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Experiences Shared

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

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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.

Having endured a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Nina’s main concern is the welfare of her two sons

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Nina says she was born into a ‘complicated’ family environment which was never able to provide the care and support she deserved. Her mother married a man from overseas and Nina was subjected to racial abuse throughout her childhood. After their home was firebombed, they moved to a council house.

Nina’s mother had been abused herself; she suffered from depression and was very unstable. When Nina was a baby her mother put her into foster care for a time as she couldn’t cope. Her older brothers also spent time in care. Two of Nina’s brothers spent some time in a Catholic-run care home where they were physically and sexually abused, returning home with injuries.

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Laurie says ‘I feel that my childhood innocence was brutally snatched from me at such a young age’

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As a young boy, Laurie was subjected to sexual abuse by three different men. He did not speak about this in detail for nearly 60 years.

He has reported the perpetrators to the police and says he feels relieved ‘it is now out in the open’.

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Years after she was sexually abused, Polly still feels that the investigation was inadequate

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Polly describes a complex and difficult family life. She was removed from her parents’ care and sent to live with relatives. 

This was not a safe place for her because her uncle sexually abused her. She has reported the abuse to the police, but is frustrated that no action has been taken.

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Ishion did not see sexual abuse as ‘terrible’ because he was so used to violent abuse

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Ishion grew up in a children’s home run by Christian missionaries. He was sexually abused by a male member of staff. The man who sexually abused Ishion was not violent.

He didn’t know his father, and only saw his mother a couple of times a year when she visited from the West Indies. 

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For decades, Cephas had no memories of several years of his childhood and early adolescence.

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Cephas was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness in a family he describes as ‘quite dysfunctional’. This was picked up by the elders and other members of their congregation and Cephas remembers that they were offered a lot of support. 

He wonders if this may have made him appear vulnerable to the grooming and abuse that was to come.

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Benicio-Dwayne says ‘A care order should mean just that – that care is given and that children are supported’

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Benicio-Dwayne grew up with a brother and a sister, but he does not recall much about them.

What he does remember of his family life is neglect, and physical and emotional abuse from his violent and unpredictable parents. And when he was placed with a foster family, he suffered sexual abuse.

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Chris was sexually abused in a Christian children’s home

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Chris has a dual heritage. As a baby he was placed in a Christian children’s home where he says the perception of staff was that the children came from parents with poor morals and needed ‘saving’. In fact, the environment the home provided caused him enormous harm.

Chris’ mother’s parents were furious when she became pregnant and sent their daughter away to give birth. Chris’s father had returned to Africa and his mother felt that it was in Chris’s best interest to place him in care.

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Laurell’s school operated with little oversight and abusers took full advantage of this

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Laurell grew up in an abusive home. When she was in her early teens she was sent to a small boarding school. It was privately owned by a couple, and was an approved school where some of the pupils were troubled children.

Laurell describes it as a closed institution, with physical and sexual abuse accepted as part of the punishment regime. 

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Tina developed a teenage crush on a teacher who was a controlling abuser

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Tina was groomed and abused by Roy, a married teacher at her school. She was a teenager at the time.

She developed a crush on him, which he encouraged. He was charming, and she says it seemed to be common knowledge among other staff that he liked to talk to the girls at the school.

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Alyssa says ‘I was getting the attention online that I never got elsewhere’

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Alyssa was an only child and her mum was a single parent who worked long hours.

Lonely and isolated at home, Alyssa began chatting on online sites that were supposed to be for children, but were also frequented by adult sexual abusers.

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Lucy’s trauma has caused lifelong problems for herself and her family

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Hospitalised at the age of 11 years because of an assault by her mother, Lucy was taken into care and placed with a foster family. There, she was raped repeatedly by a violent man and his two teenage sons.

Lucy’s attempts to seek justice have not succeeded and she has suffered severe mental health difficulties. Despite this, she has managed to build strong and happy relationships with her family and loved ones.

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A doctor barred Warren’s parents from his examination room so he could sexually abuse his 13-year-old patient

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For over 35 years Warren has felt a ‘black cloud’ permanently over him as a result of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a doctor. 

Warren’s parents had a troubled relationship. His father was violent to him and his mother and by the time he was 12 years old his parents communicated with each other only through him.

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