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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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Due to the current situation caused by coronavirus (Covid-19) we have made some changes to Truth Project sessions in person. You can still share your experience with the Truth Project over the phone, in writing, and now through a video call.

Mia was sexually abused by her cousin and groomed by an older man, becoming pregnant as a young teenager

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Mia’s parents divorced when she was young, and she lived with her mother. But later, rejection by her mother and stepfather led Mia into a chaotic life, abuse by an older man and pregnancy as a young teenager.

After the divorce, an older cousin would babysit Mia when her mother went out, and on these occasions would share her bed.

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Annabella says people should question why ‘difficult children’ may be acting that way

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Annabella describes herself as ‘a horrible person’ at school and says she was labelled a ‘problem child’.

But the reason for her difficult behaviour was that she suffered sexual abuse by a series of people, some of them relatives.

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When Phil attended the Truth Project, it was the first time in six months that he had left his house

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As children, Phil and his siblings endured a violent and chaotic home life, the loss of a loving grandmother, and a catalogue of physical and sexual abuse by staff in the care system.

The toll this has taken on his physical and emotional health cannot be overstated.

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Kristopher felt that abuse was a ‘normal’ part of the school environment

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Kristopher was educated in Catholic schools in the 1960s. 

He describes a regime of physical and psychological bullying and abuse run by staff, and an older pupil who sexually abused younger boys.

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Gazala says the sexual abuse she experienced became ‘the dirty laundry of the community’

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Like many other young children at her school, Gazala was sent to a small mosque in a neighbourhood house for several hours a week. 

There, she was sexually abused and raped over three years by a person in authority. When she officially reported the abuse three years later, she and her family were threatened and ostracised by their community. 

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As well as struggling with gender identity, Lauren had to cope with violence and sexual abuse

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Lauren grew up in a violent and troubled home with alcoholic parents. 

She was physically, emotionally and sexually abused by her mother. Later, her mother’s pimp orchestrated the rape of Lauren by a group of men. 

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Teagan says ‘I didn’t understand what had happened to me until I was much older’

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Teagan was sexually abused by her brother and his friend, who were six years older than her. The teenage boys also abused some of her friends.

The abuse began when she was nine years old and continued through her childhood. It has caused lasting damage to her family relationships and her mental health.

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Jensen says talking about being abused is like ‘shedding that shell’ he had put around him

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Jensen was sexually abused by a man who was lodging with one of his friends. 

When his mother told the police she was concerned, they said there was nothing they could do.

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After sharing her experience, Lorna says it felt like ‘a weight has lifted’

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Lorna’s father was a serviceman and the family moved frequently around different army bases. 

She felt lonely and isolated as a child, and this made her vulnerable to sexual abuse by a neighbour who was also in the army.

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On reporting her abuse to the police, Lynda says ‘I went in a survivor and left feeling like a victim’

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Lynda was fostered, along with her sister, when she was a toddler. After a series of placements, the girls were permanently placed with a couple who had their own child and another young boy who was also fostered.

By this time Lynda was four and her sister a few years older. Lynda remembers there was ‘no love in that house whatsoever’ and describes her foster father, Robert, as ‘not a very nice person’.

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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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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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