse from a few of the nuns, including one who was particularly sadistic. No one in the home signed, so communication was difficult for Veronica. It was run by four main nuns. Veronica recalls that she liked one of them, but the others were very cruel.

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Emma is still haunted by the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a doctor

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Emma says she has never before disclosed all the information about the sexual abuse that was committed by a doctor.

She describes going through a tough period when her parents divorced. Emma was close to her dad, but she and her mother moved to a new house and she was sent to a different primary school where one of the teachers would ridicule her. One day she had had enough and says she ‘went for’ this teacher.

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Simon was sexually abused in the care system and came to the Truth Project to help others change their lives

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Neglected and physically abused by his birth mother, Simon spent his childhood in the care system, where he was subjected to serial sexual abuse.

He feels deep empathy for others who have suffered in a similar way and wants to use his experiences to help victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

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Soraya says that engaging with the Truth Project has given her a voice

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Soraya, who grew up as a boy, describes a deprived and abusive childhood in a home where there was no emotional warmth. She was also sexually abused by a stranger.

She has constructive views on how children could be better protected and supported, and also on the role of the Truth Project.

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Hayley was abused multiple times in care and felt abused all over again by the justice system

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Hayley says her parents ‘did not want me’ and her father was physically abusive. She and her sisters spent their childhoods in and out of care, where she suffered more mistreatment. She thinks now that she would have been safer if she had stayed at home with her father.

She remembers that, as a young child, she was sexually abused in one children’s home by a male member of staff, David. Every week for a about year he took her to a different part of the home to ’do things’. Sometimes he was joined by another man.

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The man who raped Sally when she was a teenage girl continued to intimidate her with mockery

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Sally was raped as a teenager and feels that a teacher in her school was complicit in this crime.

The rapist was a friend of the teacher, and also worked at the school. Sally says her abuser bought presents for her and the teacher encouraged her to meet him. At the time, she did not know about grooming.

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Sheridan’s abuse drove her to attempt suicide. She was not happy or relieved when she woke up in hospital

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Sheridan’s father was a teacher who taught at a local school. When she started primary school at the age of four, Sheridan was in a class taught by Mr Jenkins, who knew her father.  

Mr Jenkins began to visit Sheridan’s home, and over time he used his relationship with her father to gain her trust and sexually abuse her.

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Kirsty was sexually abused in care and says care leavers need more support

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Kirsty experienced violence and deprivation at home with her mother. She says that during her time in care, the kindness of one key worker provided her with some of the happiest memories she has of her childhood. However, she was sexually abused by two workers in children’s homes and this experience inflicted lasting pain and damage on her.

Most of her young life, along with that of her siblings, was spent in and out of a children’s home. Kirsty had a very close relationship with her housemother, who she says was like a mother to her. But an assistant housemother, Mrs Pottering, sexually abused Kirsty during her bath times.

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June wants her parents to tell her the abuse she suffered was not her fault

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June describes her family as authoritarian, with children expected to do as adults said. When she was sexually abused by a relative, she was not believed.

The abuse established a pattern of suffering, chaos and further abuse in her life that continues to affect her.

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Yvonne says ‘I now realise it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t to blame, I couldn’t have stopped it’

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Yvonne grew up in a disrupted family. Before she was in her teens, she had been subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of three men.

Her father, who had physically abused Yvonne and her siblings, took his own life when she was about four or five years old.

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Hugh’s abusers told him ‘You can’t say anything, I have tremendous influence’

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Hugh describes highly organised sexual abuse at the approved school he attended, involving staff and others from outside the institution, some of whom may have been in positions of senior authority.

He describes himself as a very bright child who was also ‘troublesome’. At the age of about 10, he appeared in juvenile court and was sent to an approved school.

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Cameron found reporting the sexual abuse he experienced empowering and it has helped him regain control

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Grooming and sexual abuse, followed by rejection, has made it difficult for Cameron to trust people.

However, he has been able to have helpful conversations with his parents about the abuse, and he is hopeful there will be a successful prosecution of his abuser.

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There are very limited circumstances where we tell anyone your name without your consent, for example if a child is currently at risk and we need to tell the police.