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Experiences Shared


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Davy was groomed and sexually abused by a female teacher at his secondary school.

Looking back on his childhood, he thinks that the difficulties his parents faced caused him to be vulnerable. 

Davy grew up in the 1960s and 70s. His father suffered from severe depression and spent time in hospital. Much of his mother’s time was taken up caring for his father.

When he was in his mid teens, a female science teacher started taking an interest in Davy. She was in her early 30s. Davy says ‘Basically I was groomed’.

He adds ‘My mum was too busy to look after us; someone taking an interest in me was flattering’. And because he was fascinated by science, he adds that it seemed a great opportunity. 

He now sees that the teacher targeted him, and was able to manipulate him because of the effect that his home life had on him. 

The teacher began grooming Davy by asking him to help her at lunchtime to prepare the science labs for class experiments. After a while, he says, she started touching him.

Following his 16th birthday, the teacher said that she wanted to see Davy over the school holidays. She then instigated a sexual ‘relationship’ between them. He remembers her saying ‘At least you’re legal now’.

Davy describes himself as academic, but also ‘naive and emotionally immature’. He did feel guilt about what was happening. Because he was 16 he felt he was responsible for the situation. He didn’t tell any of his friends about it and no one in the school remarked on the fact that he spent so many lunchtimes with the teacher.

He describes the conflicting emotions caused by the abuse, then and now. ‘Part of me thought it was a “relationship” so how could it be bad? But it was a bad thing. I didn’t pick her, it was about power and it was my need to be loved.’ 

The abuse stopped when Davy left school and went to university.

Throughout his adult life, various media stories and events in his working life have triggered memories of the sexual abuse by the teacher. Davy says he is fortunate to have a supportive wife and family, but he feels his experiences have ‘cast a shadow over my life’. 

Davy still feels anger and guilt about the abuse, and says he sometimes wonders how his life would have been if it had not happened.

He considers that although sexual abuse by females has been acknowledged, society needs to understand that it is more prevalent than many people think. He would like people to realise that safeguarding children is essential, not ‘political correctness’, and that in schools it should be led by someone independent of the staff.

Davy says he feels that sharing his experience with the Truth Project ‘is a turning point … life is getting shorter and I don't want to live my life under a shadow’.

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