Skip to main content Quick Exit

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.

Download a PDF sample of accounts

Eshaal’s family knew she had been raped, but insisted she was still a virgin and arranged for her to marry

read full account

Eshaal had a very difficult childhood and was preyed on by abusers, some of them family members.

She grew up in a Muslim family and she was blamed and shamed for being a victim. 

read full account

Lily was stereotyped as a ‘sexual predator’ as a young child by adults who should have protected her

read full account

When Lily was young she and her siblings were placed into care, but not all in the same place, much to her disappointment. For the first few years, she and some of her family were in a religious care institution where they did not experience any abuse.

But she and one of her siblings were moved to another place, which she describes as a ‘workhouse’ rather than a home. She adds it was ‘cold’, ‘religious’, there was ‘no warmth’ and living there was a matter of ‘survival of the fittest’.

read full account

Bledig says ‘Even now .... I often get that “fight or flight” feeling’

read full account

Bledig was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a young altar boy.

He says that during his childhood and adolescence, he buried it, but decades later he gives a vivid and detailed account of the impact the abuse has had on him throughout his life.

read full account

Juliet was disbelieved and blamed for the immoral behaviour of adults

read full account

A succession of abusive encounters in the care system led to Juliet being sexualised at a young age, then disbelieved and blamed for the immoral behaviour of adults.

Juliet’s father left the family home when she was a baby and her mother was an alcoholic and a drug-user. At 18 months old, Juliet was placed in foster care with a family.

read full account

Maggie left the area where she grew up because of the bad memories it holds for her

read full account

Maggie describes growing up with her brother in a house where they were not allowed to play, make any noise or have toys.

From the age of seven to 10 years, she was sexually abused by two men in her local community, but was told not to ‘make a fuss’ when she tried to tell her mother what was happening.

read full account

Torze was removed from a violent family then suffered abuse in the care system

read full account

Torze grew up in an extremely violent household. 

She was placed in care where she suffered physical and sexual abuse on numerous occasions. 

read full account

Cassy feels the effects of abuse will never leave her but will follow her wherever she goes

read full account

Cassy endured sexual abuse and sadistic bullying by other pupils at her private boarding school.

She is still extremely traumatised by the terrible experiences she had as a young girl.

read full account

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

read full account

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.

read full account

Being left alone and feeling like an outsider made Johanna vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation

read full account

Johanna says she was a ‘misfit’ in school.

Keen to be liked, she got a boyfriend, who began raping her when she was 12. This was the beginning of eight years of sexual abuse, exploitation and violence.

read full account

Caroline says ‘Sometimes I get angry ... why didn’t I do anything?’

read full account

Caroline was sexually abused by a senior teacher at her junior school. 

She says she still feels troubled by the abuse and feelings that she should have tried to stop it. 

read full account

Valerie says ‘I realise now that I was a traumatised child but nobody asked me what was wrong’

read full account

Valerie’s parents had a troubled relationship, and her father sexually abused her.

She feels that signs she had been abused could have been picked up by social services and teachers.

read full account

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

read full account

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.

read full account

Your privacy

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.