Skip to main content Quick Exit

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.

Download a PDF sample of accounts

Agatha describes being on ‘high alert … in a state of constant anxiety’ throughout her fostering

read full account

Agatha’s mother had mental health difficulties and found it difficult to care for her children. Because of this, Agatha and her siblings were placed in care.

She was sexually abused by the sons and father in her foster family, and physically and emotionally abused by the mother. She finds it hard to believe the family was paid to care for her and her sister: ‘They totally abused their position of trust.’

read full account

Andi was labelled ‘highly strung’ when she told a teacher about her abusive stepfather

read full account

Andi says she was outspoken and she tried to defy her abusive stepfather. 

When she reported him, he convinced people that she was badly behaved.

read full account

The only significant ‘relationships’ Hallie had as a young girl were with men who sexually abused her

read full account

Hallie had a difficult childhood and she craved care and affection.

She was sexually abused by several adult men who exploited her vulnerability.

read full account

Eboney thinks her behaviour should have prompted an adult to ask her what was wrong

read full account

Eboney was sexually abused by another young child.

This has been dismissed by some family members as ‘kids messing around’, but the abuse has had a lasting impact on many aspects of her life.

read full account

Ryder wants to acknowledge what happened to him in the past, then try and be positive

read full account

Ryder was sexually abused by a teacher at a faith boarding school. 

His parents were pleased that he won a scholarship to attend the school, and he thinks this is one reason why he felt unable to speak out about the abuse.

read full account

Lisa-Marie’s violent father sexually abused her for two years, until he began having an affair

read full account

Lisa-Marie grew up with her mother, two siblings  and her father, who was violent to the whole family.

When her father started to sexually abuse her she decided not to tell anyone,to protect her mother and siblings, and to not make the situation they were in any worse. 

read full account

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

read full account

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.

read full account

Courtney’s health condition made her vulnerable to sexual abuse by a classmate

read full account

Courtney suffered from a neurological disorder when she was in primary school.

Her illness made her feel isolated, and she found it hard to form friendships. She was happy when a boy wanted to be friends with her, but his friendship turned into an abusive relationship.

read full account

A trusted family member raped Megan when she was seven years old

read full account

Megan describes her childhood as ‘rich’, although the family was financially poor. Both her parents worked long shifts and they arranged for her uncle, Daniel, to care for her and her sister while they were working.

This arrangement resulted in a serious sexual attack on Megan that has had devastating consequences on her life.

read full account

Angus felt safer in a police cell than at home

read full account

Given up by his family at a young age, Angus was left at the mercy of abusive carers. His childhood was so troubled as a result that he describes how being in a police cell felt safer than being at home.

Angus says that when his mother asked for him to be placed for adoption, his father, who was in the forces, agreed this was in his best interests. He comments: ‘It wrecked my life, being rejected by my own family.’

read full account

At Sam’s religious boarding school there was a culture of acceptance of sexual abuse

read full account

Sam attended a religious boarding school during the 1970s. He explains how he was one of several boys who were sexually abused by a teacher.

Victor was not a priest, but a lay member of staff. Very soon after he joined the school, he started abusing Sam. He would invite Sam to his personal quarters, on the pretext of helping him with his studies.

read full account

For years, Brody felt his abuse was not ‘terrible’ but says ‘it’s had a really big impact actually’

read full account

Brody was a bright child, and his parents were delighted when one of his teachers singled him out for praise and attention.

Because of their feelings, he was bewildered when this man sexually abused him, and powerless to tell them what was really happening.

read full account

Your privacy

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.