In a previous blog we wrote on the purpose of the Truth Project. After listening to numerous survivors of childhood sexual abuse who approached the Truth Project between June 2016 and March 2019, it has now published its report on child sexual abuse in the context of children’s homes and residential care.
Truth Project report
The report describes the experiences of survivors who were sexually abused in residential care from the 1940’s to the 2000’s. The majority of experiences shared happened in the 1970’s or earlier. Typically this group of survivors had already suffered some form of abuse before being placed in residential care making them more vulnerable than most. While they should have been entering a place of safety where they would be cared for and nurtured, they were instead physically, emotionally and sexually abused by the very people who were supposed to care for them.
The report identified several factors as facilitating the perpetration of sexual abuse, including:
- An embedded culture of abusive behaviour;
- Insufficiently trained staff;
- Lack of supervision and professional boundaries; and
- An inability or unwillingness of staff to listen to or act on children’s concerns.
The survivors who participated in the Truth Project reported the devastating effect that the abuse had on their lives and on their mental health. They described receiving little or no support from institutions and of finding it difficult to access mental health services.
Participants have made a number of suggestions on how to improve child protection and to assist victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in the future. They suggested that there should be better communication between residential care agencies and that it should be easier for victims and survivors to access their own records of their time in care.
They also thought that the assumption that claimants only wanted financial compensation should be challenged.
How Nelsons can help
At Nelsons, we understand that there are many motives for a survivor of childhood abuse wanting to bring a civil claim. We understand that you want answers, accountability and justice. We will guide you through the process and give you the voice you did not have as a child.
Whilst it is important to understand that the ultimate aim of a personal injury claim is to obtain financial compensation for the effects of the abuse you suffered, we will always try to obtain for you, if possible, the answers and the apology you deserve.
If you suffered abuse, even if it was a long time ago, in residential care or foster care you may be able to make a claim against the Local Authority. If you would like confidential, free advice on whether you can claim compensation, please call Dianne or Helen Froggatt on 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online form.