Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Angus

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Given up by his family at a young age, Angus was left at the mercy of abusive carers. His childhood was so troubled as a result that he describes how being in a police cell felt safer than being at home.

Angus says that when his mother asked for him to be placed for adoption, his father, who was in the forces, agreed this was in his best interests. He comments: ‘It wrecked my life, being rejected by my own family.’

Initially he was placed in a residential nursery, then with foster carers, who became his long-term carers. He feels angry that he was not adopted straight away, as this would have been better for him at such a young age. His overwhelming recollections of his childhood experiences with people who were supposed to care for him are a lack of love and warmth, and harsh, abusive punishments.

Angus was not toilet-trained when he was sent to live with the foster family, and his male carer told the social worker he would ‘give him a good hiding’ for not using the toilet. He recalls that the social worker advised against this, but he cannot understand why this threat did not ring alarm bells.

The physical abuse by the male carer that continued throughout his childhood included being hit with a stick and punched in the face. Angus says he cannot remember one positive person in his young life; just a feeling of coldness and intolerance towards him. He describes how this made him an extremely unhappy and troubled child who developed a clear sense of having to stick up for himself because no one else would.

During his time with the foster carers, he was sexually abused by a man who was involved with the Scouts. Angus remembered this man taking alcohol into children’s tents while they were camping and being touched by him when they were swimming and in the woods. He has reported this sexual abuse to the police but does not believe any action was taken against the man.

Angus was also bullied at school. His treatment led him to behave in ways that he says he knows were not always acceptable, but he does not believe that he deserved the abuse from his carer.

Later, Angus was placed in a boarding school, but he ran away after a few weeks and subsequently began to run away from home. He ended up in a city, with nowhere to stay and vulnerable to further abuse. He was frequently picked up by the police, but he says: ‘I preferred to be in a police cell’, rather than at home with his carers. 

Angus describes how he has done his best to get on with his life. He has managed to find good jobs, he has a settled relationship and loves where he lives. But he has ongoing mental health issues that he works hard to manage.

He feels he was grossly let down by those responsible for his welfare and protection as a child, and he wants social services to be held accountable for their failure in his case.

On behalf of other children in care, Angus wants to speak out and say that social workers should listen to allegations of sexual abuse so that children do not go on suffering.

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