Lambeth Council: Sexual abuse survivor opens up on LBC

27 July 2021, 17:38

By Fiona Jones

This survivor of sexual abuse in Lambeth opens up about his harrowing experiences and recovery to LBC's Eddie Mair.

A report has found children in the care of Lambeth Council in London suffered years of cruelty and sexual abuse over several decades.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has also found police should consider a criminal investigation into the death of one child at Shirley Oaks in the 1970s.

Employees in the south London borough of Lambeth "treated children in care as if they were worthless", and appeared to demonstrate "a callous disregard for the vulnerable children they were paid to look after", according to the findings of the inquiry.

Caller, who used alias Ben, told Eddie Mair he was a victim of sexual abuse in Lambeth and had given evidence as part of the IICSA.

"I still feel there's an untapped majority of people who kept it secret and quiet, a bit like myself, although my main perpetrator did time for his crimes - but the facilitator never did," he said.

Ben said he has "gradually been able to piece his life back together", as the second half of his life has been "worth living" - yet tragically the first half of his life, he said, "I spent trying to kill myself."

He branded the report into child sexual abuse an "iceberg tip": "People can get away with anything and do...it's one of those final taboos of society."

He told Eddie he has survived due to counselling and travel which has "broadened the mind": "I couldn't put my finger on a single element other than what I do for a living now, help others with trauma.

"I give thanks everyday.

"There's no single piece of evidence or help or support that can keep you alive, you eventually have to say I'm going to have to stick around."

Ben said that the person who stopped him committing suicide had been through an experience similar to his own "and he had the right expression of word: you can get through this, you can no longer be a victim, you can thrive."

He now counsels traumatised adults who have had unresolved trauma as children, telling Eddie, "It's deeper and further and wider than this little report."

If you have been affected by any of the above issues, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.