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Experiences Shared

These are some of the experiences of child sexual abuse shared with the Truth Project. All names and identifying details have been changed.

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It was clear to Alexandria that girls were likely to be blamed for the wrong-doings of the boys

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Alexandria grew up in the 1970s and 80s in an industrial community with strong masculine traditions. 

The prevailing view in her strongly religious family was that the boys ‘could do no wrong’. The reality was that some of Alexandria’s brothers sexually abused her and her sister.

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Calvin was scared of his mother and tried to stay away from her as much as possible

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Calvin grew up in the early 1950s in a difficult family environment, with a violent, neurotic and unstable mother.

He suffered sexual abuse by his mother, and also by her boyfriend. 

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Donald put on weight to try to protect himself from sexual abuse

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Donald relates a catalogue of abuse that began in the family home and continued within a care system where all too often abusers gave him ‘their kind of care’.

He says he feels worthless and violated because of the abuse he suffered and wonders how his life would have been different if it had not happened.

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Corey was sexually abused and raped in his home by a teenage girl

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Corey was sexually abused and raped in his home by a teenage girl. It began when he was a young boy who had no idea about sex – ‘just a baby’ he says.

The abuse caused him immense distress, confusion and revulsion and has had huge repercussions on his life.

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When Luciana was assaulted as an adult, she began to make sense of her childhood experiences

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When Luciana was a toddler, she was placed in the care of her grandparents. 

For her whole life, she has lived with distressing memories and feelings from her childhood that she struggles to make sense of.

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After a lifetime of physical abuse, Glenn thought a sexual abuser was showing him love

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Glenn’s story begins when he was taken away from his homeless mother soon after he was born and taken into care. His mother was denied visitation rights and she had passed away by the time he left care. He never knew the identity of his father. 

He spent time in several different children’s homes across the country. During this time, he suffered physical and sexual abuse by his carers and at the hands of regular visitors approved by the homes. 

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Denise was sexually abused by her family and in care, and failed by her school

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Denise’s father was a violent man who was physically abusive towards her mother and her siblings. He played no part in her life after he was sent to prison when she was a baby.

After a period in care, Denise was returned home only to be abused by her mother’s new partner.

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Eliza says ‘There needs to be a shift in attitude to what people call “attention seeking”’

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Eliza’s mother was in a relationship with a man who physically and emotionally abused her and her two children. To escape him, the family went to live in a hostel when Eliza was a young teenager.

She says ‘I was looking for attention … for someone to want me’. A man twice her age took advantage of her vulnerability and sexually abused her.

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Carolyn’s parents were concerned she would be ‘shamed’ as a victim

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Carolyn was sexually abused by a ‘family man’ when she was on holiday with her parents in the 1960s.

She feels that attitudes to sexual abuse and victims and survivors have changed in the years since she was abused. She wishes that more action had been taken to stop this man possibly abusing others.  

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After he was abused, Bryn led a troubled life, but says counselling changed everything for him

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Although his parents split up, Bryn describes his childhood as happy. But sexual abuse by a cadet leader altered the course of his life.

Bryn was the youngest of three children. His mother was in her early 20s when his father left the family. Bryn missed him, but soon after, his mother got a new partner, and Bryn says he could not have asked for a better stepfather. He was also close to his grandfather.

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The man who sexually abused Carwyn was wealthy but did jobs to give him contact with children

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When Carwyn and his family were at a holiday camp, they were befriended by a man who was working there as a chef.

He turned out to be a very wealthy man who owned a huge house full of expensive gadgets and toys. He used these attractions to lure in young children for sexual abuse.

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The police said sexual abuse of Lexi by teenage boys was ‘experimenting’

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When she was about 18 months old, Lexi’s father took her from her mother and they moved into a block of flats.

The father of another family sexually abused Lexi when she was a small child. As a young teenager, she suffered further sexual abuse from teenage neighbours. The police dismissed her as an unreliable witness.

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