Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Kevin

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

It was only when Kevin heard a radio programme about sexual abuse that he really understood what had happened to him as a child. The difficulty for him when he was young, he says, is that ‘I didn’t always know the words for what was happening to me.’

Following his parents’ divorce, Kevin and his mother lived with relatives for a short time. He says it was a relief when they left there, as his uncle had been sexually abusing him.

After moving to a new home, Kevin joined a Christian youth organisation where the leader ‘took a shine’ to him, offering to pay for a trip that Kevin’s mother could not afford. On this trip, the leader sexually abused Kevin and made him witness to sexual abuse of other boys in the dormitory.

Kevin questions how these childhood experiences may have shaped his life. He rebelled as a teenager and was sent to a detention centre for fighting. There, he was subjected to physical assault by the prison officers and violence far worse than that he was sentenced for. On release he spent years of his life misusing drugs and alcohol and acquired a lengthy criminal record.

When he tried to share with both his parents that he had been sexually abused as a child, his mother suggested he may be gay and his father did not seem interested.

Kevin gave a detailed account of the sexual abuse he had experienced to the police. However, after the officers left he never heard from them again. He feels he was fobbed off, and that: ‘They probably didn’t value the testimony of someone with such a lengthy criminal record.’

In an adult prison, Kevin found religion and sought help from the church regarding the sexual abuse he had been subjected to. After a couple of false starts, he received counselling that he says was life-changing and enabled him to forgive ‘the demons from my past’.

He tells the Inquiry: ‘I now consider myself to be a survivor. I haven’t had a fight in many years as I now have exemplary self-control. This is thanks to finding my faith, which is very dear to me. However, I would like to play a part in ending today the abuse of other suffering children.’

Kevin makes several recommendations he believes would help keep children safer in the future.

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