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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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Jasper says ‘I missed my childhood … I had to grow up fast … I had to learn how to defend myself’

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Jasper had a troubled childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and 70s. 

He was placed in the care system, where he suffered physical abuse from other young people and sexual abuse from a member of staff.

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

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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.

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Trevor was raped by a vicar in a church, abused in a custodial institution and failed by the police

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Trevor says he blocked out most of his childhood recollections to help him cope with the pain caused by the sexual abuse he suffered.

Now his early memories are returning, and he says he realises he had a ‘lovely childhood’ before the abuse changed his life.

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Her mother’s religious devotion made Sara vulnerable to sexual abuse

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Sara grew up in a divided family. Her mother was a Jehovah’s Witness but her father never joined the faith. He began to have affairs, left the family home and passed away when Sara was 11.

Relying on the support it provided, her mother became increasingly involved with her religion.

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Janice endured sexual abuse from her father and violence from her mother

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Janice’s father served in the armed forces and her family lived in military accommodation.

She says she can’t remember a time in her childhood when abuse was not happening in one form or another.

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Ruby says ‘You can be different people in a lifetime, I think, if you are given the chance’

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As a young girl Ruby suffered cruelty and abuse in her home at the hands of her stepfather. She describes how she has worked at recovering and says she feels lucky.

She says ‘It is really important to get people to voice things ... there is a need to recognise that you are a victim but that it isn’t your fault’.

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Florence’s father was convicted of child sexual abuse, but no one asked if he had abused her

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Florence’s father sexually abused her when she was a very young child. 

He was imprisoned for abusing her step-siblings but then allowed to return home, where he continued abusing Florence for several more years.

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Xavier finds it unbearable to think that child sexual abuse still goes on

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Xavier was sent to a boarding school in the 1970s, when he was nine years old.

He was raped one night by two members of staff in an attack that was so violent, he thought he might die.

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Dex felt it was ‘cool’ when a teacher befriended him, but this man sexually abused him

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Dex was bullied at school, and his mother asked a teacher to try and help.

But this teacher took advantage of Dex’s vulnerability and sexually abused him. 

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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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Dafydd feels that his fight for justice about the abuse he experienced has consumed his life

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Dafydd grew up in a violent household where his father would regularly beat him.

He was raped by a man known to the family. The difficulties and obstructions he has faced trying to get justice for what happened to him has added greatly to his frustration and anger.

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Jack says ‘I hated everyone, nobody cared and I was abusing solvents and truanting’

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Placed in care due to a family break-up, Jack’s vulnerability was exploited by a worker in the care system. Years later a gesture of kindness from a teacher was a turning point in his chaotic life that helped him reassess his view of the world.

Jack tried to report his abuser, but his experience was frustrating and unsatisfactory.

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