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Experiences Shared

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The‌ ‌Inquiry‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌the‌ ‌difficult decision‌‌ to‌ ‌stop‌ holding face to face Truth Project sessions‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌time, after carefully considering the Government's guidance. Other methods of sharing are still available.


All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Molly was abused by her stepfather for more than 10 years. 

He controlled her with threats and manipulation, but eventually she reported the abuse and he was jailed for the torment he had inflicted on her and her brother.

After Molly’s parents separated when she was a small child, she lived with her mother and younger brother. 

She says they were ‘dragged’ to Baptist church every Sunday, and it was here that her mother met Ewan, the man who became Molly’s stepfather.

Although Ewan took her and her brother on outings and gave them treats, Molly says she ‘never really warmed to him’. When she was eight years old, he began abusing her sexually, psychologically, emotionally and physically. The abuse took place in Molly’s home and in other houses that Ewan owned.

She remembers being beaten for many reasons, including not standing ‘properly’. She says her stepfather was very good at manipulating her, with remarks such as ‘All daddies do this to their daughters’. He warned Molly that if she told anyone about the abuse the shock would kill her mother. He said he would always find Molly and hurt her, wherever she was. 

Ewan rewarded Molly with presents if she did what he wanted and she remembers that she began to ‘do things’ to him so she could get gifts. She adds that she was never allowed out and she felt very restricted. 

When Molly was about 11 years old, her mother became pregnant by Ewan and Molly remembers feeling that her mother was ‘now really his’.

 As Molly got older she sometimes fought back and this got her into trouble. The abuse continued until she left home in her late teens.

She later met someone she trusted enough to tell about the abuse she had experienced at home. This person convinced her to report it. By this time, Molly had discovered that Ewan had also abused her younger brother, and he also went to the police. 

Ewan had previously had a job that brought him into contact with children and Molly believes he had offended before. He was given a prison sentence. He is now deceased.

Looking back, Molly believes that Ewan definitely targeted her mother because she had two young children. She also thinks her mother knew about the abuse. Molly says she became precocious and sexually aware but this wasn’t picked up by anyone at school or elsewhere. 

She said that today, more than 50 years after the abuse occurred, certain smells and items remind her of the places Ewan took her to abuse her. But, she adds, ‘Child sexual abuse doesn’t have to ruin your life’. 

Molly would like to see changes to the criminal justice system so that ‘sentences fit the crime’.


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