Having a new personal battle to fight I have not been on Social Media very much of late but have been included in many conversations and today did a quick catch up. As some of you know I wrote a post a few months ago about a barrister on here, ‘Time-lapse Victim to Survivor and Barbara Hewson’. It was received very well and I learned a great deal about this ‘woman’ that I hadn’t known before. Today I have been reading other comments made to victims of CSA and survivors by her and others and am appalled.
Most of us who have suffered child hood abuse, tell our stories, not for sympathy, not for compensation of any kind but to hopefully be met with acknowledgement, and acceptance of how life was for us as children. On Social Media, we are able to talk about things we have often found impossible to share and to read how others have suffered as we did. Makes us feel less alone, less of being ‘different’, or in the words of my abuser ‘special’. No one wants to be that kind of special. I have found that sharing my story has helped many and I will continue to do so.
I have met genuine victims and survivors on Social Media, in my consulting room and in my own life. All since I decided to tell my own story, decided that the world needed to know about the monsters that are out there, leading respectable lives, being close to our children. They don’t have a certain look, they don’t wear a uniform that warns us of their intent. They appear to be ordinary people, sometimes in extraordinary positions of trust, respect and responsibility. Anyone could be an abuser if it is their intent and in their need for selfish evil gratification. Any child could become a victim. No one is immune.
Today I have been sent a link of a book that is coming out soon by Ros Burnett. Called Wrongful Allegations. Why would I be interested? Well for many reasons.
Firstly, a few years ago, I was the Lead Counsellor for a local council and was asked to see a group of personnel who had been accused of sexual abuse on two boys. There were a lot of people involved and at first I wasn’t sure that it was work I wanted because of my own past life. Part of my training was in being non -judgmental and so I took the work on. The clients seen were all at first bemused and didn’t understand what was happening to them. I won’t tell the whole story because I did so in an earlier blog but after the case going to court, the accusers stories became so far- fetched, so detailed but meaning that everyone these two ‘victims’ met, abused them. The courts saw through them and in the end they confessed to doing what they did for compensation. This was after 2 years of court time and 2 years of horror for the clients I saw. One of these was suicidal. Knowing that ’mud sticks’ she was going to take her and her young son’s life. That was how low she became. Each of the accused’s lives were changed forever by the lies of these evil young men. False accusations ruin lives.
A few years ago, I was involved in a nasty hoax by a young woman, Jade Wood, over the Internet. During that time, I believed I was rescuing a girl from sexual abuse, hearing disclosures that made me physically ill and spending 6 months of my life, 24/7 ‘helping her’ through the depraved acts of sexual abuse she was enduring. I had believed everything, the sobbing phone-calls, the photos of a dying baby, his grave, her details of the abuse she said she was suffering, only to find out it had been a sick hoax. So I know people cry rape, I know people say they are victims of sexual abuse. So I will be very interested in Ros Burnett’s book but I only hope she does not have the same attitude as the barrister afore mentioned. I will have to wait and see. It is my opinion that no one should be named in a case of CSA, neither the accused nor the ‘victim’ until after the case has ended. If the accuser is a perpetrator, then yes, name and shame but if they are not, name and shame the accuser. This will not stop until there is a change in the law.
More importantly, I also know that there are thousands of genuine victims and survivors out there, some on social media. I have worked with hundreds in my role as a Psychotherapist and you just know when someone is genuine. How they tell their story, the language they use, their physical change during session and beyond. CSA affects you for life. Yes you can make a new life for yourself, ‘move on’ whatever that means but unless you have dealt with your demons, believe me, I am living proof of the damage it does. My second book NOBODY TOLD ME is the story of the legacy left to me by years and years of sexual abuse.
I can’t prove my story to be true. It happened many years ago. I am an ordinary woman who was a little girl growing up in a web of lies, in a dysfunctional damaging family. I had been abused since forever. Knew nothing else. I can’t prove it. I don’t need to prove it. I lived it. It stole my childhood and left me dependent on prescribed medication for 25 years. It continues, if I let it, to affect my life right up to now. But I choose to take the power away and work to help others. I studied, gained a Masters in Counselling, wrote my two true life stories and help whenever I can.
I am not one of the children, harmed in institutions, by local religious men, school teachers, and doctors’ etc. people in responsible positions where they should protect and help the innocent but abused them instead. Victims who were given to the care of people family trusted in some cases. Neither am I a victim of a ‘celebrity’ and had to face the media along with the pain and hurt already faced. I was abused by a family ‘friend’, who turned out to be more than that, if you have read my story. By someone who should have been there to keep me safe, to love me. Many victims have sadly lived lives like mine, enlightening for me as I always thought it was only me.
Today I was going to suggest we give the woman who began all of this for me, with an interview that was belittling and insulting to victims, but that backfired and showed her to be a callous, inadequate person; no more time, words or space on social media. Then I read her latest comments.
Resorting to name calling, belittling victims, ridiculing their suffering, is not the sign of an empathic, enlightened, non -judgmental person. Certainly not someone, who should have these traits, in the position she holds. In my opinion, it is the face of a person who lacks vocabulary and feels inadequate and who for selfish reasons ‘enjoys’ the publicity that surrounds her comments. Being cruel and unkind is not a good trait and insults those it is aimed at, but more than that, it actually undermines the speaker. That would be okay, if it didn’t affect those less able to stand up and be heard and influence those around her to how she sees victims of sexual abuse.
Maybe one day, the people who hold public office, like her, who spend time belittling those who have been hurt, will feel guilty but I doubt it. So if you are reading this and the cap fits, think on. CSA is horrific, it leaves life long legacies and can ruin someone’s lives. If you are fortunate for it never having happened to you, be grateful. I am a survivor, no longer a victim but as such, I don’t have to prove to you or anyone else that I was abused. I was there, I know what happened, I know what I write is the truth. Do you? Can you disprove it, can you prove none of it happened to any of the people you belittle? No. Then might I suggest you keep your nasty unhelpful, unkind and damaging comments to yourself. If you are in a privileged position, an office where you are listened to and influence others, you should respect what you are told or what you hear, not use it to laugh or name call those not in that position, who earlier in their lives may not have been listened to or believed. Talking about what happened to us, as children or any other time, is the hardest thing to do. All we ask for is acknowledgment, acceptance and to be heard and believed.
Thank you for reading. x