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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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The‌ ‌Inquiry‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌the‌ ‌difficult decision‌‌ to‌ ‌stop‌ holding face to face Truth Project sessions‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌time, after carefully considering the Government's guidance. Other methods of sharing are still available.

Sexually abused by several men, Iris has asked herself ‘Was it my fault? Did I give off the wrong signals?’

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Iris’s father subjected her and her disabled mother to abuse and bullying. This made Iris vulnerable to abuse by other men and left her feeling confused and guilty about the sexual abuse she was subjected to on several occasions.

She says ‘It was a common experience in women and girls’ daily lives. Well, that was my experience.’ And she has questioned: ‘Was I too attractive? Was I to blame?’.

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Young people over the age of consent are still vulnerable, says Monica

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Monica was in her mid-teens and had just started sixth form when she entered into what she thought was a ‘relationship’ with a teacher at her school.

She recalls how flattered she was by the attention; it was exciting, she says. She thinks that most teachers knew and that her abuser was told to end the affair by the senior staff. He didn’t, and no other action was taken, and she stayed in his class.

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Ailish did not want to have a family of her own – she feels it is not possible to protect children

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Ailish grew up in the 1980s in a close-knit community where, she says, ‘People were always in and out of each other’s houses’. 

An elderly neighbour took advantage of this trust to sexually abuse her. He said no one would believe her if she told, and sadly this was true.

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Justin thinks that religion is a factor in sexual abuse

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Justin grew up in a large Christian family. His parents had to work long hours to support the family, and he recalls that his father did not seem to be around very much when he was younger.

He and his brothers attended a Catholic school. When Justin was eight years old, a sports teacher began to abuse him. He is now aware that this teacher also abused his two brothers but did not know this at the time.

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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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