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Innocent

Matt is fun and attractive but has never had a girlfriend. As an 8-year-old he was repeatedly abused by paedophiles and has resisted intimacy since. But is he now ready to date?

Matt is attractive, dynamic and funny, but he has never had a girlfriend. As a blond 8-year-old, he was repeatedly abused by paedophiles and has resisted intimacy ever since. But is he now ready to date?

A smiling and playful prep school boy, Matt loved life. Racing around town on his bike, playing hide and seek in the sand dunes, with professional parents and a gang of good friends, he wanted for nothing.

But one hot summer's day, playing football in the park, a group of predatory paedophiles ensnared and assaulted him. And for 18 months he was subjected to horrific sexual abuse.

“Nothing prepares a child for the experiences of three grown men threatening, blaming coercing; there is such a horrible atmosphere, it is like a presence of evil. You are so scared they might kill you. You feel so complicit and the manipulation forces your silence, so you don't tell people - you go out of your way to hide it.”

Through his teenage years he pushed girls away and rejected relationships, “I remember saying to myself I am never, ever, ever going to let anyone hurt me again - and I kind of shut down.” Thrown out of university for drinking, his life was out of control.

With unique access to his therapy sessions, to his fears about intimacy and sex, Grace Dent follows this powerful and poignant story as Matt fights for back to build a steady life, a successful career and family.

So far love and intimacy have evaded him. Can he now make the huge step of finding someone to love?

Producer: Sarah Bowen

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28 minutes

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

Hand-drawn illustrations by Niki Pilkington

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The Best of The Untold

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