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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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The priest who sexually abused Beverley ‘fitted in with the family and was very fun to be around’

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Beverley was born into a large religious family. She went to church every week and she attended the church school.

One day a new priest arrived, and Beverley says her mother ‘took him under her wing’. Edwin would visit their home frequently and have dinner with the family.

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Dawn calls for restorative justice and for sexual abusers to acknowledge their guilt

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Many years of regular sexual abuse, that began when she was nine years old, have left Dawn with a long-term condition that continues to affect her life.

An attempt to get justice against the perpetrator was not successful and Dawn has an intense wish for him to acknowledge the impact of his actions.

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Lois did not feel loved by the couple who adopted her and this was exploited by a sexual abuser

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Lois was adopted in the early 1970s. She did not have a happy childhood with her adoptive parents.  

When she was in her early teens a music teacher who was trusted by her parents took advantage of her vulnerability and started a sexual relationship with her. 

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Daisy feels more should be done to meet the mental health needs of victims and survivors

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Daisy’s early recollections of her childhood are that her parents cared for her emotionally and physically. But when she was 10 or 11 years old, she began to experience fear and to develop obsessive compulsive disorder.

After talking to a school friend, she realised her life wasn’t as normal as she had thought and that her grandfather had been sexually abusing her since she was very young.

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A ‘friend’ who acted as a father figure to Stephen was in fact grooming him for sexual abuse

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Stephen was 10 when his father left the family home. 

He was devastated by this loss, and his longing to be close to a father figure made him vulnerable to an abuser.

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Millie reported that her brother was sexually abusing her, but he was allowed to stay at home

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Millie grew up in a troubled family. She was sexually abused by two male family members. One was convicted but the police did not act on her report about the second abuser.

Millie knows that services were involved with her family before she was born. She believes that she and one of her older brothers were conceived after her mother was raped. Her mother was an alcoholic and had mental health difficulties. 

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Dina’s father sexually abused her then used emotional blackmail to make her withdraw her complaint

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When Dina’s father was due to appear in court charged with sexually abusing her, he was allowed to sit in the waiting room with her.

When she withdrew her allegation against him, she was vilified by the police, social services and her family.

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Maya feels children abused by family members fear they will damage the family if they speak out

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Maya describes a difficult family life, with a violent father and a sexually abusive stepfather.

This left her vulnerable to abuse by others. Her awareness of sexual abuse makes her fearful for the safety of her children.

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The police told Amy that she couldn’t destroy a man’s life just because she said that he had abused her

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Amy suffered mental and physical abuse within her family and did not have a good relationship with her mother. Social services was a major part of her life, with regular meetings on all aspects of her care. She says a number of incidents of abuse have left her feeling angry and frustrated with both social services and the police.

When Amy was a pre-teen, she began chatting on a teen website to Alex, who she believed to be an 18-year-old male but turned out to be male teacher.

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