I HAVE been blogging now for almost four weeks and am still learning a lot about the art of writing for a world-wide internet audience.
It is a steep learning curve and one thing is for sure, it is a world away from newspaper journalism, where every day you have a guaranteed audience of X thousand readers who pay a hard earned buck to read your words.
To date my posts on cancer (Saving Grace) and child abuse (When You Gonna Wake Up and Strengthen the Things That Remain?) have been the most widely read and commented upon. Indeed I have been deeply humbled and emotionally affected by some emails, messages and calls I have received from friends and strangers on the back of these postings.
So before I turn to my next big blog – to be posted separately – I want to revisit the second of these subjects: child abuse.
I have been angered by some public comments made in the past eight months over the arrests of certain British showbiz personalities on charges of historic abuse of children and young people. This was particularly evident following the conviction of BBC presenter Stuart Hall and the evidence against the late Jimmy Savile.
Some commentators seem to think that because the allegations of abuse stemmed from instances 30, 40 or 50 years ago, they are in some way not as serious as something which occurred last week. There seems to be an inherent belief that: ‘time is a healer’.
I am sorry to disappoint that view, but quite the reverse is true.
From my own experience, the longer abuse goes unrecognised, untreated and unpunished; the greater is the damage to the victim. Such abuse ruins lives completely and by association can ruin other lives too.
Perversely I am a lifelong supporter of penal reform, but in some of these abuse cases I could quite easily lock up the perpetrators and throw away the key.
I finish by urging anyone who has suffered child abuse to be open, talk about it, report it and seek justice. You really are not alone. Help can be found here:
Young Minds: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/abuse?gclid=CPXFkL3QsboCFXHJtAodLC0A0A