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Experiences Shared


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Caroline was sexually abused by a senior teacher at her junior school. 

She says she still feels troubled by the abuse and feelings that she should have tried to stop it. 

Caroline relates that a teacher encouraged her to stay after school for private music lessons in his office, and says that this is when the abuse occurred. 

It began with touching and escalated to the abuser penetrating her with his fingers. She was 10 years old when the abuse began, and it lasted for about six to nine months until she left the school.

She remembers that as a young girl lacking in confidence, she felt that ‘it was quite nice at first when someone puts their arms around you’. 

The only person she mentioned it to at the time was a school friend. Caroline says this girl also used to spend time alone with the teacher, and she wonders if she was also abused by him.

More recently, she has told her brother about it, and he said that he suspected the same teacher sexually abused girls in his class.

Caroline describes how the abuse still affects her after more than 60 years. She feels anger and sometimes questions herself about why she didn’t stop it. She always found sexual relationships difficult, and it has caused problems in her marriage. 

She thinks it is important to build people’s knowledge and understanding about the lasting effect that sexual abuse has on victims and survivors. She adds that thorough safeguarding in schools is essential, particularly for vulnerable children.

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