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Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – Anne Wade Cath Fox

Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – Anne Wade

Anne has been a nurse, adolescent psychotherapist and child protection worker. She is happily married, as a mother she home educated and is a Quaker activist and Green socialist.

This is her article.

Disclosing child sexual abuse – Anne Wade

In 1896 Sigmund Freud published three papers in which he claimed that obsessional neurosis and hysteria were caused by repressed memories of sexual molestation in early childhood. That gave him his seduction theory. Essentially, when his patients, mostly women, presented with physical symptoms that appeared to be hysterical or obsessional, he told them they had unconscious memories of being sexually abused as children. If they would remember and tell him all about it, he assured them, they would get better. Colleagues criticised him, rightly, for attempting to implant false memories.

Then he reversed his position. Memories of sexual abuse, he decided, were not factual, but were only unconscious phantasies of what the little girl had wanted to be true. He gave his reasons in a letter to a friend, Wilhelm Fliess, the following year: he had been premature in claiming successes with his talking cure, as he failed to bring any of eighteen cases to a successful conclusion. And he was aghast at accusing so many fathers of incest which surely, he thought, was improbable. So he decided it was more likely that the child was confusing memory and phantasy. (Phantasy being the unconscious version of fantasy.)

But he did not publish this retraction until ten years later, allowing misconceptions to proliferate.

One can only feel sympathy for the women who had come to him with physical complaints. First he bullied them into remembering sexual abuse that probably never happened – and his own descriptions of these sessions are appalling. Then he refused to accept that any allegations of sexual abuse at all were factual, accusing his patients of making it up…

At least that was what people understood. In fact Freud was never that extreme – he knew perfectly well that there were authenticated cases of child sexual abuse, though it was difficult to validate them. And yet it was the extreme version that came down to us, perhaps because Freud’s writing is so pretentiously over-elaborate that it is difficult to follow.

The theory in this extreme form became received wisdom in western society. It was still being taught at the Tavistock Institute in London, England, when I was training in psychotherapy in the 1960s. When we challenged a lecturer with the suggestion that many girls really were sexually abused, and that by denying it he was adding insult to injury, he dismissed our concerns with, ‘Oh, all little girls want their daddies to…’ We obviously did not inhabit the same worlds.

Children and women paid a terrible price for this notion throughout the twentieth century. For much of that time it provided paedophiles and rapists with the cover they needed. There was no sexual abuse of girls, no rape. It was just their wishful thinking. ‘You want it really.’ Freud said it first.

And it was all based on no actual evidence at all, just on Freud initially wondering why women living comfortable, safe, privileged lives should develop ‘meaningless’ symptoms. Men looked after everything – what did they have to complain of? But he was asking the wrong questions. Why would a caged animal without freedom or autonomy pace obsessively back and forth or pull out its fur or feathers despite having a comfortable, safe, well-fed life? It had little to do with sex.

For half a century there was no avenue for disclosure of sexual abuse. If girls had complained, they would have been thrashed for telling such filthy lies. They would have been imprisoned in their bedrooms, not spoken to, given water and minimal food, minimal blankets, no books or paper and pencil, and more beatings until they changed their story. Clergy might have been asked to help, and would have reinforced the parents. School would have been told they were ill. In theory the police by then had a duty to protect them, but if girls went to any authorities, they would have been taken back to their parents to see what they had to say.

How plain do I have to make it?’

We criticise so-called ‘Islamic’ honour violence, which is indeed dreadful and anyway illegal in terms of Sharia law too as the family has no authority, Islamic or British, to administer violent punishment. But we have forgotten that we are a few generations away from something very similar. Any girl who was pregnant outside wedlock was still being heavily penalised until the 1970s. You maintained appearances, you did not shame the family and you did not take any complaints outside the family.

And we criticise Sharia courts because, when an Islamic woman is pregnant outside wedlock, asserting she was raped is her only defence, and by the nature of the crime she is unlikely to be able to prove it. We are often told that she must provide evidence that she was raped (though actually this varies according to the sect of Islam – she may only have to swear it, while harsher consequences eg in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini are more cultural and misogynous than religious). But English courts still demand a similar level of evidence from girls who were abused.

And how do you begin to disclose anyway when you have no words for what was done to you?

When you have no words

Self-harming as disclosure and protest

Then girls found a way to erupt in a protest that bypassed both words and adult oppression. Towards the end of the 1950s an epidemic of self-harming by aspirin overdose emerged among pre-teen and teenage girls in England. It was inevitable that their communication should be elliptical and symbolic when the price of speaking plainly was so high. The girls were treated punitively, in the hope of discouraging hysteria and copycatting, but the fashion spread rapidly and no-one appeared to be able to stop it or understand why. Most survived, though not all.

Suicide was illegal, punishable – if you survived – by hanging, because it was the sin of self-murder. Hang twelve-year-old girls? Capital punishment for children had been abolished, though only quite recently, in 1933. They might still be threatened with being taken to court, which I heard done, but it was largely accepted that this was pointless. Traditional hell fire and damnation no longer held any meaning for them either. Suicide was decriminalised in 1961. But still all ‘solutions’ were predicated on making them realise this behaviour didn’t pay.

The fashion of self-harming with cutting, sticking in sewing and drawing pins, safety pins, and other creative variations began a little later than overdosing – in the early 1960s – and increased rapidly. Fifty years later Helen Titchener in The Archers soap opera would have the women of the UK in thrall, whether or not they usually listened to the serial, when she moved from self-harming to putting the knife where it belonged, into the man who was abusing her with his coercive control, as so many angry girls and women had fantasised doing to their own abusers.

In fact various forms of self-harming and suicide had been happening all the time, but in ways that could be dismissed as accidental. A girl ‘tripped’ crossing a railway track and fell in front of a train, or swallowed some bleach ‘by mistake for lemonade’, or ‘fell’ off a high place, and no questions need be asked, no guilt need be felt. Suicides could not be buried in consecrated ground, and that was still important to parents. A coroner’s verdict of accidental death was needed so their child could be buried in the churchyard. But now with this deliberate self-harming, it could not be covered up. Society had to ask itself why these children were unhappy enough to want to die. But many people still managed not to listen. After all, what could you do about it? And when abuse was within the family it was probably the mother’s fault for not giving him his marital rights – he was a man after all, he had to get it somewhere.

Once started, self-harming steadily increased. Overdosing and cutting were soon seen as two sides of the same attention-seeking coin – the pejorative term normally used. All the cases I saw in the early years were a protest against sexual abuse at a time when no-one had any vocabulary for it. The grown-ups didn’t ask why in the right way – they didn’t want to know. They were hostile, critical of such ‘silly’ behaviour. Society still felt entitled to stay in denial and leave the child to contain the burden.

There was no suggestion at that time that cutting relieved stress, which was a later notion. Girls were exploring dying, and escaping the pain. They were defiant, asserting their autonomy. But politely – being rude was unforgivable. Sticking a knife in him was vividly imaginable – saying ‘No’ to him was inconceivable. To adults, girls who made allegations of sexual abuse were naughty children telling lies that were incomprehensible, or else they were wicked for threatening the survival of their families. As my mother told me when I tried to talk with her as an adult: ‘How dare you complain of what you went through – some skeletons should be kept locked in their cupboards – and it can’t have been a fraction of what I suffered as a child.’

But many teenage girls got the message from their peers at once: The right not to be abused was an idea whose time had come, spreading fast in the mysterious way that such ideas do. We are entitled to be angry – though we don’t yet know how to express it well.

The looney bin

The first girl I came across who had overdosed was a school friend. I visited her in what in the 1950s was still the mid nineteenth century county lunatic asylum – the loony bin, and I was horrified, not only by the horrible surroundings but at the harsh way she was being treated. I guessed why she had done it but we knew each other too well to broach the subject – and we did not have the words. And I thought, ‘There has to be a better solution than overdosing.’

After that I met these girls when I was a student nurse in a general hospital. They were kept in hospital to check they would survive, and to see the psychiatrists, who were unapproachable and lacking in empathy. They would diagnose either ‘attention-seeking’ or ‘a cry for help’ – not exactly a professional diagnosis. I said perhaps that meant they needed attention and help, and was slapped down: you do not reward bad behaviour. I asked how else children were supposed to ask for help and there was no answer. The girls would disclose nothing to the psychiatrist, and would be transferred to what under the 1959 UK Mental Health Act had become psychiatric hospitals instead of loony bins.

Meanwhile, I was not much older than they were, not a man, and without much power over them – just a big sister. They confided in me, somehow, that they had been sexually abused, in the hope that I could get them help.

That set the pattern for my life. I developed the vocabulary. I approached everyone in the hospital, and could get nothing done. Senior nursing staff would tell me not to be so stupid and to get on with the next job. Doctors would look through me and complain to matron about my insolence – why did this chit of a girl not know her place? Occasionally someone would accept that a child had been sexually abused but would ask what I thought anyone could do. Who was going to believe such an outlandish tale? And if they did, what solution could they offer? Who were the police going to believe? The care system had been set up in 1948: would going into care be any better? Sometimes the girl decided it would be.

Still the old hospital

After general nursing I went on to train at the psychiatric hospital, and found more of these girls. The main building was an original grim Victorian hospital, and the wards for the chronic and dementia patients were still appalling. But the newer wards for acute patients were much more pleasant than the asylum where I had visited my school friend, single-storey, sunny and light. There were shaded verandas and easy access to beautiful grounds. The food was great, the same as for the staff, much of it coming from the farm and kitchen gardens, with willing patient help in growing and cooking it. There was plenty still wrong with the system of course. But there was time here, so you could sit and listen to patients. I went on listening, trying to help them find solutions. I was ham-fisted and clueless at first. I had no idea how to help them deal with having been abused. I could only encourage them to stay alive while they looked for real help, or at least grew up and got free of the man. We explored strategies to avoid further abuse, while avoiding conflicts with society. Animals self-harm when they are trapped and can see no alternative: we have to look for another way of dealing with the problem, even if our solution is not yet perfect.

An architect’s drawing of the same sort of new ward

The girls had no trouble accessing their anger about what had been done to them, and they could understand how they were internalising it, directing it at themselves, when it belonged out there with the perpetrator. But carving him up into little pieces was not the answer either, although it was all right to say you wanted to, and to imagine doing it, to act it out. ‘Do it in front of a mirror and see how angry you are. It’s good to be angry. No-one has the right to tell you to forgive him. You’re allowed to hate him for as long as you need to. But don’t attack him, don’t break the law. The courts, old men like the abuser, will not believe you nor have any sympathy, and you would end up in worse trouble.’

Another similar mental health unit

We explored how to keep safe until you were old enough to escape him if he was in your family, how to be strong and stand up to him, how to encourage your mother to stand up to him, how to protect your little sisters. ‘Imagine a future grownup you who has survived all this, and ask her to help you now.’ And I went on arguing with any authorities I met. I found people who saw the problem as I did, but none of us had any answers. Some girls decided that hospital was indeed an asylum from their abuser, until they were old enough to get away and live independently. That became impossible later, when the big county hospitals closed down and psych beds became rare, and A&E (Accident and Emergency) just stitched these children up, or gave them a stomach wash-out, and sent them back home.

If girls persisted in their accusations, and their parents complained that treatment was failing, they might be given ECT, despite the brain damage it caused, especially to immature brains. Or they might be labelled schizophrenic because of these ‘delusions’, and doped up with tranks. The hospital would not challenge the parents. In a similar way, the hospital had still been doing cliterodectomies on intractable female patients into the early 20th century.

Where were the boys?

Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec: 78% girls:22% boys, Canada 2008

There were boys being abused too in these years, though not so many, judging both by children’s services and the relative numbers of men and women who say they were abused as children, eg:

  • in 2008 (diagram above) Canadian child welfare services found 78% girls were abused to 22% boys.
  • David Finkelhor, director of the US Crimes Against Children Research Center, in the 1990s, gives numbers of 1 in 5 girls to 1 in 20 boys, and quotes self-report studies showing that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident
  • ‘In high income countries, girls typically report rates of child sexual abuse that are at least 3 times higher than rates reported by boys’, according to research by Lancaster University for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which covered 1930-2014

Support for girls and women is becoming gradually much more available, but they still may need to be determined to find it.

Darrel Carson

This website has many names and photos of male survivors, like Darrel above, who feel ready to share their stories with others. Support for boys and men is still mainly online.

The boys were equally distressed, but manifested it differently. Cyril Smith and Peter Righton, who were two of England’s most prolific homosexual predatory paedophiles, were starting to offend in the 1960s and perhaps earlier. Their victims were to be found in children’s homes and in young offenders’ institutions rather than psychiatric hospitals, because boys tend to externalise their pain. It comes out as aggression and petty criminality rather than self-harming. I was not working with these boys though I have since followed some of their stories in considerable detail.

That was the state of child protection in the last century until the 1970s. Yes, there was a cover-up going on, a vast conspiracy of silence, but where would you begin to assign the blame? Apart from Freud and the whole of patriarchy, of male privilege taking precedence over children and women, of course. Child sexual abuse can be seen as on a continuum with sexual harassment of adult women and gay men. But the effect is much worse as children are not physically or emotionally ready for sex.

Some girls grew up and passed through society without incident. There were some decent men. But you never quite knew which ones you could trust – the best of them might suddenly get randy. There were immature, inadequate paedophiles everywhere, flashers and molesters, sexist pigs who could turn very nasty. There were sadistic paedophiles too, raping and murdering children, but they were rare in our small communities. I sensed I met one once, and at the crucial point I ran, so I never knew if I was right. I was nine and knew nothing then of such men, but I was haunted by an awareness that I had narrowly escaped being murdered.

In the 1970s everything became much worse. PIE, the Paedophile Information Exchange, was set up in 1974. It had over 1000 members, though the official government figures were ‘up to 100’. Why, when we know they knew better? In the USA and Canada in 1978 NAMbLA, the North American Man-boy Love Association, was set up along similar lines.

From the late 1970s some men were begging for help to escape PIE, afraid for their lives after others had been ‘suicided’. They belonged mainly to the more inadequate paedophiles, and were as horrified as child protection workers were by the predators. Some wanted help not to offend, while some claimed never to have offended, and to have been shocked out of their fantasies by the reality of the perpetrators and situations they met. They revealed details of names, membership lists, membership numbers of individuals, paedophile sex parties, crimes – this is partly why so much is known about PIE. Credit for this must also partly go to Charles Oxley, a whistle blower who infiltrated PIE and collected details, and to Tim Hulbert, a whistle blower in the Home Office who revealed how the government covertly supported PIE.

PIE lasted for ten years and then closed down in 1984. The public had been more hostile than PIE members had expected: they had been unable to legalise paedophilia, and quite a lot of men had been imprisoned. But they had no need to continue: their network was established. Predatory paedophiles had come together and become much stronger, infiltrating every profession and stratum of society, knowing who to trust, and initiating the next generation.

By now, in the 1980s, popular awareness of child sexual abuse was increasing, but public outrage was largely misdirected. People wanted to kill paedophiles, but denied that they could possibly exist within their own social circles. An establishment cover-up was made worse by the public’s deference towards those in power. Institutions like the Charities Commission and Companies House became involved in a cover-up when a very minor member of the royal family was implicated. The government denied that there was enough child sexual abuse in Britain to make it a reason for a child to be put on the ‘at risk’ register – ‘though there might be in the US’. When I asked for advice on developing child protection policies for voluntary groups, the NSPCC said disparagingly that they had too much work with ‘proper’ abuse – with physical abuse and neglect – to waste time on ‘irrelevant middle class sexual fantasies’.

At the time most of us involved in child protection naïvely thought the government and NSPCC too inexperienced and innocent about paedophile networks to realise the truth. But it was we who turned out to have been too innocent. We discovered that the reality was much worse than we imagined then. The establishment knew the truth only too well, and some were busy covering up for their friends. According to the International Business Times on 2 December 2015, the police are currently investigating 99 politicians for child sexual abuse. This cover-up is what IICSA, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, is tasked with opening up, and why they are getting so much hostility and obstruction.

The Inquiry under its current chair is not perfect, but don’t let’s wreck it – the chance won’t come again. A lot of people didn’t intend it to happen this time, and are working to destroy it. The first two chairs were part of the establishment, and the first had proved herself corrupt in previous inquiries. The third, Lowell Goddard, was independent but civil servants from the Home Office, the government department that had nurtured and funded PIE, hedged her in and she was prevented from taking on staff she chose. We all know how Sir Humphrey could block anything James Hacker wanted done if he did not approve, while appearing totally cooperative. In this case Lowell Goddard resigned in frustration.

The fourth chair, Alexis Jay, proved herself competent and genuine in her inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, but is she being given enough autonomy to run IICSA as she sees fit, or is she also being set up to fail? Survivors and whistle blowers are complaining that she is inaccessible. They are uncertain how much of their information is being weeded out before she sees it. Rather than survivors and workers walking away and giving the government what it wants, an aborted Inquiry, can the public unite in making effective demands on Theresa May and on IICSA? What should we demand?

One demand we could all usefully make is that May should give a clear exemption from the Official Secrets Act to the police and secret services, who were used as tools by the establishment in the cover-up, so they could give evidence without reprisals. The last time this came before parliament it was voted down. The best we have so far is that Theresa May as Home Secretary ‘would not expect them – I would hope them not to be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.’

Why is the government not as horrified as the public by paedophiles? Why do they persist in protecting those amongst them?

Better still, we could demand that the police be genuinely independent of the government and not have to swear to keep the Official Secrets Act.

We could demand mandatory reporting: there are criticisms of this, but it is successfully managed in many countries, and it would help combat the neglect of reporting in various large institutions. Many smaller voluntary groups have established mandatory reporting successfully.

The thing that helped victims most during the second half of the twentieth century was telephone helplines. Several of these got going in the 1980s. Children can get the same sort of support that I tried to give my patients: the vocabulary, the assurance that what is being done to them is wrong, that they are not to blame, and help to work out strategies. What I found striking was the horror professionals felt that children should be able to ring anonymously and there would be no control over them. It had been the same when the Samaritans started in the 1950s. The power to put the phone down would remain with the caller. ‘But they may tell us they are being abused/going to commit suicide and we won’t have the contact information to do anything about it.’ Like you are so effective helping kids you know are being abused?

It was rare for the self-harming girl to find effective psychotherapy. Usually the only solution she found was to dissociate, so she could go on living a semblance of normal life without thinking constantly about the abuse. She would seal off these experiences like a malignant cyst within her mind, hoping that some day there would be someone who really knew how to help her. That way she could do her school work and pass her exams, appear fairly normal with her friends, and put a good face on things. Keeping up the defences round the cyst took a lot of the energy and attention that should have gone into her life, her relationships, and her career. So she never did as well as expected, and continually disappointed herself and everyone around her.


Denial and doublethink

Dissociation, not repression. The cyst, or however you like to imagine it, would be near to consciousness, fairly easily accessible, not buried deep in the unconscious. People ask why it takes so many years to disclose. It doesn’t really – it often takes so many years to find someone who can listen in the right way and be supportive. It’s rare for it really to be forgotten – it’s set aside, not spoken of, until you may think it’s not all that important after all, and perhaps you’ve got over it. Part of you knows that’s why you’re depressed and can’t get around to doing anything – or do all the things you know don’t help; but at the same time you don’t quite know. Just as the rest of society manages to doublethink, both to know and to not-know what is being done to children.

But if the cyst re-surfaced and broke open, especially when she did not have adequate support and therapeutic help, a girl’s life would fall apart. She would not be able to study and would fail her exams. She would become difficult socially, rage unfairly, and lose friendships. Without help, she would be as unable to cope with the abuse as she had been originally, even though she had escaped the abuser. I had been instinctively encouraging self-harming girls to talk about their abuse as repetitively as they needed. What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was that by talking at an early stage they would be decreasing the size of the cyst that their lives were burdened with.

The encysted experience, bursting out unprocessed, unassimilated, created a huge pain pouring endlessly through body and mind, causing distortions in the personality, and, unless there was therapeutic support, provoking a search for relief through unhealthy solutions. Anorexia. Promiscuity. Re-abuse. Psychosis. Running away. In the sixties, speeding without helmets on motor scooter pillions. Drink, drugs, bulimia and gambling came a little later, probably because they needed money.

How can anyone estimate compensation for loss of earnings when unknown potential is destroyed, let alone compensation for loss of a lifetime’s potential happiness? When that was discussed by lawyers at an IICSA seminar, the typical sum quoted was £10,000~£40,000. This may not pay for the lengthy therapy needed, let alone compensating for an emotionally and financially impoverished life. But where does society find the money for so many payments? Chelsea football club paid £50,000 hush money to Gary Johnson for abuse from a coach in the 1970s. But that was from a football club with plenty of money. It was to keep him quiet about someone they already knew was a paedophile and had failed to refer to the police because it was more important to protect the reputation of the club. Again, we need mandatory reporting – to oblige institutions to report children’s disclosures, just as reputable voluntary organisations now require their members to do.

Self-harming boys have always been in a minority, partly because they are abused less – though we are discovering more now than we knew during the last century – and partly because they tend to externalise their anger and react to abuse with anti-social behaviour, overt rage and petty criminality. But they are all, both girls and boys, left with that incomprehensible, overwhelming pain, worse than during the abuse – why, they ask, are they still so depressed, still so angry, still getting flashbacks, years after they have escaped the abuser?

These days the reasons for self-harming are more diverse, and abuse is only one of them. Young people appear to be exploring the edges of suicide because they find life unbearable, partly on account of normal adolescent angst but overwhelmingly because so much is wrong with our society. Young Minds estimates through self-report that currently 25% of young people self-harm, and most of them do not seek medical attention. This means that today in England we have about a million very unhappy young people.

A London psychiatrist recently wrote:

‘There has been an explosive rise in …suicidal self-poisoning (overdose), the vast majority are girls around 15. What was quite infrequent when I started 35 years ago is now an epidemic, with often several admissions a day. Each one takes hours to sort out. This is always a family crisis and we uncover long histories of loss, betrayal and grief in every case… Their despair reflects the prevailing view of society as unstable and insecure. Social media is clearly a factor because you can’t get away from your tormentors, but it is too convenient a scapegoat when the world of their parents is falling apart.’

The compassion in this is in wonderful contrast to the treatment that girls got in the 1960s. But the situation for our young people is dreadful. Most find other solutions to their problems but three young people a week in England do go on to kill themselves.

Andy Woodward, the first footballer to come out about abuse, has complained at having been waiting five weeks for a police interview. Perhaps this will improve the situation for everyone: I have known children having to wait months after disclosure for a police interview, and being told they must not start therapy while they are waiting, which is cruel.

A barnahus

On the one hand we need children’s drop-in centres where they can choose to ask for advice and counselling as soon as they decide they need it. There is nothing exotic or even very expensive about such provision. We need to complement these centres with referrals to an Icelandic-style barnahus where appropriate. These ‘houses for bairns’ are designed to be unintimidating, to receive abused children, gather information for court competently and within a week or two, and then lead on to therapy without delay but without contaminating the evidence. We have good expertise now in doing forensic interviews in a way that will not traumatise the child but is fair to the defendant. Two pilotbarnahus are being set up in London in 2017.

On the other hand we need to understand paedophiles better. IICSA intend to do qualitative research with them in prison. It doesn’t mean we are making excuses for them, any more than trying to understand suicide bombers means we are saying they are justified. But some survivors feel hurt and betrayed that the Inquiry should even speak to perpetrators. There is not enough comprehension of how long it takes, even after years of therapy, to heal the vulnerability of victims. IICSA does well in its care of survivors, but for a long time a healing survivor needs a sense of extreme and absolute loyalty before they can trust anyone. The Inquiry, of course, has a wider purpose than a purely therapeutic one.

Child sexual abuse is a gendered crime. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to abuse than women. Girls are significantly more likely to be abused than boys. All the homosexual paedophiles I have known have been men, and the predatory paedophiles in PIE, abusing large numbers of victims, were mainly homosexual, but even with this the number of boys abused has been much smaller than the number of girls.

And yet it takes the pain of ‘real men’ – professional footballers – to get through unequivocally to the public. Women have suffered from men’s abuse since forever, and have been consciously campaigning against it for sixty years. But doubt has always remained – you have to prove it, ‘we can’t do anything because you cannot provide evidence’, ‘you asked for it’, ‘you’re fantasising’, ‘you all wanted daddy to fuck you’. I have never known an allegation by a woman to be accepted without question by everyone. Under-aged girls who wanted to be film stars were seen as ‘easy meat’, selling themselves to be raped in the hope of a part in a film. Even following the Jimmy Savile disclosures, women who as children should have been protected were blamed for having been infatuated fans, and disbelieved because now ‘they’re only after compensation from his estate.’ As Newsnight editor Peter Rippon reportedly wrote concerning the lack of evidence of Savile’s abuse, it was ‘just the women’ complaining.

But a good-looking strong white man cries about his abuse on TV and no-one questions the truth of it, or blames his overwhelming desire to become a footballer for making him ‘easy meat’, or accuses him of making it up for compensation. Everyone can see his pain and empathise. Within a month there are hundreds of similar complaints from sportsmen. Quite rightly, no-one has criticised or doubted.

Ironic or what?

Anne Wade 2017

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]

Links

Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – Anne Wade

cathy fox blog on child abuse

Anne has been a nurse, adolescent psychotherapist and child protection worker. She is happily married, as a mother she home educated and is a Quaker activist and Green socialist.

This is her article.

Disclosing child sexual abuse – Anne Wade

In 1896 Sigmund Freud published three papers in which he claimed that obsessional neurosis and hysteria were caused by repressed memories of sexual molestation in early childhood. That gave him his seduction theory. Essentially, when his patients, mostly women, presented with physical symptoms that appeared to be hysterical or obsessional, he told them they had unconscious memories of being sexually abused as children. If they would remember and tell him all about it, he assured them, they would get better. Colleagues criticised him, rightly, for attempting to implant false memories.

Then he reversed his position. Memories of sexual abuse, he decided, were not factual, but were only unconscious phantasies of…

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robert george green

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2010

Justice Secretary linked to Lord Advocate’s lawyers after Police arrest journalist over reporting of Aberdeen Paedophile gang claims

Robert GreenJournalist & Broadcaster Robert Green was arrested by Grampian Police on Friday. SCOTLAND’s CROWN OFFICE are said to be heavily involved in the arrest in Aberdeen on Friday of the well known England based journalist & broadcaster Robert Green, who travelled to the Grampian area late Thursday to attend a public protest against the lack of action by Scotland’s law enforcement agencies to prosecute identified individuals in an Aberdeen based paedophile gang, names which include key members of Scotland’s legal establishment and even a local Sheriff, who stand accused of serial abuse of disabled victims, including downs syndrome girl, Hollie Greig.

Grampian PoliceGrampian Police arrested journalist on ‘breach of the peace’. Grampian Police apparently swooped on Mr Green before he was even able to attend Friday’s planned protest, taking him into custody earlier in the morning on a charge of breach of the peace, which Mr Green had been detained on, until his appearance tomorrow (Monday) at Aberdeen Sheriff court, where ironically, Mr Green will be taken before a colleague of a Sheriff who was identified by one of the abuse victims as being an alleged member of the paedophile gang at the centre of the case, who are accused of abusing disabled victims & also passing vulnerable children around their ranks.

The Firm - Hollie Greig 2 CensoredLord Advocate & Crown Office censored online legal publication “The Firm” from reporting on abuse case. Scottish Law Reporter have covered the story of Hollie Greig on previous occasions, HERE, secondly, revealing Scots Law magazine “The Firm” were censored by the Crown Office HERE, thirdly, revealing that a private law firm had been tasked by the Lord Advocate to threaten & censor media investigations of the case HERE and most recently, where the Crown Office announced they would not prosecute the case, HERE

Peter WatsonSenior Levy McRae partner Peter Watson acted against media outlets for the Lord Advocate. The case alarmed Crown Office officials and even the Lord Advocate of Scotland so much, a heavyweight law firm based in Glasgow, Messrs Levy McRae were brought in to threaten any media outlet who dare report on the allegations or identify anyone named by the victim and her mother, or involved the Grampian Police investigation. Mr Green recently alleged the investigation carried out by Grampian was very far from incomplete, apparently having omitted to interview many or all of the chief suspects, and victims.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskillJustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill linked to Lord Advocate’s choice of lawyers. Amazingly, it can now be revealed the Scottish Government’s current Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill has long standing ties to Levy McRae, the same law firm used by the Lord Advocate to threaten media publication of the Hollie Greig case. Mr MacAskill is now known to have served his apprenticeship at Levy McRae and also worked at the firm for a considerable time during his years as a solicitor.

Levy & McRae letter on behalf of Lord AdvocateLevy McRae sent out legal threats to websites, newspapers, & online forums. Mr MacAskill could not be contacted for any comment on developments in the case, and officials said he would not answer any questions over his previous involvement with Levy McRae. However, several MSPs alerted to the fact the Lord Advocate has used the same firm which once employed the Justice Secretary himself, have now vowed to investigate the goings on in the Hollie Greig case. An aide to an MSP today said there may well be a problem for the Justice Secretary since the Lord Advocate has used his old law firm, throwing up the question of conflict of interest and whether the intervention against the media by Levy McRae “may have implied Scottish Government support for the law firm’s work on behalf of the Lord Advocate.”

Anne GreigHolly Greig with her mother Anne – forced to flee to England after abuse. Since the journalist’s arrest by Grampian Police on Friday, reports of Mr Green, and his work investigating the allegations into the Aberdeen based paedophile ring have spread around the internet, along with a sequence of video clips of a talk the journalist gave to audiences on his work and the allegations into the abuse which had taken place in the Aberdeen area, leaving many to question why Scotland’s Crown Office had stamped on any chance of mounting prosecutions against people well known in the area who have been identified by one of the abuse victims, Hollie Greig, who, despite no one being charged after a Police investigation into the abuse claims, received £13,500 compensation (hush money ? – Ed) from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in April of 2009.

Hollie has been described by a Grampian detective inspector who himself gave evidence, as “a truthful witness to the best of her ability and an entirely innocent victim”, and medical evidence has apparently verified that Hollie has been abused.

Grampian Police are now known to have received hundreds of calls from people all over the United Kingdom and around the world, concerned for Mr Green’s wellbeing. It has also been revealed today that Anne Greig, Hollie’s mother has not been allowed to speak to Mr Green to establish if he is ok, or has the necessary legal representation for his court appearance on Monday.

The video clips, well worth a look while they still exist, can be viewed on You Tube at the following link : JusticeforHollie

Aberdeen’s Press & Journal newspaper reported on Mr Green’s arrest :

Robert Green‘Sex abuse’ family’s legal adviser arrested

CAMPAIGNER WAS GOING TO HAND OUT LEAFLETS
BY RYAN CRIGHTON

Published: 13/02/2010

The legal adviser to the family of a disabled woman who claims she was abused by a paedophile ring as a child was arrested yesterday as he made his way to the centre of Aberdeen to hand out leaflets.

Political hopeful Robert Green represents the mother of Hollie Greig, a 30-year-old woman with Down’s Syndrome who says she was sexually assaulted by a Scottish sheriff, who is still serving, and a senior Grampian Police officer who is now dead.

Last night, 63-year-old Mr Green was charged with breach of the peace. He is expected to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday. It is understood he was arrested as he made his way to Union Street, where he was going to tell people about Hollie’s case and his plans to contest the Aberdeen South parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.

Mr Green, of Cheshire, had been staying at a bed and breakfast in King Street. He was expected in Union Street near the Marks and Spencer store at 10.30am but never arrived. Other “injustice” campaigners, including Aberdeen man David Emslie, formerly of Nigg Kirk Road, were waiting for Mr Green and said they were concerned for his safety when he did not appear.

Grampian Police later confirmed Mr Green was in custody. A spokesman said: “A 63-year-old man has been charged in connection with a breach of the peace. “As this case is now active, it would be inappropriate to make any other comment.” Police, with the consent of Mr Green, searched his room in King Street and are believed to have left with documents belonging to him.

Hollie claims she was abused for 14 years from the age of six and has given police the names of some of the men she says assaulted her. The 30-year-old and her mother, Anne, have been campaigning for criminal proceedings since 2000.

The abuse is alleged to have taken place in Aberdeen, and Hollie and her mother claim to have made a statement at Bucksburn police station in July that year naming those involved. The family moved to Shropshire and two Grampian Police officers travelled to Shrewsbury in September last year to re-interview Hollie at a special facility.

Last month, the Crown Office revealed there was not enough reliable evidence to proceed with the case.

A spokesman said at the time: “Historical allegations of sexual abuse made by a 30-year-old woman in Shropshire have been thoroughly investigated by police. “Crown counsel have considered all the available information and decided that there is insufficient credible, reliable and admissible evidence to justify criminal proceedings in respect of these allegations.”

Despite no charges ever being brought, Hollie received £13,500 compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in April last year. It is understood that followed evidence from a Grampian detective inspector, who described Hollie as “a truthful witness to the best of her ability and an entirely innocent victim”. Mrs Greig, 58, claims her daughter has experienced nightmares and panic attacks since she first told her about the alleged abuse.

22 comments:

Anonymous said…

The msp aide is correct
Conflict of interest and govt support for those letters implied unless Justice Minister disowns Lord Advocate

Anonymous said…

Breach of the peace (Scotland)

“Where something is done in breach of public order or decorum which might reasonably be expected to lead the lieges being

* alarmed or
* upset or
* tempted to make reprisals at their own hand, the circumstances are such to amount to a breach of the peace.”

Are the Crown Office alarmed,upset or afraid Mr Green will reveal abuse the Police are not being allowed to prosecute ?

I hope Mr Green gets out alive.The monkeys in charge have a habit of locking up those who expose their wrongdoings.

Anonymous said…

and let KM deny it we now know the truth of his links to LeMac :

http://www.firmmagazine.com/features/426/Freedom_writer.html

18 Nov 2008
Freedom writer

From working alongside Kenny MacAskill as a trainee, to the jungles of Venezuela and all the way to the top prize at Cannes, screenwriter Paul Laverty packed up his pen, took his passion, and made it happen.

He says it was an accident, and certainly not the result of any planning on his part, but whether by default or design, Paul Laverty has made the leap out of the nine to five that surely comes as close as any to wish fulfilment. From once sharing an office with Kenny MacAskill at Levy and Macrae, now he writes movie scripts for Hollywood. Two otherwise identical careers could hardly have diverged further, and as de facto partner of legendary director Ken Loach, renowned for pitch perfect social realism, he is arguably doing his own bit for justice, albeit in a very different way from his former workmate.

Legal Beagle said…

@7:23PM

Its always the smallest things that reveal the most.

Anonymous said…

If Angiolini is so worried about her image she should resign her position and take legal action.

Anonymous said…

Called in and got some kind of robot answering the phone who then hung up !

What happened to the traditional British bobby ? Did they swap for the Gestapo ?

brownfulk said…

Unbelievable – reminds me of the Jersey whitewash. I wonder if there’s a connection ?

Anonymous said…

Wow no doubt about it Evil lurks in Scotland !

Old Holborn said…

http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2010/02/hollie-greig.html

Anonymous said…

It’s ok, if he can prove wrongful arrest, he will be given a lot of compensation. Which i’m 95% sure he can prove…

Anonymous said…

The dirty filthy Paedophile Police force Grampian Police had a heavy Police presence at Stonehaven Sheriff Court yesterday when Robert Green appeared from three days in custoday, and was heard in a closed court. Gastapo style justice, or Communist show trials.
They will do everything they can to protect the Paedophile Buchanan and his Paedophile ring. The Paedophile Police Force had a dirty Paedophile undercover piece of vermin hiding in a lane opposite the Stonehaven Sheriff Court yesterday when Robert Green appeared in court, he told supporters he was a resident waiting a delivery, probably a delivery of other dirty paedophile Police Officers, or Paedophile friends of Buchannan, the Chief Constable, the Lord Advocate, MacAskill, or from the Procurator Foscals Office in Aberdeen. They lock up the whistleblower confiscate evidence, but for ten years refuse to interview the Paedophiles that abused Hollie Greig. And what are all our wonderful MSPs and MPs doing, running for cover, or telling us that they cannot interven in legal matters, but look what the Deputy First Minister did last week with a fraudster in Glasgow. Our MPs and MSPs are all complicit in helping cover up this Paedophile Ring in Aberdeen.

Anonymous said…

Aberdeen Press & Journal 16th February 2010. Mr Robert Green appeared at Stonehaven Sheriff Court and appeared in Court from custody, held three days in sustody for a breach of the peace.
A Court hearing in private, what are the Paedophiles in the Police, Judiciary,Legal Profession, Procurator Fiscals Office, Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the Lord Advocate, the Government trying to hide, it is the Paedophilia that they all know about, and many of them are involved in that is now catching up with them in the evidence that Robert Green has which they are now trying to suppress. The Aberdeen Paedophile Ring involves some of the most senior Police, more than one Sheriff, and the whole Legal System in Aberdeen and Scotland.

Anonymous said…

Just read Mr Watson’s full profile.He seems to enjoy a fight and thinks nothing of stepping on people.I suggest he be given a taste of his own medicine.

Also as Justice Minister MacAskill worked for their firm put his head on posters about the case if the lawyers want to imply he is giving them his support.

Old Holborn said…

STOP PRESS

This new Statute comes into force next week

Buchanan will be shitting himself

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/uksi_20100232_en_1

Anonymous said…

I need your legal advice legal beagle.

I have been told Levy McRae have asked the Police to charge everyone involved in reporting the Hollie Greig case.

What should I do ?

Legal Beagle said…

Anonymous said…

I need your legal advice legal beagle.

I have been told Levy McRae have asked the Police to charge everyone involved in reporting the Hollie Greig case.

What should I do ?

11:57 PM

Its funny you should mention that but anyway here is some advice.

If Levy McRae have asked the Police to investigate or arrest everyone posting material on the Hollie Greig case, they are going to have a long task ahead of them, as there are over 1 million references in Google now.

If you are threatened by Levy McRae, or the Police in connection with remarks or posts, and if charges are brought, you would be wise to cite as witnesses, staff of “The Firm” law magazine (http://www.firmmagazine.com/), who first reported the Hollie Greig case, and started the ball rolling on current events which have led to Mr Green’s arrest, and wild threats by law firms against anyone that moves.

Do remember, if witnesses you cite are of the ‘reluctant variety to attend in court’ they can be compelled to attend, after all if you do have any problems over it, I would be guessing its a criminal matter, right ?

Just remember who exactly started the reports in the media on the Hollie Greig case and I have no doubt they will end up having to make an appearance in any case against Mr Green, which seems likely (or not ?) given his arrest, and subsequent bail.

It will be interesting to see how “The Firm” and its many legal personalities justify what they said in their initial reports, despite their later apology & retraction, as of course, their coverage must have bearing on Mr Green’s defence presentation.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said…

Thanks much.Will do as you suggest.

Anonymous said…

Evil people represent equally evil people

http://www.ukcolumn.org/ said…

Readers should go check out the UK COLUMN for the latest on Robert Green and the fight to expose these evil perverts in Scotland

http://www.ukcolumn.org/

Anonymous said…

very sick people in charge in Scotland

Liverpool Solicitors said…

Good one..

Anonymous said…

Just to alert you, videos of Mr Green start to get removed from YouTube…

As seen from http://www.youtube.com/user/JusticeforHollie

“Reporter Robert Green’s talk on the Hollie Greig Aberdee…n abuse case Pt2”
This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.