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Experiences Shared

Eileen

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Eileen and her sister were subjected to sexual abuse from her brothers and father, who was also a heavy drinker with a violent temper that he took out on all the children and his wife. 

This abuse began when Eileen was six or seven years old and continued until she was 15 or 16, when both brothers were married and left home.

Her brothers, Tony and Dave, would regularly take her and her sister out and masturbate over them. Tony would always abuse Eileen's sister and Dave would abuse Eileen.

At home Dave would try to kiss and touch Eileen and put his hands everywhere; she tried to keep out of his way. Her mum would often find them together and tell Dave to ‘get off’.

Eileen says that her father would come into the bedroom and tuck her sister and her into bed and touch their genitals as he did this. When she was about 15 she told her mum what was happening. After a big row the sexual abuse stopped but the physical abuse continued. 

On one occasion when her father was angry with Eileen, he hit her so badly in the stomach that he caused her serious injury. She was taken to an A&E department by her sister and a friend and had an operation. No one at the hospital asked what had happened and she was returned home. Afterwards, her father said that she had to tell people that she had fallen down the stairs.

Eileen says she was very reserved and quiet at school and often had bruising but nobody asked her about it.

When Tony moved away and got married he had a number of children. She says that he sexually abused his daughter and his wife divorced him, but the daughter remained living with Tony and the abuse of his daughter continued. Eileen says that Tony’s other children have their own children, but she has not been involved with their family for years.

When Dave’s wife died, Eileen went to stay with him to help out. On the morning after her first night there he came into Eileen’s bedroom and got into bed with her. She stopped him and said that it was not all right, but her brother did not seem to understand this. He is now living in a care home and has some dementia.

Eileen says that there was no point in telling anyone at the time about the abuse as nothing would stop it and she felt that no one would believe her. She wonders what her life would have been like if this had not happened to her as she now regularly gets depressed.

She says she wanted to come forward to the Truth Project to try to ensure that this didn't happen to any other young people. Eileen recommends that schools and hospitals should take more care to investigate any unexplained injuries on children that come under their care.

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