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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.

Maria says 'I can't remember a time when I didn't know what sex was'

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As a baby Maria was removed from her mother’s care after being found alone and neglected. Her father worked away and could not look after Maria so she was placed with her grandparents.

There she was sexually abused by a lodger and two of her uncles. Later, she bravely protected her younger sister from the same fate.

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Samson’s experiences have made him very cautious about where his children are and who they are with

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Samson was abused by a man called Mick who made friends with his family and won their trust by taking Samson and a friend to the park.

But these outings that the boys enjoyed turned out to be a grooming exercise so that Mick could abuse them.

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When Melissa watched her child play, it brought home how different her own childhood was

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Melissa was born in the early 1970s. She grew up in a deprived area that she describes as ‘rife with criminal behaviour’.

She endured a childhood and adolescence of chaos, neglect, violence and sexual abuse, but was determined that her son would have a better experience.

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A dance instructor held in high regard by Beatrice’s parents sexually abused their daughter

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Beatrice and her family took part in dance lessons in their local community.

The instructor sexually abused Beatrice but her mother refused to take any action. Beatrice believes this was because she did not want to disrupt the family’s social activities.

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Winnie wants to help engage ethnic minority community members with the Truth Project

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Winnie grew up in a large and chaotic family. Her parents had a volatile relationship, and her mother was an alcoholic. She was sexually abused by an older boy, and a pastor who ran a gospel choir.

She believes that within ethnic minority communities, a culture of not engaging with authorities can prevent sexual abuse being reported. Winnie says she was exposed to adult sexual activity from an early age. Her father watched pornography with his friends, and she witnessed adults having sex. 

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Juliet was disbelieved and blamed for the immoral behaviour of adults

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A succession of abusive encounters in the care system led to Juliet being sexualised at a young age, then disbelieved and blamed for the immoral behaviour of adults.

Juliet’s father left the family home when she was a baby and her mother was an alcoholic and a drug-user. At 18 months old, Juliet was placed in foster care with a family.

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Ezra’s father only believed him after media reports about the children’s home

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Ezra grew up in a large family. He describes himself as the ‘black sheep’ because he got into trouble so much.

At the age of 12, he was put in a children’s home where he was sexually abused. He reported it but was not believed.

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Kyla feels she was let down by the care system and the police

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Kyla’s parents were drug addicts who did not show any love to their children.

After they got divorced, the children were sent to different carers for respite periods. Kyla was sexually abused by the adult son of her foster parents.

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A music teacher made Penelope feel special with one-to-one lessons but then sexually abused her

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Penelope was 16 when she began studying A level music. The teacher, Guy, convinced her she should have extra lessons alone with him.

She later realised that singling her out for individual attention was a ploy to give him the opportunity to abuse her.

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Layla was being abused, but her priority was to protect her mother and sister

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Layla’s stepfather sexually abused her for about six years. 

He told her it was a ‘special type of love’, and warned her that he would hurt her mother and her sister if she told anyone.

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Now in her 50s, at 14 Alison was pregnant by a care home staff member and tried to drown her own daughter

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As an adult Alison has obtained a copy of her care file. She describes it as a ‘litany of failures’ and it contains information that supports her account of her experiences.

She was removed from her mother’s care as a toddler, having been found ‘wasting away’ in her cot; her father was in prison. From then, she experienced abuse from staff in the care system that culminated in her becoming pregnant after being raped.

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Bernie says ‘I mourn the loss of the little girl I was’

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Bernie was sexually abused by a vicar in her community.

At the age of 12, she says, she ‘went from playing with dolls to off the rails overnight’.

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