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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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Cassy feels the effects of abuse will never leave her but will follow her wherever she goes

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Cassy endured sexual abuse and sadistic bullying by other pupils at her private boarding school.

She is still extremely traumatised by the terrible experiences she had as a young girl.

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Miley says she was happy in care because she had clothes and was allowed to play

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Miley was fostered when she was a small child as both her parents had been in prison, but she was returned to them.

She was physically and emotionally abused by her mother every day and sexually abused by her father from the age of nine.

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Cyrah says ‘The people I thought were there to protect me didn’t believe a word I was saying’

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After Cyrah was assaulted and raped by her father, she was placed in the care system. 

There, she was sexually abused and exploited by several more men. 

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Cristina told adults she was being abused - ‘I wanted them to sort it out but it backfired’

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Cristina tried to tell two different teachers that she was being sexually abused by her father. 

And one of her relatives recently apologised to her for knowing that she was being abused, but not acting.

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A medical professional brutally sexually assaulted Gilly when she was a vulnerable pregnant teenager

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Gilly got pregnant when she was a teenager in the 1960s. 

During the secretive process to have the baby adopted, she was sexually abused by a doctor.

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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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Bennie says the Jehovah’s Witness church should reform the way it deals with child sexual abuse

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Bennie was brought up in a Jehovah’s Witness family.

He was sexually abused by two family members but when he told the church elders, they blamed him.

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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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Lindsay says believed ‘calms and soothes you, and you bless the person who believes you’

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Lindsay has a disturbing memory of being sexually abused by her uncle when she was a young child. 

The trauma caused by the abuse has blighted her life, and she is angry with herself that she was unable to report it when it happened. 

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Caolan was sexually abused by a Catholic brother but he confessed it as his sin

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Caolan and his family were devout Catholics who attended Mass every week. 

He was happy to be sent to a church boarding school because he believed anything connected with his religion must be good. But he was subjected to sexual abuse by several of the Catholic brothers, which caused him lasting damage and destroyed his faith.

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When he told his adoptive father that he was being abused, Harlan was told men had sex ‘to keep warm’

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Harlan was born a few years after the end of World War II, and adopted when he was a baby.  

He was sexually abused by a teacher, and his adoptive parents refused to take him seriously when he told them.

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A strict religious community closed ranks to prevent Jamie from reporting the sexual abuse he suffered

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Growing up in an extreme and highly controlling religious community, Jamie had no one to turn to about the abuse he suffered.

Jamie describes the culture of the community as very closed. All issues were expected to be dealt with within the community, which provided its own services including healthcare services, education and religious courts.

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