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



The adult female who sexually abused August groomed him by making him feel safe and cared for

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

August came from a troubled background and was sent to a school for children with emotional and behavioural disorders.

He was groomed and sexually abused by a female staff member, which his contemporaries thought was funny and something he should be proud of.

August was brought up in the 1980s and 90s, in a dysfunctional and violent family home. When he was about 10 years old, he was moved to a special school, initially as a day pupil.

However, he says ‘I couldn’t behave as other children did; my mum found me really hard at home’. He was placed in a hostel attached to the school and allowed home for occasional weekends.

One of the female staff members, Tamlyn, began to show him affection. ‘She was very tactile with me, all the time’ he recalls. She let him sit on her lap and stroked his hair, and August says how much he liked this because it made him feel cared for. ‘It was affection I wasn't getting at home … she made me feel really good and safe.’

Tamlyn would take him out of the school in the evening to attend sports clubs; he was the only pupil she did this for.

Gradually, she began sexually abusing him, kissing and touching him, which escalated to sexual intercourse on many occasions. She took August out of lessons on the pretext that his behaviour was causing problems, then drove him to remote areas to abuse him.

He was using drugs and says ‘I was in a bad way, and it was as if she wanted to fix me’.

August says he still believed that Tamlyn was looking after him, and he was pleased with the special attention he was getting. ‘There was a part of me that wanted it to happen … I don’t know how to say it but she made me feel that.’

But the abuse made his behaviour worse. He felt extremely jealous and became aggressive when she gave any attention to other pupils. Tamlyn arranged for him to have his own flat when he was about 14 or 15. She visited him there and continued abusing him.

August believes that other staff in the school knew what was going on, and he says another female teacher ‘tried it on’ with him.

Tamlyn then broke up with her partner, and when August left school he went to live with her. He says his behaviour and drug use were so out of control that she couldn’t cope with him and he left soon after.

August had no qualifications and could barely read or write. He describes feeling that he was ‘a bad person’ and that everything that had happened to him was his fault. 

He says ‘For such a long time, I had so much shame about it. The school was supposed to be my respite but I was groomed and abused to fulfill some older woman’s needs’.

August says his friends and schoolmates thought the whole thing was ‘a bit of a laugh’.

At some point, social services and the police contacted August because of concerns about Tamlyn, who was still working with vulnerable children. However, at that stage August says he had not sorted things out in his head, and he did not disclose the abuse.

He has suffered with flashbacks and anxiety, and a low sense of self-worth. ‘I had a constant feeling I was never going to make anything of myself.’ Over time, he decided to prove to the world this wasn’t the case, but says this put impossible pressures on him and the people he cared about. 

August feels strongly that people and institutions in a position of trust failed to help or protect him. ‘They didn’t support me to overcome my problems, they just put me in this place where I just had to survive.’

He now feels that he should speak out about the abuse, to make sure that no other child is at risk of being abused by Tamlyn in the same way he was.

August went back to education, and now has a career and a family. More recently, after having therapy, he is able to talk about his experiences, and says he has realised he is not a bad person. 

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