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125 anonymised accounts of child sexual abuse published on first ever online anthology

16 October 2018

125 anonymised personal accounts detailing child sexual abuse in institutions including schools, the RAF, Scouts and sports clubs have been published online today by the Truth Project, part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Over 6,000 people have now contacted the Truth Project. 1,800 have shared their accounts in person or in writing, and more sessions are planned to take place.

The Truth Project was set up to give victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry, and to put forward recommendations to help keep children safe in future.

The accounts are available at www.truthproject.org.uk/experiences-shared, in the first ever online anthology dedicated to the experiences of victims and survivors in England and Wales.  We will be adding 60 accounts every quarter, so by the end of the Inquiry 1,000 experiences of child sexual abuse will be online.

Case study

Amy was a pre-teen who thought she was chatting online to an 18-year-old boy. The ‘boy’ turned out to be a teacher who groomed and then raped her. Amy said the police told her that she couldn’t destroy a man’s life just because she accused him of abusing her.

The impacts of child sexual abuse reported by survivors in the accounts include difficulties keeping friends and partners in later life, eating disorders, PTSD, homelessness, and rape leading to pregnancy.  Early insights from the Truth Project, based on analysis of 520 accounts, show nine per cent of victims and survivors experienced marital problems in the years following their abuse, 13 per cent reported difficulties eating and sleeping and one fifth suffered PTSD.

However, victims and survivors also told the Inquiry how they were able to rebuild their lives, run their own businesses, forge successful professional careers and build loving relationships.

Case study

Mike describes the abuser who raped him when he was a child as a ‘well-respected and powerful man in uniform’. Despite years of suffering caused by his early experiences, he says he considers himself to be ‘luckier than most’.

 

Inquiry Chair, Professor Alexis Jay said:

“Many victims and survivors tell the Inquiry that to stop child sexual abuse we must first remove the stigma. The Inquiry will continue to publish the accounts shared by victims and survivors with the Truth Project to challenge this.

“The Experiences Shared online anthology serves as a testament to the experiences, reflections and recommendations of those victims who have bravely come forward. I hope it will inspire more victims to speak out at the Truth Project.”

People who have taken part in the Truth Project have said:

“The Truth Project session for me was a really valuable space for me to share my experiences of the police investigation and how I felt let down by the system. It gave me the opportunity to make recommendations for future victims and survivors going through this process.”

“Thank you for your acceptance, expertise and dedication to this project and the survivors, whose voices are no longer lost.”

“After suffering violent physical and sexual abuse at the age of 10, I took the opportunity to explain what had happened. I just wanted to be able to put on record the pain, humiliation and degradation that I suffered at the hands of a man who was supposed to educate and inform. I am extremely grateful that I was able to do this at the Truth Project.”

You can find out more about the Truth Project at: https://www.truthproject.org.uk, by calling the information line: 0800 917 1000 or emailing share@truthproject.org.uk

Facebook: @TruthProjectCSA

Twitter: @InquiryCSA

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