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



Nico was put into care because his father was violent, then suffered sexual abuse in a children’s home

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Nico endured a childhood of almost unimaginable horror and brutality. 

He was viciously beaten by his father, he witnessed his mother’s suicide attempt, and was placed in a children’s home where he was raped.

Nico’s earliest memories go back to when he was about three years old, hearing his older sibling screaming in their parents’ room, before returning to their shared bedroom and crying themselves to sleep. 

A year or so later, Nico discovered the reason for his older sibling’s screams. ‘I guess that my father felt five years was old enough to whip’, he says. From then on, he too was regularly physically assaulted by their father.

Nico writes ‘My only relief was when he was whipping my sibling, he wasn’t whipping me’. 

When Nico was still only five, and alone in the house with his mother, she attempted suicide. An ambulance crew took her to hospital, leaving Nico alone. He waited hours, cold and hungry, for his father to return. 

After this, his mother was sectioned and his parents separated. 

The siblings ran away from their father and they were placed in a large children’s home. Nico was six or seven years old. He soon discovered that his younger siblings were also in the home, which was arranged in different accommodation units, and one day he went to try and find them. 

A woman answered the door, and when Nico told her he was looking for his siblings, she took him to an upstairs bedroom, where there was an older man. The woman closed the door on them. The man told Nico to bend over the bed, and raped him.

Nico does not know for sure if one or both of these adults were staff at the children’s home. He assumed they were, and obeyed them without question. 

Although he knew he certainly did not like what had happened, he says ‘I really did not understand the severity of what had happened until I was around 15’.

Nico didn’t go to this unit again, to avoid being sexually abused. But during his time at the children’s home he was regularly physically abused and describes being ‘constantly in fear’. He only let himself cry when he was in bed, because his father had brutally taught him not to cry when he was beaten.

He and his older sibling frequently ran away from the home, despite knowing they would be beaten when they were found and sent back.

Social services never checked to see how he and his siblings were after they left the children’s home. 

The first time Nico told anyone about the abuse he had suffered was when he was in his late teens, and he talked to a friend. He has been married for many years, and has told his wife and children about it. 

Nico describes how he has been affected by his terrible history. ‘I have worked hard to try and move forwards; the scars from my past are ingrained in my head and I still have difficulties dealing with them’, he says. He lives with a constant and affecting sense of injustice and mistrust of authorities, and he has great difficulty sleeping. 

He feels he and his siblings were completely failed by the local authority, who left them with their brutal father, then placed them in a violent and abusive children’s home.

Although he left the care system with no qualifications, Nico taught himself professional skills that have allowed him to earn a good living, and he feels proud of what he has accomplished. 

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