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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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Shane lived in a children’s custodial institution and feels unable to trust certain kinds of people

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Shane says he committed several crimes as a teenager and was sent to a children’s custodial institution. From the moment he arrived, he was physically abused by staff, beaten and kicked for little or no reason.

He slept in a dormitory with other young people. One night, a member of staff, Duncan, came in and sat on his bed. Duncan began talking in double entendres and making suggestive comments, which Shane says confused him. This was soon followed by sexual abuse.

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Landon says ‘every little bit of information shared … it all helps’

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Landon’s experience relates to an institution that has been in the public eye because of widespread child sexual abuse that occurred there. 

He says that when he was a child, he learnt to ‘shut it away in a box’. Now he feels that speaking out ‘is a form of recompense’. 

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Simmeon was subjected to sexual abuse at boarding school and at home

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Simmeon was sexually abused by his older brother and two members of staff. 

During school holidays, his older brother sexually abused him, and this continued for many years into his adult life.

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Delia would like to see a campaign telling people ‘the police are there to help’

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A trusted figure in the community saw that Delia was a vulnerable child and sexually abused her over eight years.

She had a positive experience with the police and the courts when she reported the abuse years later.

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Physical and sexual abuse was ‘common knowledge’ at the Catholic school Steven attended

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Steven grew up in a Catholic family in the 1960s. Following prompting by the local priest and family members, he was sent to board at a local Catholic school.

It seems to have been widely known that several teachers abused pupils, and many parents removed their children from the school.

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Jeffery says that at the time he was being abused, he felt someone was at least being kind to him

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Jeffery grew up in a troubled family home with an extremely violent father. He was in and out of care as a child and says he did receive positive support from some professionals.

But one social worker took advantage of his longing for kindness and sexually abused him.

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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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