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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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Due to the current situation caused by coronavirus (Covid-19) we have made some changes to Truth Project sessions in person. You can still share your experience with the Truth Project over the phone, in writing, and now through a video call.

Tracey-Ann says ‘There is no such thing as bad children, only children that have been dealt a bad hand’

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Tracey-Ann describes a childhood of “abject terror”, with sexual abuse and domestic violence. Her earliest memory is being abused by her babysitter who later became her stepfather.

She describes how she and her siblings were terrorised by their stepfather. He would wait until they were asleep, then drag them from their beds while wearing a mask. 

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When Kayden complained he had been sexually abused, school staff said it was just ‘messing about’

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When Kayden was in primary school, he was diagnosed with both a learning and a physical disability.

A primary school teacher had pushed for extra help to support Kayden’s educational needs, and the local authority found a boarding school that seemed suitable. 

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Ralph experiences flashbacks but does not want to remember exact details of his abuse

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Ralph was a small child  when his parents enrolled him in an independent school run by a Catholic religious order.

He has very few memories from the time when he was at the school, but a few years ago he began to experience flashbacks. When all the media coverage of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal appeared, he decided to write to the school. His letter was passed to the religious order’s headquarters, and shortly after he received an ‘apology’.

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Francesca thought her controlling and manipulative father was ‘the best human being alive’

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Francesca and her parents lived abroad when she was young but her mother had an affair which led to her parents separating.

Her father was very manipulative, and ensured that Francesca lived with him by threatening to kill himself if her mother did not allow this. He sexually abused his daughter for seven years, which caused lasting damage to her life.

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Aston lives with the sadness of an unhappy childhood that left him vulnerable to sexual abuse

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Aston was sexually abused when he was in a children’s home. 

He hopes that sharing his experience with the Truth Project will help him to make sense of what has happened in his life.

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Prompted by news about the football and Savile cases, Dan spoke for the first time after more than 60 years

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Dan was born during the war. His mother was a single parent and he was adopted at birth by a couple whom he describes as ‘lovely’ parents, and he says he had ‘a great childhood’.

Sadly his adoptive father died when Dan was still young. He suspects that the lack of a father figure in his life made him vulnerable to the sexual abuse he was subjected to by a Scout leader.

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Lily was stereotyped as a ‘sexual predator’ as a young child by adults who should have protected her

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When Lily was young she and her siblings were placed into care, but not all in the same place, much to her disappointment. For the first few years, she and some of her family were in a religious care institution where they did not experience any abuse.

But she and one of her siblings were moved to another place, which she describes as a ‘workhouse’ rather than a home. She adds it was ‘cold’, ‘religious’, there was ‘no warmth’ and living there was a matter of ‘survival of the fittest’.

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Dee says that when she was fostered ‘I wasn’t any bother – I was too terrified to be any bother …’

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After Dee’s father died in an accident her mother was unable to look after her.  

She was sent to live with a foster family, June and Ron, and their two children. She gives a harrowing description of the neglect and abuse that she endured from the day she arrived to live with this couple.

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Bonnie strongly believes that schools and health practitioners should pick up the signs of abuse

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Bonnie’s father was a violent man who physically abused his wife and son and sexually abused her and her elder sister.

She describes living in total fear of her father. His violence was so extreme that he inflicted severe injuries upon her mother.

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The teacher who abused Roisin told her an important lesson in life was knowing how to lie

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Roisin was vulnerable and isolated when she was a child.

A teacher singled Roisin out to groom and sexually abuse her. She now realises she had been brainwashed into believing it was a love affair.

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Laoise told her social worker she didn’t want to get hurt any more

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Laoise’s mother often had to stay in hospital, and Laoise would be sent to stay with foster parents.

She was sexually abused by an older girl in the foster family. 

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No one asked Liam why he kept running away when he was placed in a children’s home

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Liam was taken into care in the early 1970s because his mother was unable to look after him. 

He was sexually abused by his social worker. In recent years, other victims have come forward and the man has been charged with several offences.

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There are very limited circumstances where we tell anyone your name without your consent, for example if a child is currently at risk and we need to tell the police.