Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Bruce

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Bruce was sexually abused by two teachers in different schools. He told his parents but believes that their deference to authority prevented them from responding appropriately.

He is concerned that safeguarding of children is still not taken seriously enough.

The first episode of sexual abuse was perpetrated when Bruce was eight years old. The abuser was an arts teacher at his school. Bruce describes being fondled in his genital area by this teacher.

He also recalls he and other boys in the school being told to strip naked by the PE teacher, who taunted a child who had eczema. Bruce says this illustrates the ethos of the school.

Bruce told his mother about the abuse and she spoke to the local vicar, but no action was taken. He describes his parents as ‘fearful and deferential to authority’ and their response to the disclosure was to move Bruce to another school.

The second episode of abuse occurred when Bruce was 16 years old. He describes how he was groomed by a teacher at the secondary school he was attending. The teacher invited Bruce to his house where he instigated some kissing and physical contact. The teacher shared a house with a colleague at the school and Bruce thinks the housemate knew what was going on.

When he was in the lower sixth form, Bruce had a nervous breakdown. He says that he has struggled with his sexuality and has had difficulties sustaining relationships. He has sought help and been privately funding his psychotherapy for over ten years and thinks this is money well spent.

Bruce believes the sexual abuse was buried in his subconscious and the impact didn’t emerge until a serious safeguarding issue, when he needed to protect his son, triggered a reaction in him.

He says that he finds any situation involving confrontation and challenge very  problematic. He wants to be strong but feels he ‘flips between being logical and being overwhelmed’.

Bruce came to the Truth Project because he would like to ensure changes are made to protect children from grooming and abuse. He says ‘the damage from sexual abuse is lifelong’ and he wonders, if perpetrators understood the damage they are going to do, that it might make them ‘think again’.

Bruce is concerned that people still do not take safeguarding children seriously and this needs to change. He adds: ‘We need to change the things that make people become perpetrators’.

Your privacy

There are very limited circumstances where we tell anyone your name without your consent, for example if a child is currently at risk and we need to tell the police.