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In the children’s home, Jordi dreaded the car arriving that belonged to the man who abused him

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Jordi is currently serving a prison sentence.

He says that during lockdown he has had even more time to think, and this has compounded the impact of being sexually abused as a child.

Jordi describes a childhood and adolescence ‘in and out of the care system’. 

He does not talk about his mother, but says that after his father met his stepmother, and they had more children, ‘I was left to fend for myself’. Unable to settle because of his unhappy experiences, he was moved around between different children’s homes and foster carers. 

Jordi was sexually abused in one care home by a member of staff, Sid. The abuse happened several times over a two- to three-year period.

He reported the abuse to another member of staff, and was punished by being locked in his room and beaten for a long time by another worker, Kev. As Kev was beating Jordi, he told the boy he shouldn’t make up lies about Sid.

After that, Jordi says, ‘I’ve never spoken of the abuse until recently, because of the fear of not being again believed’. 

Jordi does not share details of the abuse, but says that when Sid worked night shifts he would take Jordi to his car and abuse him there. Jordi describes the make and colour of the vehicle, and adds ‘I used to hope his car wasn’t in the car park when staff changed shifts’. 

Jordi describes how he has been affected by the abuse he suffered, adding that the pandemic lockdown has made things worse ‘due to more thinking time’. His mental health has been affected, he finds it very difficult to trust people, and has nightmares. He says he feels so low that he has self-harmed.

In the past, Jordi abused drugs. He says now he is drug-free ‘this really has started to affect me in a way that is hurting me on a daily basis … I pray for a normal life, but as yet this hasn’t happened’. 

As well as being abused by staff who should have cared for him, Jordi feels he was let down by social services who should have realised something was wrong when he could not settle in any of his placements. He says that when a child comes forward and reports abuse, they should be protected and supported. 

Jordi does not want the prison staff to know that he was sexually abused, but he says he has a very good mental health worker and he has confided a little in this person. 

He thinks that the added isolation brought on by the pandemic lockdown has made things even more difficult for him, but he says ‘Sharing just a tiny piece of my story has helped me … I’m just trying to take each day as it comes’.

Jordi hopes that by sharing his experience, it might encourage someone else who is being abused to reach out and talk to someone.

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