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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

G.8: “My education suffered”

39. Victims and survivors commonly stated that their education was significantly disrupted as a result of being sexually abused as a child. Thirty-two percent of Truth Project participants spoke about the impact of child sexual abuse on their education.

40. Some victims and survivors were prevented from attending school or receiving an education. Lyndon did not receive any education for two years while living in a children’s home, where he was being sexually abused. He was 30 when he learned to read and write properly.[1] Others refused to go to school as it was where they were being sexually abused. Before he was sexually abused, RC-A622 “enjoyed going to school” and had “aspirations of being a vet or naval pilot”.[2] However, RC-A622 said “I feared going to school once the abuse started” and he began truanting, stealing and drinking excessively.[3]

41. Many victims and survivors felt unable to participate fully at school due to the sexual abuse they were experiencing. Sixteen percent of Truth Project participants reported academic difficulties, with 8 percent reporting leaving school early. One Truth Project participant said that he struggled to concentrate to such an extent that he left school, aged 16, at the same educational grade as he had achieved aged eight.[4] For those who were sexually abused at school, this impact was particularly acute. Cassy endured sexual abuse at her private boarding school. By the time she was in her mid-teens, she could no longer continue with her education.[5]

42. Other victims and survivors were successful in their education. Some referenced their experiences of sexual abuse as a motivation to work hard and achieve: they wanted to throw themselves into their education to escape sexual abuse. Faith did well at school and went to university. She described education as “my saving grace”.[6]

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