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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.

Shane says he committed several crimes as a teenager and was sent to a children’s custodial institution. From the moment he arrived, he was physically abused by staff, beaten and kicked for little or no reason.

He slept in a dormitory with other young people. One night, a member of staff, Duncan, came in and sat on his bed. Duncan began talking in double entendres and making suggestive comments, which Shane says confused him. This was soon followed by sexual abuse.

Duncan was in charge of the kitchen at the institution, which gave him control over an area of relative isolation. He would select residents to go and work there. Some saw the kitchen as a bit of a haven from the rest of the regime, but Shane says that for him, it was anything but because Duncan would sexually abuse him there.

This included taking photographs of him. Shane is certain those photographs still exist somewhere, and this bothers him a lot.

Shane relates that on another occasion, the abuse took place in a house outside the institution. He remembers passing through the official exit manned by a member of staff.

He believes this man must have known why he was being taken off the premises by Duncan or that someone else higher up in the institution had authorised his removal.

Shane says he has questioned many times how he could have been so easily removed from the custodial institution.

After some time, Shane says Duncan ‘lost interest’ in him and the abuse stopped. But before he left the institution, Duncan tried to arrange for Shane to meet another man.

Shane could not say no at the time, but he did not go to the meeting after he was released as he was suspicious about it.

Shane stopped offending after leaving the institution and went on to have a successful career. However, he adds that when he heard that Duncan had died, he became unable to function. He started being aggressive in his dealings with others and had to leave his job.

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