Rife Child Sex Abuse Among UK Teachers, Clergy, Docs
By Michael F. Haverluck
June 25, 2018
A recent report has exposed widespread child sex abuse across the United Kingdom at the hands of teachers, clergy, doctors and social workers.
A new “Truth Project” report – based on the largest archive of evidence provided by abuse victims ever produced in the U.K. – reveals that pedophile attacks by some of the most trusted professions is pervasive across all U.K. communities and social classes.
“[The report] presents detailed accounts from 50 of the 1,400 people who have so far given evidence to the Truth Project – part of the huge Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) set up by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary,” the Daily Mail announced. “Researchers believe [that child sex abuse] has been perpetrated in schools and other institutions much more widely than previously thought.”
A ‘devastating’ decades-long, multi-institution tragedy
The exhaustive research project reaches back more than half a century to uncover horrific sexual assaults on children while in the hands of trusted authorities in U.K. institutions.
“Some of the participants have reportedly waited decades to tell their stories,” TheBlaze reported. “About one-third of the data comes from alleged abuse that happened 50 or more years ago.”
And a large percentage of those being sexually abused were at extremely innocent and vulnerable ages.
“Forty  percent of the victims reported being between ages three to seven when their abuse began,” TheBlaze’s Teri Webster pointed out from the research. “Thirty-two  percent were between ages eight and 11, [with] more than one-third [34 percent] indicat[ing] they were abused multiple times.”
When it came to victims and abusers, clear gender lines became evident in the study.
“Analysis by IICSA shows 53 percent of witnesses who spoke to the project have so far been women, while 94 percent of perpetrators were men,” the Daily Caller’s David Rose divulged from the study.”
To the surprise of many Britons, a substantial percentage of the abuse came out of some of Britain’s most trusted institutions – and when all added up, sex abusers from those working in these professions made up an even larger percentage than sex abuse coming from family members.
“Fourteen (14) percent were abused by members of the clergy, 12 percent by professionals such as doctors and social workers, and nine percent by residential care workers,” Rose pointed out. “It is often claimed that most sexual abuse takes place within families, [b]ut only 28 percent of witnesses say they were abused by relatives.”
However, out of all the institutions, the highest amount of sexual abuse was found in the teaching profession.
“Shockingly, around a quarter (25 percent) were abused by teachers or other educational staff, and a fifth (20 percent) by adult family friends or ‘trusted members of the community,’” Rose stressed.
The toll from the sexual abuse waged against the children in the study was found to have a devastating impact on them as they grew up.
“They described a wide range of consequences in later life, including depression (33 percent), difficulties with trust and intimacy (28 percent), thoughts of suicide (28 percent) and actual suicide attempts (22 percent),” the U.K. reporter revealed.
For decades, teachers in academic institutions across the U.K. have devastated young students through sex abuse, which has been largely unexposed – until now.
Patrick Sanford – a theater director, actor and playwright who is now 63 – waited many years before exposing the sexual abuse he survived in elementary school.
“[F]or decades, he hid a deeply painful secret – he was repeatedly abused by a teacher in his last year at primary school,” Rose shared from IICSA’s report. “Like many victims, this left him terrified of intimacy – he did not have a relationship until he was 26.”
Sanford’s relationships were marred for the rest of his childhood years – and well into adulthood.
“I didn’t let anyone touch me for 15 years,” the child sex abuse victim explained, according to the Daily Mail. “I thought I was the most hideous, ghastly person, and I blamed the fact I was homosexual on my abuse.”
It was not until decades later that Sanford was finally able to begin talking about his traumatic experience.
“I realized I’d had two lives – a successful professional one and a private psychological battle,” he added.
Muslim clergy child sex abuse …
Another U.K. child sex abuse victim identified as Nabila is now 42, and she was sexually assaulted by a Muslim clergy member.
“My imam attacked me at my local mosque,” Nabila shared with IICSA, according to the Daily Mail.
Too embarrassed and scared to talk about the sexual abuse, Nabila endured recurring abuse for years as a young child.
“Nabila's parents used to send her to their local mosque in Birmingham for religious instruction from the age of seven,” Rose informed. “The Bangladeshi imam, Hafiz Rehman, subjected her to escalating sexual abuse for four years – finally attempting to rape her.”
Because of religious and cultural norms, she kept her dark secret to herself.
“I used to think about telling my mum every day as I walked home, but I was scared,” Nabila continued. “Would she believe me? How could I say such things about an imam?”
She shared that to avoid classes with the imam, she would sometimes hide in a local graveyard and not tell a soul about the abuse – abuse that still affects her today as a married mother living in the U.K.
“Intimacy seems dirty,” Nabila explained. “If I do start to enjoy sex, I feel I must have enjoyed it when he was doing those things to me.”
And even though she ended up reporting the abuse years after it occurred, the justice system in the U.K. let the Islamic pedophile get away after his sentencing.
“She went to the police years later, and after a second mosque victim came forward, he was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 11 and a half years in jail,” Rose recounted. “Astonishingly, Rehman had been on bail and was allowed to stay at home at the end of the trial by claiming he was ill. He had surrendered his UK passport, but had a second, Bangladeshi one – and the day after he was sentenced, he fled there, where he remains. Nabila says abuse is rife in Muslim communities, but ‘never discussed – always covered up.”
More priest pedophiles …
Another child victim of sexual attacks by the clergy in the U.K. was “Abbie,” who – now in her 50s – was sexually abused for four years by a Catholic priest more than 40 years ago, and she still remembers it vividly.
“[A] priest targeted me at seven, but the Church didn't want to know,” Abbie explained to the Truth Project, according to the Mail. “[It] destroyed me as a sexual person.”
And the priest was no stranger, but actually a trusted and respected friend of her parents.
“A friend of her family, he assaulted her on days when he took her out and when staying at her family’s home,” Rose retold Abbie’s tragic story.
Even though she has been able to maintain a career and hold to her faith in God – despite the Catholic Church’s failure to deal with her abuse when she reported it – Abbie still finds it difficult to be in a relationship.
“She has had a successful career and many friends, but has ‘never had a serious relationship’, because she says she found sexual thoughts ‘very upsetting,’” Rose recounted. “Although her abuser was in the Church, Abbie has retained her faith and says it is important to her.”
Working to end rife child abuse in the U.K.
IICSA Clinical Psychologist Rebekah Eglinton was dismayed to discover how many professional adults are taking advantage of their positions of authority to sexually abuse children.
“We’re learning that many people have put themselves in positions of trust and authority to have access to children,” Eglinton informed the Daily Mail. “It feels really important that we are here.”
She is glad that more and more child sex abuse victims now have an avenue to expose the crimes waged against them.
“People tell us again and again how silenced they have felt,” Eglinton continued. “This is an opportunity to end that silence and so to hear how we can better protect children.”
The head of the Truth Project, Dru Sharpling, who is also an IICSA panel member, announced that 14 pedophiles – exposed through victims’ testimony given to her group and relayed to police – have been convicted of child sexual abuse since the project started.
Listening to these accounts can be extremely moving,” Sharpling expressed, according to the U.K. daily, The Sun. “For some, it’s the first time they’ve disclosed, [while] others have tried and not been believed.”
The former Crown Prosecutor for London believes that her ongoing project will help curb the sexual abuse of minors in the U.K.
“Yet often, there were signs when they were still children that something was very wrong – which were not picked up,” Sharpling added. “Sharing these experiences is of inherent value, but they will also help IICSA make recommendations to protect children in future.”