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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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The‌ ‌Inquiry‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌the‌ ‌difficult decision‌‌ to‌ ‌stop‌ holding face to face Truth Project sessions‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌time, after carefully considering the Government's guidance. Other methods of sharing are still available.

Chloe, sexually abused by a family friend and curate at the church, struggled with the legal process

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Publicity about child sex abuse cases prompted Chloe to report incidents that occurred when she was a young teenager. This resulted in a successful prosecution, but the abuse has had a significant effect on her mental health and the court case was very difficult for her.

Chloe has a recollection of sexual abuse by a family friend that occurred when she was between the ages of five and 11 years, but she cannot remember the details.

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Josie wants social services to apologise for ignoring her reports that she was being abused in care

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Josie was placed in foster care after she disclosed that she was being sexually abused by two family members. 

She then suffered more abuse by the son of her foster parents. Social services refused to move her, even though she repeatedly told them what was happening.

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Publicity about a high-profile abuser encouraged Travis to report what happened to him as a child

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Travis was an only child of parents who both abused alcohol. Despite this, he says that he felt ‘looked after’ by his father.

He was taken into care when he was about five years old and sexually abused by a male member of staff. He reported the abuse decades later and the perpetrator was convicted.

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Eugene’s experience in court added to the trauma caused by the abuse he suffered

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Eugene was groomed and sexually abused by a charismatic football coach he met on a family holiday.

To protect his mother’s feelings, he did not disclose the sexual abuse until she had passed away. 

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Feeling unloved, Morgan looked for comfort in online relationships

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One of Morgan’s early memories is being told that she had ‘ruined Valentine’s Day’ as that was the day her mother discovered she was pregnant with her. She remembers being very sad in her childhood and wanting ‘to be loved by someone’.

She began looking at online teenage dating sites when she was about 11 years old, and was preyed on by abusers who she is now sure were older than they claimed.

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Bledig says ‘Even now .... I often get that “fight or flight” feeling’

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Bledig was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a young altar boy.

He says that during his childhood and adolescence, he buried it, but decades later he gives a vivid and detailed account of the impact the abuse has had on him throughout his life.

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Aalia feels she was traumatised a second time by the criminal justice system

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Years of sexual abuse that began when she was a small girl led Aalia to obsessively self‑harm. Years later she endured the ordeal of multiple trials.

Aalia was around seven or eight years old when she started going to the local mosque with her sibling. Soon she began going on her own, arriving early and waiting downstairs. A new mosque representative noticed her and suggested she should say her prayers early in his quarters. She thought this odd but agreed. He would stand next to her and compliment her. This went on for a few weeks.

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Eliyahu would like to see more practical support to help victims and survivors move forward

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Eliyahu and his brother grew up in a strict religious household with very violent and emotionally abusive parents who routinely dragged him by his hair and beat him.

This meant that when he was subjected to violence and sexual abuse by others, he was well into his adulthood before he realised this was not normal.

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When the man who abused her was found not guilty, Halle felt that ‘no one believes children’

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Halle loved music as a child, but her parents could not afford lessons for her. She was thrilled when a music teacher offered her free tuition. 

This man turned out to be a sexual abuser, but as an adult, Halle applies her traumatic experiences to make a difference in her career.

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Jayne’s foster father warned her that if she left home he’d ‘just get another young girl’

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Jayne gives a poignant account of being unloved and abused throughout her childhood.

The people who should have protected her disbelieved her, or criticised her behaviour, instead of questioning the possible causes.

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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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Nicole says ‘the responses to my disclosure have caused me a lifetime of struggle’

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Nicole’s father died when she was four years old, and her mother got remarried to a violent and abusive man. 

Her troubled and chaotic home life, with no supportive parenting, made her vulnerable to a series of sexual assaults from older boys, and later to further abuse by an adult relative.

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