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Compensation secured for survivor of sexual abuse at boarding school

​A man in his 50s, known as Mr A to protect his identity, has settled a civil law claim for compensation for non-recent sexual abuse he experienced as a child in boarding school.

Anonymous man

24 October 2017

The perpetrator of the abuse, who was a housemaster and also a music teacher, paid special attention to Mr A for a period of time, rewarding him with preferential selection for sport and trips, before taking advantage of Mr A’s trust to assault him.
The assault and the massive breach of trust it represented had an immediate impact on Mr A at the time and has continued to do so for many years. 
Mr A became wary of adult attention and praise; his self-esteem and confidence were knocked; and he developed persistent negative beliefs about his capabilities.  These caused him to underperform and, whilst he is successfully employed today in a managerial position, it took him until he was in his 30s before he was able to establish himself on the labour market in a job commensurate with his underlying abilities.  His intimate relationships have also been affected.
He still finds it extremely difficult to think or talk about his experience of abuse and this triggers very troubling feelings for him.
Mr A said:
"To open the tightly shut box of emotions has been especially difficult. I am enormously grateful to Leigh Day for not only achieving a very positive outcome but for their support, guidance and above all compassion. I now feel very close to finally closing this nasty episode of my life.”
Alison Millar, head of the abuse team at law firm Leigh Day, commented:
“This case typifies what we know now about child sexual abuse: that it can have far-reaching effects and survivors may carry around a substantial burden of emotional distress long into their adult life.  These can also act as barriers for survivors to access support and criminal and civil justice processes.
“It has been a privilege to work for Mr A.  I hope that the outcome of this civil claim, in addition to his earlier decision to go to the police, will help him to feel that he has taken steps to hold to account those responsible for the wrong perpetrated against him and in the longer term that this has played a role in addressing the negative effects of the abuse.”  

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