Dear Darlington Community,
We, the Darlington Survivors, are a group of eight courageous men who were sexually exploited and victimized as children at Darlington School. Not all of us graduated from Darlington, some of us left for one reason or another following the abuse. Our stories are painfully similar, and yet remarkably different. We live in different places and have different lives, and yet we are all connected.
The facts are clear: a serial predator, employed by the Darlington School was on campus from 1974 – 1994. In addition to the seven of us who have already spoken out, there are more are coming forward. An environment of silence and denial allowed this abuse to continue unchecked for over 20 years. One of the most disturbing facts is that it seems the abuse was common knowledge on campus and reported at many levels throughout the 20 years and beyond. Yet, it seems that nothing was done.
This all came to light, when, on May 26, 2017, 10,000 randomly selected Darlington Alumni received a letter from the school administration regarding allegations of the sexual abuse. At the same time, an article also appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution outlining more of the details of the allegations. Since the letter came out, additional victims have come forward also with allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, misconduct and exploitation.
Regardless of the situation, the Darlington Survivors care very much about Darlington School, and it is our hope that we as a Community can work collaboratively to uncover the truth. The investigation by Darlington School is a good first step, but there is a long way to go. Our goals and intentions are listed below:
- For Justice – For the perpetrator/s to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- For the Darlington community – For complete transparency with regards to this issue of child sexual and physical abuse at Darlington School. Our hope and intention is to work collaboratively to uncover the entire truth for the Darlington Community – including a complete and accurate disclosure of the School’s response or lack of response at the times of the abuse. We want all who knew and were responsible for the silence, denial and coverup to be held accountable. We would ask the Darlington School to fund and execute an independent, thorough and transparent investigation.
- For the Darlington Survivors – For Darlington School to hear, understand, validate, acknowledge and formally and publicly apologize for the suffering of each victim collectively and individually, plus take responsibility for their negligence and failure to create a safe environment and protect the children in their care and finally, to make meaningful amends to the victims who have come forward.
- For Darlington School – For Darlington School to commit to ensuring that this history can never be forgotten or repeated. We would ask Darlington School to begin an independent review of its operations to ensure there is a general awareness of child sexual abuse and a specific preventative plan in place.
- For the Community, at large – For Darlington to establish and maintain a 501(c) 3 charitable fund and organization to support victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse.
While we all have our struggles, some of us seem remarkably well adjusted. Our current lives mask our history, and, then conversely, many of us have been plagued with serious issues of addiction, depression, relationship and career struggles and more. What we have in common is Darlington School. We suffered because of this sexual abuse we were subjected to as children. The secret pain and humiliation, toxic shame and crippling guilt has affected our lives profoundly in different ways, but we are bound together forever.
We would again like to thank you for joining us. We have created this site as a safe place for other victims to feel comfortable coming forward. We want to create a place of transparency because the secret has been kept for far too long. And, we want to create a forum for the Darlington Community to express their love and support. In addition, it is our intention to help heal the wounds that have hurt us all for so long, give us all a “voice” to break the silence and speak the truth and finally, give us all hope for a new beginning at Darlington School.
The Darlington Survivors