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

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Final report

C.1: Introduction

1. Many victims and survivors who participated in the Inquiry’s work described themselves as having vulnerabilities that they felt sexual abusers exploited. Fifty-two percent of Truth Project participants spoke about experiencing at least one other form of child abuse and neglect, in addition to sexual abuse (Figure C.1). The proportion of Truth Project participants who reported other forms of abuse and neglect was higher amongst those who reported a disability (59 percent) than those who did not report a disability.

A bar chart showing other types of abuse and neglect that victims and survivors talked about experiencing, alongside sexual abuse, as a child.
Figure C.1: Proportion of Truth Project participants who reported experiencing other forms of child abuse and neglect*

Long Description
Proportion of Truth Project participants who reported experiencing other forms of child abuse and neglect
Physical abuse 30
Psychological abuse 29
Emotional abuse 25
Bullying 11
Neglect 10
Witnessing abuse 10

* Please note that 48 percent of victims and survivors did not report experiencing any other type of child abuse and neglect. In addition, some victims and survivors reported experiencing multiple other types of abuse and neglect. Therefore percentages in this graphic do not sum to 100 percent.

2. These victims and survivors often felt failed by the adults and professionals around them, even before they had been sexually abused. William said his parents were “good manipulators” and neither the police nor social care seemed to take action to protect him from domestic violence and neglect. He felt badly let down and said that as a result, “my brain got broken a bit when I was young”.[1]

3. Not all victims and survivors spoke about adverse childhood experiences prior to being sexually abused. For many, sexual abuse was the only form of child abuse that they experienced. Some described a “happy[2] and “normal childhood”,[3] or a “steady upbringing”.[4] Josiah spoke about enjoying school: “I made friends and had a very happy life”.[5] Victims and survivors sometimes reflected on the contrast between their childhood before sexual abuse and their life thereafter. Alistair described his childhood as “idyllic”, but after he was sexually abused he “never felt like a normal child” again.[6] Shauna said that she had a happy childhood and enjoyed school, but “life changed dramatically” when her secondary school teacher began grooming her.[7] Zachary said: “I wish I could go back to the boy I was when I was eight. I was very happy”.[8]

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