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Experiences Shared

These are some of the experiences of child sexual abuse shared with the Truth Project. All names and identifying details have been changed.

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Amanda reported her teacher to the police after the Jimmy Savile case became public

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Amanda says of her family life: ‘Everything was about pleasing daddy.’

There were sexualised and controlling relationships between her father and his wife and children, who were encouraged to compete for his favour and attention. She believes this dynamic made her vulnerable to sexual abuse in the residential school she attended.

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Curtis remembers how he felt when he was eight: ‘no one spoke a single kind word to me, ever’

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Curtis spent almost his entire childhood in care, during the 1950s and 60s. As a young child he was moved from a residential nursery to a care home which he describes as ‘the most miserable place on the planet’.

Isolated from his family and not knowing what had happened to his mother, he faced years of physical and sexual abuse with no one to turn to.

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Leonard is upset that his parents’ trust was betrayed by the priests who sexually abused him

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Leonard’s family were devout Christians and he and his two siblings were sent to church schools. He and one of his siblings were sexually abused by priests but at the time did not confide in each other or their parents.

Leonard describes how tortured he felt by the abuse, and his distress that his parents were so cruelly deceived by people they respected and trusted.

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Ben says ‘Looking at the map of my abuse, everybody knew … nobody stopped it.’

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As a young boy, Ben loved his local church and joined the choir, often performing at concerts.

He thought the choirmaster, Robin, seemed like a ‘nice, modern chap’ and was pleased when Robin invited him to his home to see a train set.

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60 years after being sexually abused at private school, Henry came to the Truth Project

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Henry says it was difficult for him to come forward to the Truth Project; in 60 years he has never spoken about his sexual abuse to anyone other than his partner.

Henry hopes that talking about the sexual abuse he suffered will form a small but important part of the Inquiry ‘jigsaw’ and may in some way help to protect others from similar experiences.

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Clive’s life was badly affected after being sexually abused by a stranger in the public toilets

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Sexually abused by a stranger when he was a small boy, Clive has struggled with the psychological and emotional effects ever since.

Clive really wants people to understand that for those who have been sexually abused: ‘It doesn’t need to be stigmatised as some sort of disability, but it does need to be recognised that this will have a lifelong impact.’

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After he was convicted of sexually abusing her, Erin’s grandfather was welcomed back into the family

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Erin was sexully abused by her paternal grandfather over a period of about eight years, in his home and her own.

The sexual abuse began when Erin was a small child. It usually occurred when her grandfather was babysitting or when she was staying at her grandparents’ home.

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When Aaron heard a tree branch hitting his bedroom window he was terrified it was his abuser

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Aaron’s father worked for the emergency services. The family house was provided with his employment and their next door neighbour was a work colleague. 

When Aaron was about five years old, this neighbour began to sexually abuse him. To this day, certain sounds can trigger distressing memories for him.

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Anita was sexually abused by a relative. Justice was only done after many years and family discord

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As a young child, Anita was regularly taken to visit her grandparents. On these visits, a family member would take her off to a different room and sexually abuse her. 

She had a medical condition which meant that she was frequently in hospital. During one consultation she told the doctor that she ‘hurting down below’. Instead of reporting this, the doctor advised Anita’s mother to ‘blow on’ the parts that were sore. Anita’s mother thought that Anita was being ‘all dramatic’ and she continued to be taken to her grandparents’ home, where her family member would be.

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Nita says ‘For many years I thought it was a stupid thing I did and I should just get over it’

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The sexual abuse that Nita experienced as a nine year old began with attention from her older brother’s friend, which she enjoyed at first.

She quickly became trapped into engaging in sex acts that she ‘couldn’t bear’, but was too embarrassed to speak out about.

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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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Gina was sexually abused by a music teacher and the family friend she told about the abuse

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Gina was subjected to sexual abuse by a music teacher, and then by a family friend in whom she had confided about the sexual abuse.

Gina says that she was always a quiet child, but she does not know whether this made her appear vulnerable to her abusers, or whether it was the sexual abuse that caused her to retreat.

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