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 pilot barnahus 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]


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15 Responses to Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – Anne Wade

  1. Pingback: Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – The Militant Negro™

  2. Pingback: Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse – Anne Wade Cath Fox | HOLLIE GREIG JUSTICE E mail holliegreigjusticee@gmail.com

  3. truth1 says:

    “Why is the government not as horrified as the public by paedophiles? Why do they persist in protecting those amongst them?”
    Because the government worships Satan as all governments do and they are cruel, anyway.

    In regards to healing prolonged and often repeated sexual abuse and rape, Getting feelings to come up and out so as to allow healing is not easy and there can be complications. Dr. Janov has the best info on that. He wrote the 1970 “The Primal Scream.” John Lennon was interested in him, too. When a trauma starts to come out, It is possible for it to come up out of order or bring up even more pain with it, from the birth process and early development. Proper treatment requires the suppression of early birth traumas of near death experience.

    The brain seeks to unload the most recent trauma first and then as each comes out and is processed and with a brief time to rest until the next one is ready to be released. Events in the present can trigger the premature release of out-of-order traumas. Treatment involves getting a patient into the right level and order of painful memories to be released. As well, the brain seeks the lesser traumas first and then goes to the more intense stronger ones after.

    A really strong painful trauma will often require that it be released in small doses. While in this process, patients tend to be just on the edge of these feelings until they are full released and resolved. You can see the wisdom of the brain in this. Imagine really horrific sexual abuse pretty much daily and for years. You cant get rid of that all at once or in a short period of time. It can take years. It took years to accumulate it all and so the reverse also take a long time.

    Another big factor is the support of those around the patient and that is not likely, either. especially if the parents were the abusers. Daniel Ryder’s “Breaking the Circle of Satanic Ritual Abuse” finds that a sort of 12 step program helps patients with support from other victims and supportive friends and relatives.

    The fact is, really, an extremely wounded abuse victim need to have their childhood start all over again, this time, with good presenting and support with proper boundaries and being there for the patient 24/7, just as it would normally be for a child with 2 good parents who live with them 24/7 and ideally, even sleeps beside them. This is not practical for adult victims but at least being able to call, if not room with the “therapist.”

    Most therapists do this for money and that is part of the problem. They can’t take in every patient they have. Really, this help needs to come from well taught friend(s) who can always be just a phone call or visit away. Victims of Mind control and SRA also need protection from those seeking to kidnap or destroy them.

    So I write the following warning:

    Warning! Anyone attempting to help extreme abuse victims will absolute need and require God’s full protection. So do not try this without God or with not living up to His commands, within reason. To attempt to help without God’s protection and guidance could lead to death. As well, you do need to read and understand the therapeutic process as much as possible.

    Janov has found that Healing ones self is important for getting access to extreme non-verbal sensitivity that is used to recognize what patient is experiencing and how to intervene if they are not at the right spot or level. Daniel Ryder’s book is also a great therapy book and very inexpensive, too. You can not go wrong there.

    My best to all pursuing this great cause of human healing. You have attempted a worthy challenge that comes with a great reward for both you and those you help.


  4. John Faulkner says:

    Not all this is historic.
    Most abuse is hidden.
    I have a lovely niece who is currently being denied her rights. She is a prisoner in her own home.
    She is 20+ and has a mother (my sister) who is in real need of phsychiatric help herself. My sister was abused herself by my mothers partner. Now, both deceased, but when I try to help my niece, I’m threatened by the law. Via my sad, needy sister.

    I don’t know what to do for the best, but I truly want to help my niece.
    I’ve checked every available online option with no success yet. I mean Social Services, Police, all the Childline, Vulnerable adults sites, you name it. I’ve tried all options I can find online.

    I’m at a crossroads. And feeling quite useless right now.
    Sensible, knowlegeable advice would be so helpful.



    • truth1 says:

      John, we are at a critical time in the history of our species and our place in it as individuals. We overpowered by evil at this point. Only God can help at this stage. We are powerless. Seek God thru the bible and not organized controlled religion and you might fine the help you need.



    • truth1 says:

      John, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but most of us have our hands tied. The status quo have made it nearly impossible to help anyone or anything. I am seeing how devotion to God might work out. sometimes, our only hope is when God will step in and fix this mess once and for all. That is the only real hope as I see it. Your niece might be lost till she reaches out for the help. Some dont’ want to be helped. Some can’t see the way to help.


      • John Faulkner says:

        Thanks for your kind words but they do not help me, or my niece.
        I’m dealing with people & systems here. Not Gods.

        My niece is not ‘lost’, she is entwined in a system she does not know how to escape from. The system protects her problematic mother, & this, in my mind is the current problem.

        I’m not looking for comfort in the future here, but solutions now.


  5. 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.
    Did PIE close down, or as it rebranded itself. Why in many cases did the police arrest certain people while others where never questioned or arrested. The further up the Social scale the less chance of arrest. Without doubt many of these paedophile circles are interconnected and I suspect even as prolific, but even more chameleon like than the 1970’s.


    • John Faulkner says:

      PIE was an historic group, quite naiive by todays standards.

      In this day & age child abuse in all its ways, are more sophisticated, & better organised online, than then.

      I believe human nature does not change significantly over time. Their (the abusers) methods of opportunities & concealment, are way better than then….
      This is what we are dealing with now, in 2017.

      Isn’t it?


      • truth1 says:

        Yes, that is what we are dealing with. The impossible! The insurmountable! the trick is to stay out of harm’s way, if possible. Its a jungle and only the fittest, the bravest, the most intelligent, survive. The casualties are all around us.


  6. bethanyk says:



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