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Saturday, 31 October 2020

Survivors Voice Europe 10 years today!

 Survivors Voice Europe


                 31st October 2010 -              


10 years ago today

    It is ten years since we all met together in Rome for the first time,  Clergy abuse survivors from 14 countries 
answered the call from Americans Gary Bergeron and Bernie Macdaid to meet, and I met my friend and colleague Ton Leerschool for the first time, 
and Survivors Voice Europe was born. It was there also we also met among many others,  Shelly Winemiller, David Lorenz, and our wonderful deaf and speech impaired friends from the Provolo Institute in Verona.

    It was a life-changing event, we did not go there to have anything to do with the vatican, we weren't "protesting" because we know that to be a waste of time! We know they won't ever change unless they are forced to, they are simply incapable! 

    NO!  We were there to celebrate our survival - DESPITE the vatican! They tried to muscle in, they saw the World's press was there and did try to get involved and had the nerve to ask if Lombardi could make a speech! WTF!  Of course, that did not happen! And he scuttled back off into his hole, heckled all the way. 

Later some of us  were ushered into a room with Frederico Lombardi, the papal spokesperson, and a grade "A" snake in the grass, as slithery as they come. After listening to his bullshit, while he ignored everything we said, we told him we were done! We were here to party and he and and his cronies were not invited!


Since then Ton and I have been back to Rome 4 times, spoken in the Italian parliament, and attended several rallies in London. 

We were at the UN in Geneva twice and gave hours and hours of evidence against the church to the Committee on the rights of the child and the Committee against torture (Child abuse is considered torture in the UN articles definition of torture

I have personally been to Verona 4 times to support our deaf and speech impaired survivors there, spoken in the Polish parliament, travelled to America twice to speak about the abuse issues, addressed countless gatherings, and been featured on Russian television as well as many TV and radio programmes. And that is just me! There are many more doing their bit all over the World. Sadly, there is also a lot of exploitation, people hanging on to this cause either for payment, for their own egos or political agendas.

We, however,  are just  SURVIVORS, we don't fundraise, in fact, we refuse to take payments from anyone; That is our absolute choice. We have been stripped of our dignity once, we won't do it again, so we pay for everything out of our own pockets. Each time we have to speak about our abuses, we relive them and are further traumatised, but we will do it for our own empowerment and to help others.

        So what have the church done in those ten years? 


    They are still the duplicitous, narcissistic creeps they always have been. They waffle and lie and collude with their criminal priests, blame victims,  further abusing them, have endless "focus groups" and make EMPTY promises. STILL, they deludedly think they are running the show! 

    They were found GUILTY by the UN and were given clear directives to change, and a time limit to complete them  - they ignored them! They do not recognise any court or International body or care about consequences. They are a narcissistic and corrupt organisation, and it is well known that Narcissists care for No-One but themselves, so we will not waste our precious time talking to them, just to feed that narcissism. 

But ten years ago today we DID have a wonderful result! 

    Clergy abuse survivors have always experienced isolation, forever thinking they were alone. The church liked to keep it that way, they didn't want us knowing how many thousands of lives they had destroyed. They certainly didn't want us comparing abuses with other countries, seeing the full extent of their crimes. They didn't want us talking to each other because isolation was what allowed them to run riot! It was one of their methods to always pick out isolated or vulnerable children and then further isolate them in their fear and shame.

I was reminded of the effects of isolation once when I was flying over the alps on my way to Rome. I looked down and saw small villages in the valleys between the mountains. I wondered if, years before, they hadn't known each other was there! There was no communication and no easy travel. If a wolf attacked a village there was no way of warning other villages or getting help from them, they were isolated. So the wolf ran riot. That is how the vatican has always got away with their crimes.

 So the REAL win for us on the 31st October 2010, and the precious prize we got from bearing our souls again and re-traumatising ourselves, was that we found each other!!! We held on to each other and danced, laughed, cried and felt safe, probably for the first time since forever, and after ten years we are still holding on to each other and our group has grown and grown and continues to spread! 

Child abuse is a crime against humanity, and as such the churches should be held accountable for thousands of human rights violations. Properly accountable, not their patronising, offensive lip service

But I won't hold my breath! 

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