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Experiences Shared

Eve

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Eve was six years old when she and her brother were placed in a children’s home. 

For several years she was sexually abused by older children in the home. Instead of protecting her, the staff looked the other way, and at times were complicit in the abuse.

Eve explains that the home was set in grounds and split into different houses. She was the only girl in her house. A teenage boy began coming to her bed at night – he would touch her and make her touch him. When staff in the home found out, they punished her and kept her away from school.

After this, Eve says, she was regularly abused by other children, but staff continued to blame her and even accused her of sexually abusing other children. She remembers some of the boys saying that they had to abuse her, or they would get into trouble. 

Eve describes how staff either turned a blind eye to the abuse she suffered, or blamed her for it. At times, they even enabled other children to abuse her.

She also suffered emotional abuse from the staff. She remembers not being allowed to see family members. Sometimes the staff would punish her by taking her bedding and belongings away. 

She also witnessed two girls being sexually abused by a member of staff, when they were sitting on his knee. 

The abuse ended when Eve left the children’s home and went to another one. There, she says, she was well-supported and she feels this helped her cope in life. 

Eve first reported the abuse several years ago to a counsellor, who supported her in reporting it to the police. She says they do not seem to have taken much action and do not seem ‘bothered’ with her complaint; they have told her that she is the only person that has come forward. 

She feels very concerned about the way in which cases of child abuse are investigated, and that many records are unobtainable. She says that more funding should be available for counselling services.

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