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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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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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Jonathan feels he disassociated his current life from his childhood

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Jonathan’s parents lived abroad, and he was sent to boarding school from a young age. There, he was abused on three occasions by Lawrence, who worked at the school as a cricket coach.

Although he says therapy is having a positive effect, it has taken him many years to find the courage to seek help.

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Douglas says ‘Victims need justice – it is not about money’

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Douglas describes a childhood of bullying, fear and sexual abuse at the hands of those who should have cared for and protected him.

As a young boy, Douglas sustained a brain injury. As a result, his behaviour changed and his mother found it hard to manage him. She approached social services and Douglas was placed in a residential assessment centre. He remembers trying to run away on the day he first arrived and being placed alone in a secure cell.

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Joshua was repeatedly let down by people and authorities and suffers mental health issues

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Joshua was sexually abused as a young teenager by his adoptive father Davy, who he describes as a ‘local celebrity’.

A conviction was secured against Davy, after another victim came forward. However, this was some time after Joshua first told people in authority about the sexual abuse and his experience was that he was not believed, and no action was taken because of his reports.

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Sue shared her experience and hopes it will draw a line under the sexual abuse and help her move forward

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Sue grew up in an isolated part of the country and attended a small primary school, where there were few visitors, after-school clubs or external influences. 

Her primary school headteacher, Mr Parker, abused her and other children, and she knows that this was common knowledge in the community. She believes that there were ‘so many opportunities to stop this man’ but he was allowed to continue.

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Tracey was abused by several people, but feels that she is the only one who has been punished

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For as far back as she can remember, Tracey was physically abused by her mother and stepfather. She remembers sexual abuse by her stepfather from when she was a young child, through to her early teenage years.

When she disclosed the sexual abuse inadvertently to a teacher, the police and social services were called in. 

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Prompted by news about the football and Savile cases, Dan spoke for the first time after more than 60 years

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Dan was born during the war. His mother was a single parent and he was adopted at birth by a couple whom he describes as ‘lovely’ parents, and he says he had ‘a great childhood’.

Sadly his adoptive father died when Dan was still young. He suspects that the lack of a father figure in his life made him vulnerable to the sexual abuse he was subjected to by a Scout leader.

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Alistair is determined his children will have the childhood that was taken from him

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Alistair grew up in the countryside and describes his childhood as ‘idyllic’ but marred by a single incident of abuse.

He describes how he was unable to tell anyone what had happened and how it troubled him for many years, before he spoke to the Truth Project.

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Ralph experiences flashbacks but does not want to remember exact details of his abuse

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Ralph was a small child  when his parents enrolled him in an independent school run by a Catholic religious order.

He has very few memories from the time when he was at the school, but a few years ago he began to experience flashbacks. When all the media coverage of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal appeared, he decided to write to the school. His letter was passed to the religious order’s headquarters, and shortly after he received an ‘apology’.

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Vivien believed the abuser who told her people would be ‘disgusted’ with her

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When she was about 11 years old, Vivien was sexually abused by a young male adult who was the older brother of one of her school friends.  

Vivien had gone to play at her friend’s house. During a game of hide and seek, she went to hide in a shed, and found the young male in there. He called her over and started stroking her hair and complimenting her.

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Diane was sexually abused by a teacher and left feeling anxious and suicidal

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A teacher at Diane’s school exploited his position of power and authority to sexually abuse her. From then until now, the emotions and effects this caused for her have included feeling flattered, confused, depressed, anxious and suicidal.

Diane relates that when she started senior school, she became friendly with one of the teachers, Mr Jones.

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Ruth’s grandfather ‘was not the upstanding member of the community he appeared to be’

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When Ruth visited her grandfather in a nursing home, memories of child sexual abuse began coming back to her.

She spent most of her school holidays in her grandparents’ house and recalls this was where her grandfather started sexually abusing her.

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There are very limited circumstances where we tell anyone your name without your consent, for example if a child is currently at risk and we need to tell the police.