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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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Agatha describes being on ‘high alert … in a state of constant anxiety’ throughout her fostering

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Agatha’s mother had mental health difficulties and found it difficult to care for her children. Because of this, Agatha and her siblings were placed in care.

She was sexually abused by the sons and father in her foster family, and physically and emotionally abused by the mother. She finds it hard to believe the family was paid to care for her and her sister: ‘They totally abused their position of trust.’

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Graham said ‘The potential scale of abuse within sporting institutions remains unknown’

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Graham was a pupil at an independent school that provided high level coaching in a sport from Mr James. Graham describes him as a powerful individual both in the school and nationally in the sport. The school had a good reputation and a history of producing champions in this sport.

Graham demonstrated extensive skills in this sport and was coached by Mr James for several years. From the very beginning and for several years, he was subjected to regular sexual abuse by Mr James, who also organised out-of-school activities for pupils.

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Richard says that children should not be sent to boarding schools

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Richard was sent to a boarding school where sexual abuse was perpetrated by staff and pupils. He feels strongly that parents should protect their children from potentially abusive environments.

When Richard was a young child, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to another area. Life was not easy for them, and social services became involved.

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Aalia feels she was traumatised a second time by the criminal justice system

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Years of sexual abuse that began when she was a small girl led Aalia to obsessively self‑harm. Years later she endured the ordeal of multiple trials.

Aalia was around seven or eight years old when she started going to the local mosque with her sibling. Soon she began going on her own, arriving early and waiting downstairs. A new mosque representative noticed her and suggested she should say her prayers early in his quarters. She thought this odd but agreed. He would stand next to her and compliment her. This went on for a few weeks.

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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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