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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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Having been raped by his father, Aiden felt ‘fortunate’ when abuse by a teacher was not 'as horrific'

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For as far back as he can remember, Aiden suffered serious abuse at the hands of his father. His mother developed a disability around the time he was born in the early 1960s, and his father blamed him for this. He says: ‘I was hated before I was born by him; I didn’t stand much chance.’

His father demonstrated his hatred and anger by savagely abusing Aiden and allowing other adults to abuse him too.

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Landon says ‘every little bit of information shared … it all helps’

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Landon’s experience relates to an institution that has been in the public eye because of widespread child sexual abuse that occurred there. 

He says that when he was a child, he learnt to ‘shut it away in a box’. Now he feels that speaking out ‘is a form of recompense’. 

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Feeling she will not be believed has been a recurring theme in Angharad’s life

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Angharad was sexually abused in the home of a neighbour when she was a small child. She spoke about the abuse but her father did not believe her and a police investigation did not proceed.

This experience left her feeling there was no point reporting the further abuse that she was subjected to in her pre-teen years, and that she was to blame for it.

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Georgina says it hasn’t been easy, but she doesn’t feel like a victim anymore

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Georgina remembers feeling isolated as she grew up, recognising that her relationship with her family was ‘different’ to that of her half-siblings, and that she was treated as the ‘naughty one’.

Her father died when she was very young. Her mother remarried and had more children with a man who sexually and physically abused his stepdaughter.

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The priest who abused Giles was moved from ‘place to place’ by the church to protect the institution

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Giles attended a religious boarding school. He was a very good singer and a member of the choir. Giles described himself as a typical ‘cute little choir boy’.

The man who abused him, Arthur, was not a member of the teaching staff but a visiting musician associated with the school.

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Owain says he does not have negative emotions about what he experienced, but now knows it was abuse

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Owain was sexually abused for about five years by a friend of his older brother.

He says that at the time, the experience was not negative and he does not feel it had a ‘huge emotional impact’ on him. He says he feels very emotionally disconnected from the abuse, and wonders if this is a coping mechanism.

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At Sam’s religious boarding school there was a culture of acceptance of sexual abuse

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Sam attended a religious boarding school during the 1970s. He explains how he was one of several boys who were sexually abused by a teacher.

Victor was not a priest, but a lay member of staff. Very soon after he joined the school, he started abusing Sam. He would invite Sam to his personal quarters, on the pretext of helping him with his studies.

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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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As a young child, Bernard was sure he was being sexually abused because he had done something wrong

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Bernard grew up in the 1960s with his parents, whom he loved and respected.

However, he explains that his mother suffered with poor health and his father was often away. For this reason, he did not feel he could tell them that he was being sexually abused.

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Laurell’s school operated with little oversight and abusers took full advantage of this

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Laurell grew up in an abusive home. When she was in her early teens she was sent to a small boarding school. It was privately owned by a couple, and was an approved school where some of the pupils were troubled children.

Laurell describes it as a closed institution, with physical and sexual abuse accepted as part of the punishment regime. 

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Sexual abuse by a relative and a difficult home life set Luke on a troubled course

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Luke dates the problems he has experienced in his life back to when his uncle sexually abused him.

He was very young when this began and says he would never had said anything as to him it seemed like his uncle was ‘just playing with him and being touchy’. When Luke was about seven or eight years old, his uncle began asking to see Luke’s penis and asking Luke to touch him. He remembers that his mother wanted to know why he didn’t want to go to his uncle’s house, but he could not tell her.

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Freddie’s abuser was a teacher with influence in the church, local businesses and sports teams

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Freddie’s abuser was a teacher whose power and influence extended into the church, a business and a sports team in the local area. He feels this network of control made it easier for the man to abuse many young people.

After his parents divorced, Freddie did not see his mum for a long time and his dad worked long hours to provide for him and his siblings. The church was a big influence on the family and Freddie attended a faith school. 

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