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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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India says ‘I want to succeed in life, but don’t feel I can because my past gets in the way’

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India was neglected as a child. 

When she was sexually abused, in one way, she says, she was pleased someone was taking an interest in her.

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Hari feels strongly that when victims and survivors come forward, they should be treated with respect

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Hari was sexually abused when he was seven or eight years old, by the headmaster of his school.

He reported the abuse many years later, but felt let down by the response from the police.

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Lola applies her experiences of sexual abuse to deliver prevention education in schools

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Lola grew up in a Catholic family. She was sexually abused by a relative for many years, starting when she was a small child. 

She was subjected to further sexual abuse by three more perpetrators, including a priest. She believes that her early experiences made her confused and vulnerable to other abusers.

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Alistair is determined his children will have the childhood that was taken from him

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Alistair grew up in the countryside and describes his childhood as ‘idyllic’ but marred by a single incident of abuse.

He describes how he was unable to tell anyone what had happened and how it troubled him for many years, before he spoke to the Truth Project.

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Cole says ‘If just one person had listened to me ...’

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As a child, Cole was subjected to appalling physical cruelty by his father. 

After his mother left home, Cole’s new stepmother sexually abused him, but no one would believe this was happening.

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Amber describes herself as ‘a child that wasn’t wanted’

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Amber was born in the Caribbean in the late 1950s and came to join her mother in the UK when she was six years old. 

Her mother subjected her to relentless cruelty and did nothing to protect her from being sexually abused by the man she thought was her father. 

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On reporting her abuse to the police, Lynda says ‘I went in a survivor and left feeling like a victim’

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Lynda was fostered, along with her sister, when she was a toddler. After a series of placements, the girls were permanently placed with a couple who had their own child and another young boy who was also fostered.

By this time Lynda was four and her sister a few years older. Lynda remembers there was ‘no love in that house whatsoever’ and describes her foster father, Robert, as ‘not a very nice person’.

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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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Fenella describes how bad she felt when her mother and the police did not believe she had been abused

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When Fenella was sexually abused and raped by her stepfather, her mother did not support her.

The police did not return her calls when she tried to find out whether they were acting on her report.

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Idris feels that more support should be available for older men who have survived sexual abuse

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Idris was sexually abused at home by his stepfather over a period of about 10 years.

His experiences have caused him mental health problems, but he says that attending a support group for male victims and survivors is very helpful.

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Dustin says ‘One of my greatest sadnesses has been that I’ve never had kids’

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Although Dustin’s faith has remained strong, he hasn’t been able to forget the abuse he suffered within the church. 

The abuse took place at the church where Dustin was a chorister. It began when he was 10 years old and continued for a number of years.

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The man who abused Holly controlled her by befriending her parents

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Holly grew up in a farming community. She was sexually abused by a man who was friendly with her parents.

She feels more should be done to raise awareness of sexual abuse in rural areas. 

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