Quick Exit

Experiences Shared

Tim

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Tim recalls how pleased he and his family were when he was allocated a place at the local church school. He says the headmaster ‘took a shine’ to him – he chose Tim to join the school choir and often called him to his office to read aloud and take tests.

But it was not long before the nature of these sessions changed. While Tim was reading, the headmaster began touching him inappropriately, before sending him back to class. Tim did not understand what was going on.

He recounts how the touching continued during reading sessions and progressed to the headmaster putting his hand inside Tim’s trousers. 

The headmaster arranged to give Tim music lessons outside the school day and premises, and used these as another opportunity to abuse him, with more touching and masturbation.

Tim says he knew the abuse was wrong but did not know what he could do. The headmaster was a well-respected authority figure and Tim did not think anyone would believe him.

Added to this, he had had no sex education and did not have the language to describe what was happening. 

The abuse had a damaging effect on Tim’s life. His academic work deteriorated, and he left school with only a few qualifications, travelling around the country and taking a series of jobs.

He says that after he met his wife, life slowly improved for him and he now has a job he loves and good friends.  

Tim later learned that other pupils at the school had made allegations of sexual abuse against the headmaster.

Some complaints were made many years ago and the local authority had apparently destroyed the file relating to the allegations more recently, which Tim feels was part of a cover up.

He was advised that a member of staff at the school had reported the headmaster’s behaviour to the church and the local authority, but the abuser was allowed to move to other schools without investigation.

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