Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Benjamin

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Benjamin attended a local church with his family and joined the choir when he was 10 years old. 

Nicholas, an adult, attended the same church and was responsible for publishing the church magazine. Benjamin began to be aware that Nicholas would often be present in the vestry when the choir members were disrobing.

Nicholas approached Benjamin’s parents and asked if they would be willing for Benjamin to assist him with church work. They trusted him and were happy to agree.

On the first occasion of this arrangement, Benjamin went with some other boys from the choir to Nicholas’ home. After some time working one of the boys said ‘Is it time to come?’.

Benjamin did not understand what he meant but the other boys all seemed excited by the prospect. They asked him the same question and although he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to, having seen the reaction of the other boys, he said that he did.

Nicholas took the boys out to a garden shed and secured the door. With the other boys watching, Nicholas pulled Benjamin close to him and stroked Benjamin’s penis over his clothing before putting his hand into his underpants and masturbating him to the point of ejaculation. 

He then lined the other boys up and undressed them from the waist down and worked his way down the line abusing each of them in the same way. At the end he told them they had been ‘very good boys’. As they were leaving the shed Nicholas told Benjamin this was their secret.

The ‘church work’ occurred monthly and each time Benjamin says he felt compelled to assist Nicholas and submit to his abuse. He adds that he felt complicit as Nicholas manipulated him into agreeing to the abuse before it happened. 

He felt extremely unhappy about what was happening but did not feel powerful enough to do anything about it or to tell anyone what was going on.

Occasionally Nicholas would ask the boys if they wanted an orgy and would take them to his bedroom where his wife would be naked on the bed. He would encourage the boys to fondle her and then, Benjamin says ‘At the end of it, he would do what he did to us to each one of us in turn.’ 

After one of these sessions Benjamin accidentally went home wearing another boy’s trousers. Nicholas went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that the trousers were swapped back, driving a long distance with the trousers to meet Benjamin at a bus stop after school.

Nicholas owned one of the earliest desk-top computers and took responsibility for printing material such as leaflets for the church. When he suggested to Benjamin’s parents that it would be a good experience for their son to help with this task they readily agreed.

Benjamin describes how once again he felt trapped and compelled to go along with the arrangement, which occurred weekly. On these occasions he was alone with Nicholas who ‘would do what he did.’

One day Benjamin told Nicholas that he didn’t want to do what the abuser was asking of him. Although he did not persist, Nicholas made it abundantly clear that he was very angry. On a few occasions Nicholas tried to insert his fingers into the boy’s anus, but Benjamin successfully resisted.

It was only when Benjamin began to study for his O levels that he felt he had an excuse to substantially reduce his contact with Nicholas. The abuse stopped altogether when Benjamin and his family moved after he completed his A levels.

Benjamin feels that being exposed to sexual acts at such a young age in abusive circumstances has left him ‘with a warped idea of what sexual stimulation is’. He and his wife do not have children and he has questioned whether this would have been the case if he had not been abused.

Benjamin wants to see a greater understanding of what causes people to sexually abuse children. He would like there to be early education on childhood sexual abuse, to encourage children to recognise signs that they themselves could be potential perpetrators, and mechanisms to address this should be identified. 

He believes that unbridled access to pornography on the internet is a ‘ticking time bomb’ and that some people’s perception of ‘normal’ sex is being warped by this ready access to inappropriate behaviour.

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