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Survivors' voices

Experiences shared

These are some of the experiences of child sexual abuse shared with the Truth Project by victims and survivors. All names and identifying details have been changed.

Download a PDF sample of accounts

Theon says that the more child sexual abuse is talked about, the better

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Theon was groomed and sexually abused by two different men who had authority over him.

He believes there are particular dangers for children who are brought up in authoritarian environments.

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Lisa-Marie’s violent father sexually abused her for two years, until he began having an affair

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Lisa-Marie grew up with her mother, two siblings  and her father, who was violent to the whole family.

When her father started to sexually abuse her she decided not to tell anyone,to protect her mother and siblings, and to not make the situation they were in any worse. 

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Hayden gave a statement to the police after he was sexually abused, but did not hear from them again

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Hayden was sexually abused by the son of his father’s partner.

At the age of 10, he was interviewed by the police, but no one explained to him why the investigation did not proceed. 

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Nancy was sexually abused as an evacuee during the Blitz

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Nancy feels strongly that she wants people to understand sexual abuse of children is not a new occurrence. Her traumatic experiences happened when she was a young girl during the Second World War.

Nancy had just started school when the Blitz began, and she and her sibling were evacuated from the city to a farm where they stayed for several years.

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Rita struggles to understand how such cruel and abusive people could become foster carers

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When Rita was four years old, she and her younger brothers were fostered. These small children were shown no love or kindness from their so-called carers, only cruelty, violence and, in Rita’s case, sexual abuse.

The foster carers meted out violent and vindictive punishments to the three children they had taken in, in complete contrast to the way they treated their own son.

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Mirele says ‘I’ve had a rocky road all through my life … but now I feel I want to help others’

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Mirele has survived the ordeal of being sexually abused and the long-lasting impacts it had on her mental health.

She now hopes to become a counsellor and support other people who have had similar experiences.

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Dayna describes a ‘crashing realisation’ that she had been groomed and abused by a teacher

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A male teacher at Dayna’s school was allowed to take girls on numerous unofficial overnight trips.

Many of the girls were infatuated with him, and he took advantage of this to sexually abuse them. 

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Religious elders went to court to support the man who sexually abused Violet

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Violet grew up in a large family. Her father was violent and abusive to her mother and after the couple separated, her mother met someone from a closed religious order who seemed kind and gentle.

But a member of the congregation sexually abused Violet, and she did not want to spoil her mother’s happiness by speaking out.

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Discovering that her young daughter had been sexually abused triggered Pamela’s own memories of abuse

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Pamela describes her horror when she discovered that her young child was being sexually abused by an organised group. This revelation, devastating in itself, also triggered a flood of dreadful memories and nightmares for Pamela.

Her early life was loveless and defined by brutality and neglect. As a baby she was placed in a residential nursery, after the death of her mother. She later lived with her step family as a young child until her early teenage years. She remembers beatings, starvation and neglect, and how unhappy she was.

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School seemed like a safe place to Evelyn, compared to her home, but her trust was betrayed

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After her father died, Evelyn was left alone with her alcoholic, abusive mother.

Three male teachers at her secondary school exploited her vulnerability to sexually abuse her.

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‘Once they’ve used you up and you’ve aged, they move on’ Kiya says, about men who groom children

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When Kiya was 12, she was groomed and raped by a local man she met online.

More than 10 years later, she is extremely concerned that male sexual predators continue to groom and abuse young girls in her hometown.

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Brian felt ‘almost paralysed by the memories’ of the sexual abuse he endured

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Brian was sexually abused by his father for many years. Lack of support for his mental health problems, and his concern about the possible risk to children in his father’s new family, have added to his distress.

Brian says both his parents worked in good professions and his father was a figure of some importance in the community.

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