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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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Yvonne says ‘I now realise it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t to blame, I couldn’t have stopped it’

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Yvonne grew up in a disrupted family. Before she was in her teens, she had been subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of three men.

Her father, who had physically abused Yvonne and her siblings, took his own life when she was about four or five years old.

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Publicity about a high-profile abuser encouraged Travis to report what happened to him as a child

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Travis was an only child of parents who both abused alcohol. Despite this, he says that he felt ‘looked after’ by his father.

He was taken into care when he was about five years old and sexually abused by a male member of staff. He reported the abuse decades later and the perpetrator was convicted.

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Scott says that a spell in prison was easier than his time in a children’s care home

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When Scott was six months old, he and his two siblings were placed in a convent care home run by nuns. Their parents’ marriage had broken down and their mum had left.

A relative removed the two older siblings from the convent, but Scott was left there until he was 16. He was subjected to harsh punishments in the home and sexual abuse by a man who claimed to be helping with his health issues.

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Gerard says ‘You only get one chance to be a kid. If that’s ruined, it ruins your life’

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Gerard was placed in care when he was about 11 years old. His mother was a single parent and struggled to cope with caring for her children and Gerard said he had been a bit “naughty”. 

Decades later, he is still haunted by the sustained emotional and sexual abuse he suffered in a children’s home. He is highly aware of the effect his past has on him, and says that talking about it to the Truth Project has given him some relief.

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Eleanor says that in child sexual abuse cases ‘It’s difficult to think that women can do this…’

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Eleanor’s home life was chaotic. She was abused by a lodger when she was a small child, and later by her step-father and her mother, who plied her with drugs and alcohol.

She moved schools frequently and her attendance was erratic. But the only time any teaching staff contacted her, it was to ask for the return of a musical instrument she had borrowed.

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Jeramiah says ‘I’ve only known one thing, and that’s how to survive’

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Jeramiah describes a childhood of deprivation, neglect, sexual abuse and physical and psychological abuse from his mother. 

He felt relieved when he was taken into care, but unsupervised visits from his mother allowed her to continue abusing him in a way that had damaging and lasting consequences on his life.

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Ronan says it is important to him to be believed about what happened 50 years ago

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Ronan says that from an early age, he was seen as a ‘problem child’ and was sent to live with relatives. 

When his older cousin sexually abused him, he was punished for complaining about it and told he was lying.

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Eloise is angry that her family’s home life was disrupted because she was the victim of sexual abuse

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Eloise lived with her family in a block of flats in a large city. 

They liked their neighbourhood, but after a neighbour sexually abused her, she and her family had to leave their home.

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