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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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Bonnie strongly believes that schools and health practitioners should pick up the signs of abuse

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Bonnie’s father was a violent man who physically abused his wife and son and sexually abused her and her elder sister.

She describes living in total fear of her father. His violence was so extreme that he inflicted severe injuries upon her mother.

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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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Stacey was raped by her uncle. A judge branded her as ‘a scheming little Lolita’

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Stacey describes her early childhood growing up in a family that was ‘wealthy and stable’. But their fortunes changed when she was six years old and her parents struggled to look after her and her siblings.

After a few years in care, Stacey and her siblings were fostered by her uncle. This man abused and raped her, resulting in her becoming pregnant.

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Elliot separated from his wife as he felt he ‘didn’t deserve a happy, decent relationship’

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Elliot  says that as a child he was ‘nervous and unconfident’. He found school difficult and used to truant. Overwhelmed by the outside world, he says home was the only place where he felt safe.

But the security of this refuge was taken from him when a family friend came to lodge in his home. This older male exploited Elliot’s insecurity and intimidated, controlled and sexually abused him.

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Marcus feels the Scouts turned a blind eye to his sexual abuse in the 1960s and 70s

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Marcus was sexually abused during the 1960s and 70s by men from his local Scout Association and the church.

His quest for acknowledgment, an apology and recompense has been impeded by the length of time it took him to report the sexual abuse. He points out: ‘It is very difficult to actually complain about something you didn’t really recognise was going on.’

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Home was not a safe haven for Lynne, but a place where she was regularly abused by her own father

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Lynne grew up in a military family, and regular house moves added to her sense of insecurity. She is now a campaigner for survivors of child sexual abuse.

Her father began to sexually abuse Lynne, the oldest of three children, before she was school age. This continued until she was in her mid-teens. She says her mother was aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it. ‘She was a very weak woman’, says Lynne, ‘a victim too, in a way’. 

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Ben says ‘Looking at the map of my abuse, everybody knew … nobody stopped it.’

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As a young boy, Ben loved his local church and joined the choir, often performing at concerts.

He thought the choirmaster, Robin, seemed like a ‘nice, modern chap’ and was pleased when Robin invited him to his home to see a train set.

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Tony still lives with the vivid memories of the sexual abuse he suffered by a priest

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When Tony’s mother left the family home, he was placed in a religious children’s home where he found himself at the mercy of the manager and her relative, a priest who sexually abused him.

Tony is not aware that any checks were made on his welfare by anyone in authority and he felt unable to tell his father, who admired the priest.

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A ‘horrendous’ experience in court for Thomas added to the trauma of being sexually abused

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Thomas and his brothers belonged to a local sports club and met people from other clubs at events. When the family moved house, the boys transferred to another club, chaired by a man called Robin who they already knew from sporting events.

Robin used his position of status in the club and the sport to sexually abuse Thomas.

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After he was abused, Bryn led a troubled life, but says counselling changed everything for him

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Although his parents split up, Bryn describes his childhood as happy. But sexual abuse by a cadet leader altered the course of his life.

Bryn was the youngest of three children. His mother was in her early 20s when his father left the family. Bryn missed him, but soon after, his mother got a new partner, and Bryn says he could not have asked for a better stepfather. He was also close to his grandfather.

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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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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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