Childhood Sexual Abuse – Echoes of the Darkness

abused child

ALL my life I have been aware of people passing my way, who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

But, to protect myself, and my own frailties, I have not questioned or drawn them close to talk about their lives… I metaphorically walked by on the other side.

This was until I met one very special person, who in hindsight became the catalyst I had waited almost a lifetime to meet.

Jay (not her real name) was damaged, just like me, and when we met she was emerging from the hell of a court case, which saw her father jailed for 10 years for the vile damage he had inflicted on her when she was a child.

She wrote this heart-wrenching tale for me at the time. I am rebooting it to try and help people understand the utter hell and damage created by paedophilia and child abuse:

“It all began when I was eight years-old, and looking back on it, there was obviously a premeditated plan in place all along.

At first it was almost imperceptible.

Cleverly disguised as the occasional misplaced hand, I would ask myself if I was just imagining it.

Now I realise this was ‘testing the water’ to see if I had the guts to speak out.

But I was terrified of him and said nothing.

And from within that first ever silence was borne unwitting complicity in years of unspeakable evil acts.

From the first touch – a slowly sweeping hand draped casually over my shoulder, fingers brushing against my undeveloped chest – I knew it was wrong.

Without ever having to be told good from evil, I felt innately that this behaviour was sickeningly out of place, for someone in a position of parental trust.

From that first moment, I was frightened, betrayed and trapped.

As soon as he knew I was keeping quiet, he began his quest in earnest.

It quickly became sessions of being touched inappropriately behind a locked bathroom door.

Where was my mother? How could she possibly not know what was happening? Why didn’t she rescue me?

Even when I wanted to shower before school, he would insist on being in the bathroom to have his morning shave – watching me in the mirror, and then weighing me naked on the scales, so that he could stand over me and ‘assess’ my body fat, marking up my weight on a wall-chart, and telling me how very ugly I was. I still hate bathroom scales to this day.

When I was 12, my mother went back to work, and my father notched up his activity levels immediately.

It developed into having to perform horrible rituals for two hours at a time, whilst she worked.

Tied into activities that he’d always told me were ‘normal and happened in every family’, by the time I realised it was all very far from normal, I couldn’t say anything to anyone.

The sessions became more sinister as I got older.

He would make me use horrible equipment, and forced me to look at pornographic magazines, making me pleasure him and – well before I was even 16 – he moved on to both kinds of rape.

He would unleash the fullest extent of his anger upon me if I didn’t make a good job of everything he required of me, and punishment was always of a much worse sexual nature.

Once I had gone through puberty, it didn’t matter to him what time of the month it was, so the fear of pregnancy hung over me like a constant black cloud.

I was endlessly at the doctors with internal problems and suffered terrible depression – which I still do to this day.

I spent hours either locked away in my room contemplating suicide, or walking the streets of my town to avoid him.

As I approached my final exams, it became clear that any books or equipment I needed to make sure of good grades, were going to have to be painstakingly ‘earned’.

The horror of this broke my spirit for further education and I left home on the day of my 18th birthday, with my few pathetic possessions in one canvas bag.

I tried to make a normal life, but it was impossible.

For 40 years I felt isolated, betrayed, dirty and abandoned.

I ricocheted back and forth in a succession of disastrous relationships, unable to find any stability.

But I never gave up hope of justice being done, and now that evil man is serving time for his crimes, which is a small compensation for what I endured.

And also, I never gave up hope of one day being, loved, valued and cherished.

These words mean nothing to those of us who have had a lifetime of being used, broken and disrespected.

Now I am slowly picking up the pieces and putting a life together. It can be done. No matter how late on in life, and how badly damaged we are, we are all worthy of being loved.

And if I am living proof of anything at all, it is the fact that there is always a tiny flicker of hope out there, somewhere in the darkness.”

Sadly, Jay’s and my relationship, which was always mutually caring, did not last.

In hindsight I guess we were both too damaged and the time was wrong. But I will always love her because she gave me the courage to face my own demon.

But it took another few years and a nervous breakdown for that to happen.

When I did come out and publicly write about my own abuse, the pressure was released and a recovery of sorts began.

https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/the-lasting-legacy-of-childhood-sexual-abuse

Since then many, many friends have come to me and told me of their own harrowing stories of childhood sexual abuse – some had been friends for many years and had never breathed a word of what had gone before.

Other confidantes are complete strangers. One such person is Sam Hill, author of An Oath to Hell http://www.amazon.co.uk/An-Oath-Hell-Sam-hill/dp/1492248940 whom I met simply through a Twitter friendship. You can read more about Sam’s abuse and her battle to be heard here: https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/an-oath-to-hell-sam-hill/

Gradually we survivors have become a network of sharing, and in doing so are helping each other along the road to further recovery and strengthening.

And that network keeps growing.

Over the past few days I have been reading, editing and transcribing some poems written by one of those people… a new and lovely friend who was abused for six years by her own brother.

I will called her Justine for the sake of this article, but again I have protected her real name.

I am entranced by the power of her words and the hell from which she has emerged.

More than twice she has tried to end her own life, but keeps going for the sake of her own children. And throughout it all she has documented every moment with poetry.

This particular one brought tears to my eyes:

Release

Release these chains, pick this lock

Try anything you can

Please don’t give up

See me for who I am

Please stay patient

I know I appear to be spiteful and cruel

Don’t be blinded by my reputation

There’s a good person inside, a hidden jewel

Just because it’s lost doesn’t mean it can’t be found

It screams and screams

But that doesn’t mean you hear its sound

Hidden reality that lies in dreams

Something that’s old can be renewed

Princesses are awoken by a kiss

I just need to be rescued

Returned to what I miss

I can change the hand I’ve been dealt

I know I can win But I also need help

Please, don’t give in

Her poems remind me of my own, but are so much more powerful and tell a different story. Now she is beginning to write her own harrowing autobiography, which I am sure may one day become a best seller. whole

This reading/writing/editing process could easily have brought me down, but crazily instead it is uplifting and warming. Because, you see, we are never alone.

So for anyone who may have suffered sexual or physical abuse as a child, the salvation is to reach out and speak out… we are here.

We are always here.

 

The UK Paedo Files: a Can of Worms that Only Opens from the Inside

JIMMY Savile, Gary Glitter, Max Clifford, Leon Brittan, Cyril Smith, Greville Janner, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Jonathan King, Oliver Reed and Chris Denning are just a few of the UK’s high profile child sex offenders to have been convicted or outed in the past three years.

But there are many more.

A ‘powerful elite’ of at least 20 prominent Establishment figures formed a VIP paedophile ring that abused children for decades, one whistleblower has now claimed.

Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police confirms it is investigating paedophile and sexual abuse claims against 76 British politicians, 178 TV and movie celebrities and seven sports stars.

Peter McKelvie – a former child protection officer who first raised the alarm about high profile individuals engaged in child sex abuse – said senior politicians, military figures and even people linked to the Royal Family are among the alleged abusers.

Mr McKelvie said that their campaign of abuse may have been going on for as long as 65 years, but ‘there has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent an investigation.’

Mr McKelvie, whose claims led to Scotland Yard’s 2012 Operation Fernbridge investigation into allegations of a paedophile network linked to Downing Street, said the alleged VIP child abuse ring may at last face justice, although several members are now dead.

“For the last 30 years and longer than that, there have been a number of allegations made by survivors that people at the top of very powerful institutions in this country – which include politicians, judges, senior military figures and even people that have links with the Royal Family – have been involved in the abuse of children,” said Mr McKelvie.

“At the most serious level, we’re talking about the brutal rape of young boys,” he added.

Describing the child abusers as making up a ‘small percentage’ of the British Establishment at the time, Mr McKelvie admitted there was ‘a slightly larger percentage’ of people who knew about the abuse but did not report it to the police.

He said these people ‘felt that in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons, it has been safer for them to cover it up than deal with it.’

Meanwhile, a former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told a member of the Queen’s family and an MP had both been identified as part of a major child abuse inquiry.

But the operation was shut down by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for ‘national security reasons’.

The ex-officer explained how a named detective sergeant based at London’s Marylebone Police Station in the late 1980s, spoke to him about the investigation and the fact it had been axed.

The former officer said: “I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. They were discussing a madam who had provided a girl of about 15 to the film actor Oliver Reed.

“The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP.

“He said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

The former officer added: “What I was told has stayed with me to this day.”

Reed was never prosecuted over underage sex.

The Metropolitan Police now insists it is pursuing claims of abuse, no matter who was said to be involved.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse said: “We have seen lots of allegations of cover-ups, and I think it’s helpful that people are coming forward. We will go where the evidence takes us, without fear or favour, I think that is what the public expect.”

Earlier this year it was announced the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating 14 separate referrals spanning four decades, amid cover-up claims.

The claims – referred to the IPCC by the Met – allege the force suppressed evidence, hindered or halted investigations and covered up offences because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.

Former Met Deputy Commissioner Albert Laugharne said that, while head of Lancashire police, he had been asked by a DPP officer to lie about allegations involving the late Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith, later unmasked as a paedophile.

A surveillance operation that unmasked Leon Brittan’s links to child sex abuse is also said to have been shut down by Met detectives.

The Sunday Mirror revealed last year how the former Home Secretary was snapped by officers during a 1986 investigation into rent boy orgies run in North London buildings.

But the day before swoops on alleged suspects were due to be carried out, officers on Operation Orchid were told it had been disbanded.

Smith and top judges were also believed to have been photographed entering the underage sex dens. Sources claim up to 16 high profile figures were due to be arrested.

Leon Brittan was under investigation by the Met over sex abuse allegations at the time of his death in January this year. However, in October, the CPS said they had not found enough evidence to prosecute.

In 2013, police investigating allegations of a child paedophile network seized a list naming top politicians, members of the Royal household and a world-renowned pop star.

They were allegedly visitors to a bed and breakfast guest house which operated as a brothel where youngsters were abused at gay sex parties.

The names were recorded on a handwritten note found by police at the North London home of child protection worker Mary Moss during a raid.

She had initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.

Documents and a laptop were seized and Ms Moss later handed over other 19 files she had put in a neighbour’s shed.

The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 1980s at the Elm Guest House, in Barnes, south west London.

Among them were two former Conservative Cabinet ministers, four other senior Tories, a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.

The note also allegedly names two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.

In Government documents released in July this year, Leon Brittan was one of four senior Westminster figures named in connection to child sexual abuse.

Along with Brittan, the former British diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, and former ministers William van Straubenzee and Peter Morrison were named in the secret government files.

It was reported that Brittan and Hayman were among the suspects who were involved in an alleged Westminster paedophile ring operating in the 1980s, according to an investigation by the Australian current affairs programme 60 Minutes entitled Spies, Lords and Predators.

One victim accused Brittan of regularly abusing children at the Dolphin Square apartment block in Pimlico.

The victim told 60 Minutes that Brittan liked boys to dress in women’s underwear before abusing them.

The fact that a paedophile ring had been operating within the British Establishment first emerged in an investigation by campaigning Tory politician Geoffrey Dickens.

In November 1983, the MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth sent a 40-page document to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan detailing alleged VIP child abusers, including Cyril Smith and other senior politicians.

In a newspaper interview at the time, Mr Dickens claimed his dossier contained the names of eight ‘really important public figures’ that he planned to expose, and whose crimes are believed to have stretched back to the 1960s.

But in March 1984 Home Secretary Brittan told Mr Dickens that his dossier has been assessed by prosecutors and passed on to the police, but no further action is taken.

In 1989, Brittan was suddenly made European Commissioner for Competition at the European Commission, resigning as an MP to take the position. He accepted the post as European Commissioner reluctantly, as it meant giving up his British parliamentary ambitions.

(In late 1990, while I was working as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Argyll, I was told by a leading Scottish Conservative politician that Brittan had been moved to Europe, because “he has an unnatural fascination for young boys”.)

In May 1995, Geoffrey Dickens died. A short time later his wife destroyed his copy of the paedophile dossier.

The only other copies – one received by Mr Brittan and another allegedly sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions – are believed to have been lost or destroyed.

In September 2010 Cyril Smith died aged 82 without ever being charged with sex offences.

In October 2012 during Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP (and now Deputy Leader) Tom Watson claimed there is ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10’.

A month later the CPS admitted that Smith should have been charged with crimes of abuse more than 40 years earlier.

The CPS also admitted Smith had been investigated in 1970, 1974, 1998, and 1999, but rejected every opportunity to prosecute him.

A former special branch officer, Tony Robinson, said a historic dossier ‘packed’ with information about Smith’s sex crimes was actually in the hands of MI5 – despite officially having been ‘lost’ decades earlier.

Then in June 2014, Labour MP Simon Danczuk called on Leon Brittan to say what he knew about the Dickens dossier.

A month later Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill revealed that 114 files relating to historic allegations of child sex abuse, from between 1979 and 1999, have disappeared from the Home Office.

It is clear that this nasty can of worms only opens from the inside.

To be continued…

The UK Paedo Files: a can of worms that only opens from the inside

JIMMY Savile, Gary Glitter, Max Clifford, Leon Brittan, Cyril Smith, Greville Janner, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Jonathan King, Oliver Reed and Chris Denning are just a few of the UK’s high profile child sex offenders to have been convicted or outed in the past three years.

But there are many more.

A ‘powerful elite’ of at least 20 prominent Establishment figures formed a VIP paedophile ring that abused children for decades, one whistleblower has now claimed.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police confirms it is investigating paedophile and sexual abuse claims against 76 British politicians, 178 TV and movie celebrities and seven sports stars.

Peter McKelvie – a former child protection officer who first raised the alarm about high profile individuals engaged in child sex abuse – said senior politicians, military figures and even people linked to the Royal Family are among the alleged abusers.

Mr McKelvie said that their campaign of abuse may have been going on for as long as 65 years, but ‘there has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent an investigation.’

Mr McKelvie, whose claims led to Scotland Yard’s 2012 Operation Fernbridge investigation into allegations of a paedophile network linked to Downing Street, said the alleged VIP child abuse ring may at last face justice, although several members are now dead.

“For the last 30 years and longer than that, there have been a number of allegations made by survivors that people at the top of very powerful institutions in this country – which include politicians, judges, senior military figures and even people that have links with the Royal Family – have been involved in the abuse of children,” said Mr McKelvie.

“At the most serious level, we’re talking about the brutal rape of young boys,” he added.

Describing the child abusers as making up a ‘small percentage’ of the British Establishment at the time, Mr McKelvie admitted there was ‘a slightly larger percentage’ of people who knew about the abuse but did not report it to the police.

He said these people ‘felt that in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons, it has been safer for them to cover it up than deal with it.’

Meanwhile, a former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told a member of the Queen’s family and an MP had both been identified as part of a major child abuse inquiry.

But the operation was shut down by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for ‘national security reasons’.

The ex-officer explained how a named detective sergeant based at London’s Marylebone Police Station in the late 1980s, spoke to him about the investigation and the fact it had been axed.

The former officer said: “I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. They were discussing a madam who had provided a girl of about 15 to the film actor Oliver Reed.

“The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP.

“He said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

The former officer added: “What I was told has stayed with me to this day.”

Reed was never prosecuted over underage sex.

The Metropolitan Police now insists it is pursuing claims of abuse, no matter who was said to be involved.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse said: “We have seen lots of allegations of cover-ups, and I think it’s helpful that people are coming forward. We will go where the evidence takes us, without fear or favour, I think that is what the public expect.”

Earlier this year it was announced the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating 14 separate referrals spanning four decades, amid cover-up claims.

The claims – referred to the IPCC by the Met – allege the force suppressed evidence, hindered or halted investigations and covered up offences because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.

Former Met Deputy Commissioner Albert Laugharne said that, while head of Lancashire police, he had been asked by a DPP officer to lie about allegations involving the late Lib Dem MP Cyril Smith, later unmasked as a paedophile.

A surveillance operation that unmasked Leon Brittan’s links to child sex abuse is also said to have been shut down by Met detectives.

The Sunday Mirror revealed last year how the former Home Secretary was snapped by officers during a 1986 investigation into rent boy orgies run in North London buildings.

But the day before swoops on alleged suspects were due to be carried out, officers on Operation Orchid were told it had been disbanded.

Smith and top judges were also believed to have been photographed entering the underage sex dens. Sources claim up to 16 high profile figures were due to be arrested.

Leon Brittan was under investigation by the Met over sex abuse allegations at the time of his death in January this year. However, in October, the CPS said they had not found enough evidence to prosecute.

In 2013, police investigating allegations of a child paedophile network seized a list naming top politicians, members of the Royal household and a world-renowned pop star.

They were allegedly visitors to a bed and breakfast guest house which operated as a brothel where youngsters were abused at gay sex parties.

The names were recorded on a handwritten note found by police at the North London home of child protection worker Mary Moss during a raid.

She had initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.

Documents and a laptop were seized and Ms Moss later handed over other 19 files she had put in a neighbour’s shed.

The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 1980s at the Elm Guest House, in Barnes, south west London.

Among them were two former Conservative Cabinet ministers, four other senior Tories, a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.

The note also allegedly names two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.

In Government documents released in July this year, Leon Brittan was one of four senior Westminster figures named in connection to child sexual abuse.

Along with Brittan, the former British diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, and former ministers William van Straubenzee and Peter Morrison were named in the secret government files.

It was reported that Brittan and Hayman were among the suspects who were involved in an alleged Westminster paedophile ring operating in the 1980s, according to an investigation by the Australian current affairs programme 60 Minutes entitled Spies, Lords and Predators.

One victim accused Brittan of regularly abusing children at the Dolphin Square apartment block in Pimlico.

The victim told 60 Minutes that Brittan liked boys to dress in women’s underwear before abusing them.

The fact that a paedophile ring had been operating within the British Establishment first emerged in an investigation by campaigning Tory politician Geoffrey Dickens.

In November 1983, the MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth sent a 40-page document to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan detailing alleged VIP child abusers, including Cyril Smith and other senior politicians.

In a newspaper interview at the time, Mr Dickens claimed his dossier contained the names of eight ‘really important public figures’ that he planned to expose, and whose crimes are believed to have stretched back to the 1960s.

But in March 1984 Home Secretary Brittan told Mr Dickens that his dossier has been assessed by prosecutors and passed on to the police, but no further action is taken.

In 1989, Brittan was suddenly made European Commissioner for Competition at the European Commission, resigning as an MP to take the position. He accepted the post as European Commissioner reluctantly, as it meant giving up his British parliamentary ambitions.

(In late 1990, while I was working as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Argyll, I was told by a leading Scottish Conservative politician that Brittan had been moved to Europe, because “he has an unnatural fascination for young boys”.)

In May 1995, Geoffrey Dickens died. A short time later his wife destroyed his copy of the paedophile dossier.

The only other copies – one received by Mr Brittan and another allegedly sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions – are believed to have been lost or destroyed.

In September 2010 Cyril Smith died aged 82 without ever being charged with sex offences.

In October 2012 during Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP (and now Deputy Leader) Tom Watson claimed there is ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10’.

A month later the CPS admitted that Smith should have been charged with crimes of abuse more than 40 years earlier.

The CPS also admitted Smith had been investigated in 1970, 1974, 1998, and 1999, but rejected every opportunity to prosecute him.

A former special branch officer, Tony Robinson, said a historic dossier ‘packed’ with information about Smith’s sex crimes was actually in the hands of MI5 – despite officially having been ‘lost’ decades earlier.

Then in June 2014, Labour MP Simon Danczuk called on Leon Brittan to say what he knew about the Dickens dossier.

A month later Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill revealed that 114 files relating to historic allegations of child sex abuse, from between 1979 and 1999, have disappeared from the Home Office.

It is clear that this nasty can of worms only opens from the inside.

To be continued…

 NOTE: I was also a victim of Establishment child sexual abuse. You can read my story at: https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/when-you-gonna-wake-up-and-strengthen-the-things-that-remain