Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Derek

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Derek describes how being sexually abused by a teacher at boarding school made him feel embarrassed and guilty.

The teacher was very friendly and would invite Derek to his room, where he drew him into a sexual relationship. Derek says that at the time he felt there was no cruelty involved. Instead he felt bad for ‘encouraging favourable treatment’ and for doing something that he knew was wrong.

He was intensely embarrassed and did not want to speak to anyone about it. There was no one he could speak to anyway.

The abuse by the teacher continued for some time. After Derek finished his exams, the teacher disappeared. Derek did not report his abuse.

He says that another teacher at the school was later arrested and convicted of sexual offences involving children. He became aware of this when his mother saw the news in a local paper and wanted to be sure her son was not one of the victims.

Derek was not aware of any attempt to find out if there were any other victims at the school.

Derek went on to have a successful career. He married and had children. He has never spoken to his wife about his experience and says he is not inclined to now. 

However, he did write to the school to disclose what happened to him. He wanted an assurance that a proper inquiry would take place but says the school’s response was unsatisfactory and did not follow any of the correct procedures for dealing with these types of allegations.

He is clear that he did not want to sue the school, but he wanted a proper investigation. When the school’s insurers became involved, he decided that ‘life was too short’ and he stopped pursuing the matter. Instead, he chose to share his experience with the Truth Project.

Derek believes that it is essential to separate the issue of compensation from the fundamental issue of sexual abuse. He adds that if people focus on compensation, they will not address solutions and cures.

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