A Wigan woman today bravely speaks out about the abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of her teacher when she was just 10 years old.
Angela, whose name we have changed to protect her identity, has decided to speak nearly 40 years after she says she was abused by the teacher while she was in his class at a Hindley primary school.
I hadn’t wanted to put my dad through knowing about it, but after he’d gone I realised I hadn’t dealt with it and I needed to talk to someone about it
She told the Wigan Evening Post that she hopes her story will help other victims to find the courage to come forward. Angela claims the abuse has scarred her for life affecting her relationships with other people and her family. She finally built up the courage to tell police about what happened in 2014, even though she knew the teacher, who the Evening Post has decided not to name, had died.
She said: “I had seen other girls before me leaving the school at lunchtime and returning with him an hour later.
“When I went into his class, I became one of those ‘lucky girls’. He had a way of making you feel special because he had chosen you from all the girls in the class.
“I never went on my own, there was always two or three of us. Angela, who is now in her late 40s and has children of her own, said she went to the police after she realised she had never properly faced up to what had happened to her. I went to the police in 2014. He had passed away some time before but it was after my dad died I decided I wanted to deal with it,” she said.
“I hadn’t wanted to put my dad through knowing about it, but after he’d gone I realised I hadn’t dealt with it and I needed to talk to someone about it.
“I went in a told them about it about a week later. A child exploitation officer came out to see me straight away and they rang me a little while later to tell me had died even though I already knew that.
“They couldn’t do anything because he was already dead but they were very supportive. I can’t fault the police at all.”
But Angela still struggles to deal with the mental scars the abuse has left her with.
She said: “It has had a knock-on effect. I only realised when I looked back that the problems I have started then.
“The abuse was daily, and it was always the same girls within a particular year. It was always two or three girls, I don’t even remember going there alone or seeing him going with just one girl but then it was a long time ago.
“I am really angry that no one ever questioned it. I know people were aware and the staff, the head teachers and the dinner ladies just turned a blind eye.
“I hope that someone else going through it in a different circumstance sees this and talks to someone about it.
“It has affected everything since, my personality, my relationships. I never feel clean. I have low self-esteem and I don’t value myself.
“I don’t know how many other people were victims of the same person. I was there in the 70s but it could have gone on a lot longer than that.
“My advice to other people who have been through something similar would be to report and don’t ever think you are to blame.”