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Experiences Shared

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

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When Chad reported being sexually abused, a police officer said ‘it was a long time ago’

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As an adult, Chad tried to report being sexually abused at boarding school, but the police said they could find no record of the place.

He feels disappointed and let down by the way they responded. 

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Kenny says ‘society should not tolerate organisations protecting their image rather than children’

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Kenny describes a happy family life with a good relationship with his parents.

They were proud that he was in the local church choir and he did not want to upset them with the ‘horrible secret’ that he was being sexually abused.

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Male victims of child sexual abuse are faced with ignorance and prejudice, Andrew says

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From a young age, Andrew endured neglect in his family home, along with violence and sexual abuse from his father.

Staff in the care system, the police and teachers were aware that he was troubled and vulnerable, but he was not protected.

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Benicio-Dwayne says ‘A care order should mean just that – that care is given and that children are supported’

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Benicio-Dwayne grew up with a brother and a sister, but he does not recall much about them.

What he does remember of his family life is neglect, and physical and emotional abuse from his violent and unpredictable parents. And when he was placed with a foster family, he suffered sexual abuse.

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When asked to recall a happy childhood memory, Gene could not think of a single one

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One of the many painful memories that Gene lives with is not feeling any affection from his mother, and the fact that she constantly went out.

This damaged him emotionally, and resulted in him being sexually abused by two of the people he was left with.

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Rylan feels that being sexually abused led to him becoming involved with drugs and crime

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Rylan’s mother had a mental health problem and when he was first taken into care he was relieved to get away from her unpredictable behaviour.

But he was sexually abused in his foster home and this had lasting consequences on his life.

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Paddy is afraid that people might judge him if they knew he had been sexually abused as a child

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After his father died in an accident, Paddy was sent to live in a children’s home. 

A male member of staff groomed and sexually abused him. He believes he was vulnerable to this man’s attention because he had no father.

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Megyn says the only time her teacher was ‘nice’ to her was when he sexually abused her

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Megyn describes herself as ‘an extremely withdrawn and shy little girl’ with no friends.

She was labelled a ‘dunce’ by a teacher, who separated her from her classmates and sexually abused her.

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Ariel says ‘If you don’t tell your story, how will it be different for the next girl?’

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As a 12-year-old child, Ariel was sexually abused by several older men.

Her local community blamed and shamed her, and she believed she was a willing participant who deserved their contempt.

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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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The only significant ‘relationships’ Hallie had as a young girl were with men who sexually abused her

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Hallie had a difficult childhood and she craved care and affection.

She was sexually abused by several adult men who exploited her vulnerability.

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Royston says everyone thought he was ‘naughty and dysfunctional’, when in fact he was scared

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Royston explains that he is dyslexic, but at school he was often called ‘stupid and thick’, and this affected his attendance and his behaviour.

He was put into the care system, and sexually abused by his social worker, as well as staff and peers in children’s homes. 

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