Meet Stephen. He was abused by his uncle as a child and raped in later life. He tells his inspiring story in order to help others.

Therapy for me came thanks to my agent who encouraged me to start writing my life story. When I started writing it was for me and no one else and I had no intention at all of ever sharing it with anyone, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you plan.


From as early as I can remember my home life was chaotic! My adopted mother had schizophrenia and my adopted father was a heavy drinker so when I started being abused by an uncle from the age of 6, all the adults in my life seemed too busy to notice or care.

I ended up doing what my uncle instructed me to do every time that it happened, and that was “Don’t tell anyone, never tell anyone”. This abuse continued for me from the age of 6 until I was ten years old by which time I started refusing his advances.



I so wanted to tell someone of his advances, but I was scared that I would get sent back to the orphanage that I had been adopted from, which is what he threatened would happen to me if I did tell anyone…

My trust in adults was definitely affected by what had happened to me, and I think that when I was growing up I was always scared that it could happen again… By the time I was 35 I had moved on with my life as much as I could, I had realized that I was gay and had moved to London to follow my dreams of becoming an actor.



On one October night in 2006 that seemed like any other, I went to meet one of my friends for a drink in a local bar. He stayed for a couple of drinks then had to rush off to meet his girlfriend so I stayed to finish my drink when suddenly the room started to spin and I felt very drunk. I knew I wasn’t drunk, however, and that something was wrong but all I remember is hearing a guy’s voice ask me if I needed some fresh air.

When I woke I still felt very dizzy and nauseous and then it became very clear that I had been drugged and raped. I called the hospital, who then called the police and when the policeman arrived and asked what happened I said I think I have been raped to which he replied “you can’t have been raped because that doesn’t happen to men!”



Not long after the rape, I was diagnosed with HIV and I thought “oh well that’s it then I am going to die” and I spent the next two years pretty much waiting for that to happen. I actually wanted it to happen as I was so full of hate for the person that had done this to me; but also for myself.

Therapy for me came thanks to my agent who encouraged me to start writing my life story. When I started writing it was for me and no one else and I had no intention at all of ever sharing it with anyone, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you plan.

Before I knew it, I was adapting my story to make it into my one-man show “Shadowed Dreamer,” which I took to NewYork in 2009/10 and hoped that maybe I would get a month there performing my show. In my first week of my show someone in the audience worked for The New York Department Of Education and all of a sudden Brooklyn College sponsored me and gave me a theatre space for six months on the agreement that I would perform my show for as many of their 15,000 students as possible.



I would do the show and a Q&A after each performance which always got some great questions, but something else that happened was that the email account I had set up for people to find out when and where I was performing suddenly became this space for peoples’ amazing stories, which I would receive every night after my performances.

Shadowed Dreamer ran for nine months in New York and closed off Broadway! My show has since been performed in London, and back in New York a number of times.

Since my show ended I started my own YouTube channel ‘Hart Talks’ which allows me to continue telling my story but also enables me to shine a spotlight on others and give them a space to tell theirs too



That police officer’s words have never left me, even to this day, so it’s vital that people in those positions are aware of how to treat someone who has had something like this happen to them. I am proud of what my story did but also how it helped me heal, and I realize that I was not responsible for what happen to me as a child or as an adult, and its amazing how although it doesn’t take away the abuse that happened, it does take away the belief that I deserved it.

It is amazing to think that I have had my own one-man show off-Broadway, I have played a lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams in London’s Westend, I have a successful YouTube channel and now it all seems so far away from the two years I spent waiting and praying that I would die.



Now I can’t wait to see what each day has in store for me,

Thank you for reading, please get in touch with 1in6uk if you want to tell your story or need to use their fantastic service.

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart
Stephen Hart recording The Way Through Podcast

Listen to Stephen on ‘The Way Through’ podcast, in conversation with friend and ally, Phil King, here

You can also watch the conversation between Stephen and Phil below



Watch and listen to Stephen in conversation with Gary Pleece about how he had suicidal thoughts after his rape and subsequent HIV diagnosis when in his 30s.