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



Dewi says ‘It’s time I got rid of this burden’

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

It is more than 50 years since Dewi was sexually abused by a priest.

The sight of Catholic churches and clergy still makes him feel angry.

When Dewi was at primary school, he enjoyed playing football. Sometimes the priest from the church next to the school would come and join in the games.

There was also a local sports club which Dewi joined, and the priest was involved with this too. When Dewi was 10 or 11, the group went away on a camping trip with the priest. Dewi remembers how much he enjoyed the games during the day, and having stories read to them in the evening.

The children all slept together in a big tent. On the last night of the trip, the priest lay between Dewi and another child. He put his hand in Dewi’s sleeping bag and touched him.  Afterwards, the priest told Dewi ‘It’s our secret’.

Dewi didn’t tell anyone. He says he thought that ‘If I told my dad he would have ended up in prison’. He adds ‘I should have told someone … now I know that, but I didn’t. As a child, I was ashamed’.

He says that this feeling of shame has remained with him and affected him all his adult life. ‘I’ve felt guilty for years … it’s preyed on my mind … did it then happen to other children?’

Dewi adds that the abuse made him feel dirty and angry. He never went to church again. 

He says it is very important that children ‘know it’s okay to tell someone else what is happening’. He adds that organisations such as children’s sports clubs must be clear with all staff and coaches about their safeguarding responsibilities.

Before he came to the Truth Project, Dewi had never shared his experience with anyone other than his wife. 

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