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Experiences Shared

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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.


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Aaron’s father worked for the emergency services. The family house was provided with his employment and their next door neighbour was a work colleague. 

When Aaron was about five years old, this neighbour began to sexually abuse him. To this day, certain sounds can trigger distressing memories for him.

The perpetrator also abused his own child, and made Aaron ‘do things’ to the child.

But Aaron highlights vivid memories of his surroundings when he was being abused. There was a window in the garage and he says he used to focus on the light shining through it.

There was a large tree outside Aaron’s bedroom and he recalls the abuser telling him he would climb up it and get into his bedroom. On windy nights, he remembers hearing the branches of the tree hitting against his bedroom window and feeling terrified. He says ‘It put the fear of God into me’.

The neighbour told Aaron that because he worked in a respected profession, no one would believe he was an abuser. 

After episodes of abuse, Aaron used to hide in the coal bunker. He came out covered in coal dust, and was told off at home for being late and getting himself so dirty. He says he just ‘wanted to be hugged’.

At school, Aaron says, he was withdrawn and avoided interacting with other children. He also showed signs of distress, but no one realised the reason for his behaviour. He used to wet himself, and he remembers a teacher asking him why he was licking objects in school. He was not able to say it was because he was trying to get rid of the taste of the abuser.  

A teacher also noticed bruising on him but assumed he had been fighting with a sibling.

The sexual abuse ended when Aaron was about eight years old, and his family moved to another area. 

The memories of the childhood sexual abuse have impacted significantly on Aaron. He has not told his parents as they are now elderly and he feels ‘it would destroy them’. He did tell his sibling what had happened and the conversation was very traumatic for both of them.

Aaron suffers anxiety, agoraphobia and PTSD. He has flashbacks, which can be triggered by sounds such as the slamming of doors. He has struggled with relationships. Aaron has a strong bond with his child who cares for him, but is aware of the pressure that this puts them under.

Aaron recommends that all children should be told that adults have no right to abuse children, no matter what their position. They should also be reassured that if they speak out about abuse, nothing will happen to them.

Aaron would also like to see improved access to therapy and support for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.


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