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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

Chaz says ‘Part of the grooming was he made me feel it was my choice’

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When Chaz was 17, he was groomed and sexually abused by an older man.

For many years, he questioned whether he had been abused because he was not a young child at the time, and he still worries that people will judge him for what happened.

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Amber describes herself as ‘a child that wasn’t wanted’

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Amber was born in the Caribbean in the late 1950s and came to join her mother in the UK when she was six years old. 

Her mother subjected her to relentless cruelty and did nothing to protect her from being sexually abused by the man she thought was her father. 

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Calvin was scared of his mother and tried to stay away from her as much as possible

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Calvin grew up in the early 1950s in a difficult family environment, with a violent, neurotic and unstable mother.

He suffered sexual abuse by his mother, and also by her boyfriend. 

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Being sexually abused by people with power and authority made Wyn feel inadequate and angry

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Wyn grew up in the 1950s. He was sexually abused by a dentist when he was nine years old, and by a naval officer when he was a teenager.

As a child Wyn had tooth decay and he underwent a course of treatment by his local dentist. His mother took him to the surgery but he went into the treatment room alone. 

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Dougal became a drug addict after he was sexually abused, but says he is doing well with his recovery

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Dougal opted to go into care permanently when he was 13 because he thought he would be safer there than in his family home. 

But in different children’s homes, he was physically abused by staff and sexually abused by an older boy.

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Jerry hopes that the Truth Project will make church authorities face up to their failings

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Jerry was abused as a teenager by a family friend, Vince, who was closely associated with the church.

The abuse continued for a few months until Jerry's father was warned about Vince by someone in the church. Soon after, Vince transferred to another parish. Jerry has often wondered if this was because of the abuse.

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Laurell’s school operated with little oversight and abusers took full advantage of this

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Laurell grew up in an abusive home. When she was in her early teens she was sent to a small boarding school. It was privately owned by a couple, and was an approved school where some of the pupils were troubled children.

Laurell describes it as a closed institution, with physical and sexual abuse accepted as part of the punishment regime. 

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Disclosing his abuse, Louis was told ‘Christian men don’t do that’

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Louis’ account of his abuse begins with what he now knows was grooming. When he was seven years old, he was allowed to join the Cub Scouts. He remembers being excited about this, especially as the scoutmaster was a trusted and upstanding member of the church.

The scoutmaster seemed approachable and friendly. He would ruffle Louis’ hair when he saw him or put an arm around him. Louis says ‘He was seen as helpful, someone to trust.’

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Nicole says ‘the responses to my disclosure have caused me a lifetime of struggle’

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Nicole’s father died when she was four years old, and her mother got remarried to a violent and abusive man. 

Her troubled and chaotic home life, with no supportive parenting, made her vulnerable to a series of sexual assaults from older boys, and later to further abuse by an adult relative.

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Tynna is distressed by delays and errors in the case against the man who sexually abused her

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The family member who sexually abused Tynna is being prosecuted.

However, she has concerns about some aspects of the way the police handled her case.

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Cole says ‘If just one person had listened to me ...’

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As a child, Cole was subjected to appalling physical cruelty by his father. 

After his mother left home, Cole’s new stepmother sexually abused him, but no one would believe this was happening.

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Lysa says deaf or hard of hearing victims and survivors need support that is tailored to their needs

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Lysa is deaf and throughout her childhood she was mocked and emotionally and sexually abused by one of her brothers.

She came to the Truth Project because she wanted to be heard and believed. 

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