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

Several men took advantage of their positions of trust with young people to sexually abuse Margaux

read full account

Margaux describes a difficult childhood growing up in the 1970s and 80s. 

She thinks that lack of love and attention at home made her vulnerable to sexual abuse. Her parents never showed each other or their children any affection.

read full account

As a child migrant, Dermot was sent across the world to a place where ‘nowhere was safe’

read full account

Dermot was shipped overseas with two of his brothers as child migrants in the early 1950s. He was six years old when he was sent to a completely alien environment, thousands of miles from home. They had been sent overseas after a complaint about the noise and boisterousness of the children at home and they were then assessed by an organisation responsible for child migration.

He tells a harrowing story of cruelty and abuse. He has used the anger he feels about his experiences to address the issue of redress for child migrants.

read full account

After he was abused, Bryn led a troubled life, but says counselling changed everything for him

read full account

Although his parents split up, Bryn describes his childhood as happy. But sexual abuse by a cadet leader altered the course of his life.

Bryn was the youngest of three children. His mother was in her early 20s when his father left the family. Bryn missed him, but soon after, his mother got a new partner, and Bryn says he could not have asked for a better stepfather. He was also close to his grandfather.

read full account

Farida says ‘I don’t know how I’ve survived all this … there must be something strong in me’

read full account

As a child, Farida was imprisoned, deprived of education, beaten, raped and sent abroad to be forcibly married.

She was missing from school for several years, but no one in authority pursued her family to find out why.

read full account

Ethyn did not report a fellow schoolboy for abusing him ‘out of loyalty’

read full account

Ethyn was sent to a private boarding school where he was targeted by older pupils and teachers for sexual abuse.

The large dormitory in which Ethyn slept was supervised by a prefect who made it clear he considered Ethyn, who was not yet a teenager, to be ‘pretty’.

read full account

Bea was sexually abused by her stepmother and let down by the system

read full account

Bea was sexually abused by her stepmother. 

A series of mistaken assumptions and errors made by different authorities have convinced her that there is nothing more she can do to bring the perpetrator to justice.

read full account

Martine says she has ‘a sense of shame’ about the abuse she endured throughout her young life

read full account

Martine’s mother had several children when she was very young, and was unable to look after them. 

Martine and her siblings spent their early childhood in different care placements. She was subjected to sexual abuse by several different residents and members of staff. 

read full account

Naomi says that in the church she belonged to, a culture of denial is still facilitating abuse

read full account

Naomi grew up in a strict and insular religious community with her parents, and siblings. She describes how she was brought up to fear anyone outside the Jehovah’s Witness church as untrustworthy, and to see all members of the congregation as family.

Children were often cared for by other church members and this mutual trust allowed a man to sexually abuse Naomi for several years.

read full account

Deprived of love, at first Marianna welcomed the attention of the man who abused her

read full account

Marianna and her siblings were neglected and physically abused by their parents. 

She was sent to live in a children’s home. 

read full account

An older man showed Darcy sympathy after she was raped, and then went on to abuse her

read full account

When she was about 13, Darcy was raped by a 19-year-old neighbour in his house. She did not feel her mother or the police believed her account of what had happened.

Another neighbour pretended to be supportive, but in reality was an opportunistic abuser. Darcy says her confusion over his behaviour left her unable to distinguish between sexual advances and friendship, and made her vulnerable to even more abuse.

read full account

Tommie feels guilt and frustration that as a child, he was not able to say that he was being abused

read full account

Tommie attended a small village primary school. When he was seven years old, his class teacher, Mr Dunn, sexually abused him on multiple occasions throughout the whole school year.

He says that as a child he was ‘as quiet as a mouse’, and he believes this was why Mr Dunn singled him out for sexual abuse. 

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.