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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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Nigel is haunted by the injustice of a conviction for buggery when he was sexually abused at age 14

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Nigel describes how he was the victim of child sexual abuse and of a gross miscarriage of justice.

For six decades, he has had to live with the practical consequences of this, and a severe sense of anger, distress and injustice.

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It is a source of great sadness to Patrick that being abused has damaged his relationships

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From a young age, Patrick attended a residential school. He tells how he was abused by Angus, an older pupil.

Angus would come into Patrick’s dormitory bed at night. In his innocence, the younger boy initially thought perhaps they had to sleep together because there were not enough beds at the school for every pupil to have their own.

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After being sexually abused in care, Katie says care records need to be accurate and transparent

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Katie was taken into care at a young age but is not sure exactly why. She says she felt well‑loved by her family but remembers her mother forgetting to pick her up from school a couple of times, having been drinking.

Katie describes the next six years of her life in children’s homes as ‘hell on earth’. She was subjected to sexual abuse, violent assault, emotional abuse and neglect. On one occasion she believes she nearly died – she had a serious illness, but care staff did not believe she was ill and would not seek medical help.

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Angie says ‘I used to bite myself, throw myself downstairs, pull chunks of my hair out’

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Angie’s early experiences of an unstable family life included living abroad, divorce of her parents, hospitalisation of her mother and harsh treatment by her stepmother. These made her vulnerable to a series of incidents of sexual abuse that continued into her adulthood.

On the point of committing suicide, she pulled back, and now continues to work on her recovery with the support of her husband.

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Tracey-Ann says ‘There is no such thing as bad children, only children that have been dealt a bad hand’

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Tracey-Ann describes a childhood of “abject terror”, with sexual abuse and domestic violence. Her earliest memory is being abused by her babysitter who later became her stepfather.

She describes how she and her siblings were terrorised by their stepfather. He would wait until they were asleep, then drag them from their beds while wearing a mask. 

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Russell was sexually abused by his family GP, but the police did not investigate

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Russell did not talk about his abuse for many years, until it came out in a counselling session. Since then he has not been able to forget about it.

He says that, looking back, he realises he was abused by his family doctor at his very first appointment, even though his mother was in the room.

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In a secure unit, Ronald felt safe for the first time – but this did not last long

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Ronald was sexually abused by two female family members and by a series of men in different institutions.

He has sought help to overcome his trauma, and to be a good parent to his daughter.

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

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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.

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Janine says ‘I thought that was how daddies showed love ... I scrubbed myself to get rid of the feeling’

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Janine describes a childhood of fear, neglect and sexual abuse. Her mother had mental health difficulties and was emotionally unavailable and her father was an alcoholic.

The sexual abuse began when she was five years old and she has no clear memory of life before it.

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June wants her parents to tell her the abuse she suffered was not her fault

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June describes her family as authoritarian, with children expected to do as adults said. When she was sexually abused by a relative, she was not believed.

The abuse established a pattern of suffering, chaos and further abuse in her life that continues to affect 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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Eddie was sexually abused at a youth club and it has affected his relationships ever since

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When Eddie was sexually abused as a young boy by a man his parents trusted, one of his main concerns was that he should not make life difficult for other people by telling anyone about it.

Eddie describes his life as a constant battle to recover from what happened to him. He was 11 years old when he joined a sports club run by Doug, a friend of his parents they assumed their son would be safe with.

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