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Abuse in Britain’s boarding schools: One man’s personal perspective

Writer Alex Renton returned to his alma mater, Ashdown House, to help him write this report on the generations of boys sexually abused in Britain’s boarding schools.

Reporting on his own experiences at the  boarding school attended by some of Britain’s most powerful men, he talks about the existence now of a thriving area for counselors and therapists called Boarding School Syndrome – a private “survivors’ group” only those with money seem to know about.

Renton writes, “psychiatrists I have spoken to agree that, yes, while sexual and physical abuse is the headline grabber (and what makes criminal cases), real damage is done to children and adults by long-term psychological abuse. A child may recover from a blow, but not from the withdrawal of love and the denial of safety – the ‘complex trauma’ child psychologists talk of.”

Abuse in Britain’s boarding schools: why I decided to confront my demons, from the Guardian/ The Observer

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2 Comments on "Abuse in Britain’s boarding schools: One man’s personal perspective"

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  1. Barb says:

    “A child may recover from a blow, but not from the withdrawal of love and the denial of safety – the ‘complex trauma’ child psychologists talk of…”

    Ditto. Our parents left us wide open to the outside world and the result was being exposed to danger. I am surprised I survived out there. I would take risks that could have resulted in horrific violence.

    The result of over-protecting in our family culminated in a lack of safety and awareness. The parents seemed oblivious to the realities and dangers of life. And the PTSD in the children is very evident.



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  2. SER says:

    This is very disturbing and sad. It was triggering for me. I wonder how much of this also went on in the Catholic schools in Britain? Just like here in the states with all the sexual abuse of boys in the Catholic religion. Any thoughts on this?



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