A WOMAN sexually abused by a teacher as a child has urged other survivors not to suffer in silence after lawyers secured her a settlement.

The woman was repeatedly abused while a pupil at a South Tyneside primary school.

The indecent assaults included being smacked and touched inappropriately. A number of other pupils were also abused.

The teacher, who was married with children, was later jailed after pleading guilty to a string of indecent assaults, including those committed against the woman. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

The woman, now in her 40s, instructed expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access the specialist support she required to overcome her ordeal.

The woman, who now lives in Stockton-on-Tees, has now spoken of her determination to try and look to the future and urged other survivors to report abuse.

It comes after Irwin Mitchell secured her a five-figure settlement from South Tyneside Council which ran the school.

Emma Crowther, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who represents survivors of abuse, said: “Sadly this is yet another case where a child has suffered terrible abuse from someone in a position of power and trust. What happened to our client understandably had a great impact on her life and continues to do so decades on.

“While nothing will ever change what has happened we are pleased to have secured this settlement for our client. It will allow her to access the specialist support she requires to try and come to terms with the abuse she suffered.

“Cases like these are a reminder that survivors should not suffer alone. They can come forward safe in the knowledge that their concerns will always be handled with the greatest level of sensitivity, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.”

The woman told her legal team how she would be told to go into a room by the teacher who would lock the door and pull down the blinds before abusing her. As she was being abused she could hear children playing outside.

“He told me not to tell anyone and as I felt threatened by him I didn’t.

“What happened all those years ago has stayed with me. I tried to put it to the back of my mind and move on but I couldn’t.

“For years I suffered from low self-esteem and had issues trusting people and forming relationships.

“However, I was determined not to let this man dictate my life anymore. I know I still face challenges but I’m determined to try and look to the future and try and move on with my life.

“I had kept the abuse secret for too long. I just hope that others survivors don’t bottle things up and report what has happened to them as there is help and support out there.”