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Experiences Shared


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Iain was sexually abused by two men who came into contact with his family. 

One was a youth leader who formed a relationship with his mother to increase his access to Iain.

Iain was seven years old the first time he was sexually abused. The perpetrator was a family friend, Rob, who came to stay for a few weeks. Iain remembers playing a lot in the garden wearing swimming trunks, because it was a very hot summer, and that Rob repeatedly touched him inside his trunks.

He says he tried to keep Rob away from him by wearing more clothes, and he was glad when Rob left. 

A few years later, Iain and his family moved house. His father drank a lot and was violent, and there were a lot of arguments at home. 

Iain joined a games club at the local youth centre. One of the leaders, Kris, befriended Iain and would give him lifts home, which Iain says was helpful because he couldn’t rely on his parents. 

Over time, Kris began to visit Iain’s home regularly, and he began to date Iain’s mother after she had separated from his father. Sometimes he would stay overnight, sleeping in the same room as Iain. Iain started wearing his school uniform to bed so he could get up and out of the room as quickly as possible. Iain told his mother what Kris was doing but he says she didn’t do anything. He thinks she thought he was making it up to get attention.

They moved house again when Iain was 12, and Kris came to live with them. Over the next six years, he continued going into Iain’s room to abuse him. Iain says he felt he had been 'trained like a dog' to go to Kris for the abuse to happen.

Because his mother often worked night shifts, Kris had a lot of unrestricted access to Iain. Iain says his younger sibling tried putting booby-traps on their bedroom door, hoping it would wake their mother when she was there if Kris tried to come into their room.

When Iain was 18, Kris started sexually abusing his younger brother, who told someone at school. Iain and his sibling were put into care while this was being investigated. 

Kris was arrested and a video of child sexual abuse was found hidden in his study. Before he could be put on trial, he disappeared overseas.

As Iain got older he drank and took drugs, and says he ended up in a bad place. He says he slept with lots of women to prove his sexual identity. He attempted suicide. After a few years he turned his life around, found a job, and through training and learning at work he developed a good career.

Some time later, the police contacted Iain to say that Kris had been extradited back to the UK. During the trial, Iain discovered that he appeared in a video being abused by Kris, and also that his mother had seen Kris sexually abusing her son when they were on holiday.

Kris received a lengthy prison sentence. Iain has not spoken to his mother since. 

Iain now has his own successful business and is happily married. He wants others to know it is possible to recover from abuse with the right support. He says ‘I’ve done the crying, I can’t change what happened to me’.

He feels it is vital that victims of child sexual abuse are helped, especially young children whose education may have been affected by the abuse. Iain adds that being able to have training and education as an adult made a big difference for him and he would like to see that available for all victims and survivors. 

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