Inspirational Woman of the year award

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Knowledge is power!

You know,  everyone with an interest in the child abuse tragedy has their own personal  "slant".

Some people are hell-bent on chasing errant clergy,

others changing the laws, some survivors believe that just by telling their story they are making a difference, others by forming groups,  etc etc. 

There are even some who think they can influence the narcissistic church!

We all make  a contribution, and they are all valuable. 

I have NO interest in engaging with the criminal organisations that are the cause of the problems, my absolute passion is for real recovery, and I am determined that people should fully understand the horrors of the  damage that is caused to someone who has been abused.
It is my contention that although there is “lip service” paid to the tragedy surrounding childhood sexual abuse, there is a gaping hole in the understanding of the severity of it’s consequences.

Despite seeming outrage from anyone hearing of these crimes, there is a tendency to view what are referred to as “historic” trauma as something that may seem only to necessitate victims to have need of some “counselling” or perhaps psychiatry, maybe social care or pastoral support.
This is an offensive trivialisation of a devastating crime against a child, and is particularly true of the attitude of the churches, the law, governments, and even some support groups. 
Survivors of these abuses are often viewed at best as unstable, or at worst of dubious character, and the crimes themselves are trivialised, the victims receiving the very least that they can be offered rather than the very best they deserve. 
Childhood sexual abuse is a catastrophic, life sentence to all abuse victims, and has serious consequences even for future generations. 
It is not possible to be sexually abused as a child and survive unscathed, and the extent of those legacies, in my opinion needs to be properly highlighted and taken into consideration when considering how any state or organisation deals with it’s aftermath, or indeed safeguards future generations. 
We witness this crime being relegated to an unfortunate “blip” rather than the tsunami of dreadful proportions that it actually is. 
Although it is indeed important to recognise the mental and emotional effects of such early traumas, it is a more important and a much-neglected fact that these are merely symptoms of physical, and permanent changes that will have occurred for that person.
Scientific research has shown categorically that childhood sexual abuse cause physical changes to the victims brains, immune systems and metabolic systems, moreover it has been proven to shorten expected life span by around twenty years.
While it is true that the victim may be put on a distorted life path which often involves mental health problems, addictions, self harming, suicides, even criminal behaviour, what is not being acknowledged is that what has become referred to as “psychological damage” will have a physical root. 
A victim may very well have serious physical conditions which can be clearly attributed to their trauma.
They will have a greater susceptibility to life threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and are far more likely to commit suicide. 
These are facts , but are rarely considered, mostly avoided, and this is a travesty.
I am much  involved with the education of professionals, and survivors alike into the true nature of this damage, and it is my firm belief that  everyone involved in any aspect of child abuse should be in full possession of all of these facts.
This should include therapists, lawyers, social workers, politicians and the UN committees.
Otherwise along with the damage that has already occurred, the victim is further abused by the trivialisation of their ordeals.
My own remit actually is not particularly to safeguard future generations, so much as to change the attitude towards existing survivors. 
Otherwise our trauma is negated once again. It is impossible to safeguard future children without a very full and searching examination of past failures and ignorance of the facts.
There has been a systematic refusal to look properly at the severity of the issues, a refusal that threatens to undermine any progress being made in the safeguarding of children. 

Sunday, 17 February 2019

All roads lead to Rome!!

When you're just about to do something you feel strongly about, optimistic, and determined, there is nothing worse than someone saying "Been there -Done that"!
So I am loathe to say too much to my fellow clergy survivors on their way to Rome this week in the hope of making a difference as the vatican embarks on yet another of their PR stunts.
But I have to say, that I do hope that when they get there, after all the hype, when they realise that the vatican does NOT give a shit about them or me or any of us, they will learn  the  greatest lesson that we at SVE learned- and that is that the biggest and most precious thing we have is our connection with each other!

Yes,  they will be euphoric to be in Rome, it is a beautiful magical city, and yes there will be plenty of press coverage, France 24 will interview you, as will the BBC , Russian TV and many others too! The first time we went we had press from 25 countries covering our trip! 
The vatican however, were oblivious!
The Radicale party hosted meetings, we said our piece (and then some)- the vatican -Nothing!
We were ushered in to meet Lombardi, that snake tongued papal spokesperson, who snivelled and whinged, and then lied through his teeth the next day about how many people had been at the meeting and what had been said!
The secret police were in evidence, they watched our every move, we sang, we lit candles, we marched some were arrested- the vatican--- nothing!
We laid stones from our gardens in vatican square, they were removed within seconds.
The following year we went again, this time to "Celebrate our survival" against all odds and with no interest in engaging with the vatican.

We danced, we sang, we set lanterns in the sky above the vatican, we rejoiced in each others company again. 

the vatican-- nothing apart from watch us from the rooftop!
We went again, we spoke in the Italian parliament, we met the press, we danced we sang.We ate a lot of Pizza!

We went to the UN we gave 6 hours of evidence twice to committees that found the holy see in dreadful breaches of articles of the rights of the child and against torture. Did they listen to any of their directions - Did they F....k!!     We ate a lot of apple strudel!
We watched in horror as the two deluded survivors were seduced into that impotent papal commission, only to see them be abused and abused yet again!

WE STOPPED going!!!
We realised that they used us for their own purposes, to lie to the world!
We decided that the only thing that we can realistically do is contribute to the care of survivors, we have no energy to play the vatican's games. 
And we have had no regrets from that 
I take no pleasure in this doom laden warning!!
I wish the travelling survivors much love , and hope they meet and connect with each other in the same way we did, (most of us anyway! there were some there with strange agendas!)
In the meantime we will continue with our commitment to connect with and support individual survivors who's damage is devastating and will not be healed by ANY input from the vatican!
Go to our website, use the therapeutic stuff on there freely for your journey, please don't let the bastards abuse  you again!