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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.



Aruna says ‘I am still haunted by my trauma … I feel I cannot move forward’

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

The man who sexually abused Aruna took advantage of the close bonds and trust that existed in their Sikh community.

She still feels distressed and angry at all the people in authority who did not protect her.

Aruna was born in the 1970s. Her parents had migrated to the UK. She describes them as loving and hardworking, and says they looked after her and her sisters well.

She continues ‘We grew up with a real sense of community, people in and out of each other’s houses, looking after each other’s children’. 

Jaikaar was a neighbour and family friend who frequently visited Aruna’s home. He was in his early 40s, married with children and religiously devout.

Aruna vividly remembers the first time he sexually abused her. She was six or seven years old. Her mum was in the next room and Jaikaar put his hand inside her pants and then put his fingers inside her. ‘I had no idea what he was doing and he stopped when mum came into the room’ she says.

Aruna recounts another occasion when due to a family emergency, her parents needed someone to look after her and they asked Jaikaar. As soon as he was alone with her, Jaikaar took her upstairs, stripped her, and abused her while masturbating himself. She says ‘If I hadn’t started to cry, I think he would have raped me’.  

She stayed in her bedroom all day until her parents came home.

Aruna says that the next time Jaikaar abused her, ‘I knew what he was doing was wrong, but I didn’t tell anyone. At that age, I didn’t know how to even say it’.

As the years passed, and she became a teenager, Jaikaar remained friendly with Aruna’s family, and continued sexually abusing her. He would come into her bedroom and kiss her and touch her, even when her parents were in the house.

Aruna says she became aggressive and grumpy to the point that even her friends used to comment on it. She only realised some time later that she always became moody after Jaikaar had sexually abused her.

She stopped wanting to go out. ‘I didn’t want to do anything, I now know I was depressed’ she says. 

The last time Jaikaar abused her, Aruna was in her early teens. That day, she saw him abusing one of her sisters. 

Soon after this, she confided in a school friend about the abuse. Her friend told her that she had also experienced sexual abuse, and she encouraged Aruna to tell a teacher, which she did.

A social worker and the police visited Aruna’s house and spoke to her mother about the abuse. Aruna’s sister would not talk about her experience, and Aruna’s mother told the police not to do anything because she would deal with it. 

The police accepted this and took no action. Aruna had one meeting with the social worker but they took no action.

Aruna does not believe her parents said anything to Jaikaar. ‘He came back to the house … I was so angry with mum for letting him in. He even asked my mum why I was in a mood.’

After this, Aruna became depressed. She began to truant and missed months of school. When her mum was called in about this, she claimed that Aruna’s absences were due to illness and the school staff accepted this.

Aruna’s education was affected and she failed some important exams. Eventually, her best friends persuaded her to go back to school. ‘It was the adults who let me down’ she says.

She feels she was also failed by the police, social services and her family. ‘To this day, my mother says he was such a nice man’ she says. She adds that she now knows that Jaikaar sexually abused other relatives and women in her community, ‘because the police failed in their duty of care’.

Aruna wishes that she had been offered counselling at the time, and had been supported better by the school. ‘I would probably have been stronger minded and got better grades’ she says.

She has seen different counsellors as an adult but she does not feel that her mental health is improving and she still struggles with depression.

Her career and personal life have also been affected. She has had bad experiences with relationships. She does not trust men and does not think she will have a family, which is a sadness for her. 

Aruna feels strongly that all professionals who work with children should be trained to talk and listen to them, should investigate all concerns and not rely on assurances by parents. 

She would also like to see more education in communities and schools about child sexual abuse, and better provision of counselling.

Aruna concludes that she attributes the difficulties she faces in life ‘to the failings of the organisations who should have safeguarded and looked after me’.

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