Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Bobby

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Bobby’s parents were alcoholics and had a violent relationship, which Bobby often witnessed. The family were known to social services and he was in and out of care as a child.

On one occasion he was placed with a ‘lovely’ foster family, but he says he could not emotionally handle their niceness. Social services placed him with another family that he did not like from the first meeting.The foster father used to mock him. Bobby told the social worker that he did not want to stay with the foster family, but he was left there.

Bobby said that he made a comment to his foster parents’ child one day, and his foster mother violently attacked him and told him it was no wonder his mother did not want him.

The next day he woke up and he could see into his foster parents bedroom. He could tell that his foster father was masturbating. Bobby had previously witnessed his foster father touching his genitals in public and had challenged him about it. The foster father replied that this touching was for comfort.

After a few months, his foster sister arrived. She too was also physically abused, and his foster mother would use chores and rewards to set the fostered children against each other.

One day Bobby was hiding in a public toilet because he did not want to go home. A man came in and started masturbating in front of Bobby. The man asked Bobby to join him which he did.

After a few days Bobby told his foster family part of what had happened. His foster parents reported the incident to the police, but the police did not believe him. Bobby believes this gave his foster family another reason to mock him.

Bobby can recall one occasion being sent upstairs by his foster mother to see his foster father in their bedroom. His foster father was being nice and making him feel comfortable. He started to touch Bobby’s leg and his genitals. Bobby did not stop him.

After the sexual abuse started the foster father stopped the foster mother from physically abusing Bobby. The abuse became frequent, escalating from touching to oral sex and then rape. Bobby began to meet strangers to have sex with them.

Bobby did not tell anyone at the time about the abuse, but he thought it was safer with his biological parents and would often run away to stay with them. The police would catch him and ask why he was running away from nice people.

Bobby asked his social worker to facilitate a return to his biological parents, which was agreed. After three months he ran away, was caught and put in overnight accommodation. He was then put in a children’s home, where he developed a good relationships with staff members in the home.

He decided to report the abuse anonymously. A few weeks later he was contacted by the police and social workers. An investigation followed, and the staff in the home supported him with this. He says he did not disclose everything that happened. The file to the Crown Prosecution Service but they did not proceed with the case.

Bobby was worried that the foster parents would be allowed to foster again so he sought out another victim who had been abused by his foster father. Bobby asked this person to disclose the abuse, but they refused, and Bobby says he felt powerless as a result.

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