Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Samson

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Samson was abused by a man called Mick who made friends with his family and won their trust by taking Samson and a friend to the park.

But these outings that the boys enjoyed turned out to be a grooming exercise so that Mick could abuse them.

Samson was about eight years old when Mick began to make friends with his family and take him out. Samson says at first, the visits were ‘nice’.  

As time went on, Samson and his friend were allowed to stay at Mick’s home and they then began stay over individually. From this point, he says that Mick started to make comments when they were watching television – for example, about children looking ‘nice with no clothes on’.

Samson says this grooming escalated to Mick telling him to ‘come and sit over here’, showing Samson magazines, touching his legs and slapping his backside. Later he made Samson touch his private parts and ‘put his mouth down there’.

Samson doesn’t remember any penetrative sex – he says it was ‘mainly touching’ but he thinks he may have blocked some things out.

The abuse went on for about a year until Samson told his mum, who called the police. Social services also became involved.

Mick was arrested and denied the offence until the day Samson was due to give evidence. Samson recalls being very nervous at the trial, as he was only about 10 years old.

At this point, Samson found out that about 25 other children had been abused by Mick. The abuser was given a 12-year sentence but released after serving less than half that time. Samson says he then breached his licence and was recalled but released again after a short time.

After the court case, Samson says his mother ‘turned to alcohol’ and he thinks this was partly because she blamed herself for the abuse. He was taken into care, and allowed supervised contact with his mum, which he says he did not like at the time.

He ‘did not take to foster care’ and rebelled against it, but says he settled better in children’s homes, where he felt there was more freedom.

Samson was about 15 years old when he heard Mick had been released, and for the next three years, he ‘just flipped out’. He says his ‘behaviour was bad … I had problems with drink and drugs and was getting arrested.’ He feels there was little support at the time. He did try counselling but did not find it helpful.

Now married with a family, Samson says he says he is very cautious about his own children – where they are and who they are with. His wife is aware of the sexual abuse and he has trained in youth work so he feels able to help others.

Samson thinks that social workers are not adequately trained. He would like them to listen more to the recommendations staff in children’s homes make about children in their care.

He adds that children and parents need to be educated about prevention and there should be more support for children, especially those in care, perhaps by telephone, and greater awareness about what support is already available.

He also thinks there should be ‘harsher sentencing of perpetrators to provide a real deterrent.’

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