Quick Exit

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.

Download a PDF sample of accounts

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

read full account

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.

read full account

An older man showed Darcy sympathy after she was raped, and then went on to abuse her

read full account

When she was about 13, Darcy was raped by a 19-year-old neighbour in his house. She did not feel her mother or the police believed her account of what had happened.

Another neighbour pretended to be supportive, but in reality was an opportunistic abuser. Darcy says her confusion over his behaviour left her unable to distinguish between sexual advances and friendship, and made her vulnerable to even more abuse.

read full account

Eleni was brought up to respect authority and would never have challenged a teacher

read full account

Eleni’s parents were unable to look after her so she lived with a relative. Because she was being bullied, at the age of eight she was moved to a private school.

Her class teacher, Mr B, was extremely popular in the school. He soon began to single Eleni out for particular attention. When Eleni’s guardian picked her up from school Mr B would make a point of speaking to him, praising Eleni and saying that she was his ‘star pupil’. 

read full account

Rhonda’s music teacher brazenly denied that he was abusing her, and was allowed to go on teaching

read full account

Rhonda went to the local comprehensive school in a relatively affluent, middle-class area. Shortly after she began attending one-to-one lessons with a peripatetic music teacher, he began sexually abusing her.

She managed to report the abuse after two years. Although she was believed, the music teacher forcefully defended himself, and was allowed to continue teaching at the school, and abusing more girls.

read full account

Alberta wants children to know that sexual abuse can happen within a ‘family’ and not just with strangers

read full account

From a very young age Alberta was sexually abused on numerous occasions, often in her home. This made her vulnerable to more abusers, one of whom was another child.

Her attempt to tell a member of staff at school what was happening was not met with an effective response. This added to her feeling that she was not safe anywhere.

read full account

On reporting her abuse to the police, Lynda says ‘I went in a survivor and left feeling like a victim’

read full account

Lynda was fostered, along with her sister, when she was a toddler. After a series of placements, the girls were permanently placed with a couple who had their own child and another young boy who was also fostered.

By this time Lynda was four and her sister a few years older. Lynda remembers there was ‘no love in that house whatsoever’ and describes her foster father, Robert, as ‘not a very nice person’.

read full account

Andrea calls for cultural mediators to work with black, Asian and minority ethnic families

read full account

Andrea was born overseas and brought up in a large family. She says she was spoiled with presents and wanted for nothing.

When she was five years old, her parents moved to the UK, leaving her and her siblings in the care of a grandparent. She was so upset at being separated from her parents that after a time she was sent to join them in the UK.

read full account

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

read full account

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.

read full account

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

read full account

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.

read full account

Vivien believed the abuser who told her people would be ‘disgusted’ with her

read full account

When she was about 11 years old, Vivien was sexually abused by a young male adult who was the older brother of one of her school friends.  

Vivien had gone to play at her friend’s house. During a game of hide and seek, she went to hide in a shed, and found the young male in there. He called her over and started stroking her hair and complimenting her.

read full account

Sexual abuse during childhood had many damaging impacts for Julianna that she is striving to overcome

read full account

Julianna had a difficult early childhood. He struggled with learning difficulties and hyperactivity. As a very young boy he was taken to see a doctor regarding an eating disorder and behavioural problems.

Julianna loved his mother and felt very close to her, but his parents had difficulty dealing with him. When he was eight years old they offered him the chance to go to boarding school and he readily agreed.

read full account

Her parents were ‘respectable’ and Elspeth thinks no one believed anything bad was happening at home

read full account

Elspeth describes her parents as two middle class and respectable people, on the surface. But behind the scenes, there was domestic violence in the family home, and they both sexually abused their daughter.

Elspeth was the eldest of two siblings. The abuse she suffered at home was so regular and extensive that she finds it hard to be sure when it began. She knows that when she was a baby she was placed into foster care because her mother had serious mental health issues.

read full account

Your privacy

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.