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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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Cary was sexually abused by two different men in positions of trust

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Cary describes a distant relationship with his parents.

He formed attachments to other adults, but was abused by them. 

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Staff in the children’s home Eve was sent to ignored and even encouraged sexual abuse

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Eve was six years old when she and her brother were placed in a children’s home. 

For several years she was sexually abused by older children in the home. Instead of protecting her, the staff looked the other way, and at times were complicit in the abuse.

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Cliff says children in care need to be looked after and listened to

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Cliff was arrested as a teenager for petty theft. As a result, social services obtained an interim care order and he was put into care and placed in a children’s home.

There were six boys in the dormitory in the home. One of them began bullying Cliff and made him perform sex acts on him. This abuse happened both in and around the home.

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Billie thinks she successfully hid the fact she was being abused, but she self-harmed in an extreme way

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Billie was sexually abused by a neighbour when she was a small child. 

Later, a teacher who was grooming her made her feel she had disappointed him when she told him about this, and he still went on to abuse her.

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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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Nathan asks ‘Why did nobody think “Why is this grown man going on holiday with these kids?”’

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Nathan was born in the 1970s to a Catholic family. He was stalked, intimidated and sexually abused by the parish priest.

As an adult, he reported the abuse to the church, but was told the priest was no longer a threat as he was in a retirement home.

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Being sexually abused by people with power and authority made Wyn feel inadequate and angry

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Wyn grew up in the 1950s. He was sexually abused by a dentist when he was nine years old, and by a naval officer when he was a teenager.

As a child Wyn had tooth decay and he underwent a course of treatment by his local dentist. His mother took him to the surgery but he went into the treatment room alone. 

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Because Elizabeth’s family was seen as a ‘problem’, no one cared what happened to her

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Elizabeth grew up in chaos and extreme poverty. She was physically abused by her father and bullied outside the home.

She believes this made her vulnerable to a catalogue of sexual abuse that continues to cause her distress and damage.

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Kylie feels that her family was failed by social services after they fostered an abusive teenager

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Kylie and her sister were sexually abused by a teenage boy who was fostered by her parents. 

She gave a written account of her experiences to the Truth Project.

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Juan’s experiences left him with the perception that ‘treats have to be paid for’

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Juan grew up in a large family and had a difficult childhood, suffering physical and emotional abuse.

After his parents separated he was abused by a number of his mother’s male friends, who sensed his vulnerability.

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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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Charlene says that when she heard about the Truth Project ‘I knew it was about me too’

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Charlene grew up with her mum and grandma. She did not have any contact with her dad, and when she went to play at a friend’s house, she liked the fact that her friend’s father gave her attention.

In later years, she began to understand that he was a sexual abuser.

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