Tuesday 22 December 2015

Seasons Greetings #Angel cover by @nicdorian

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance

for a break that would make it okay
there's always some reason
to feel not good enough

and it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memories seep from my veins
let me be empty

and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

in the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room

and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie

you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back
and the storm keeps on twisting

you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack
it don't make no difference
escaping one last time
it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

in the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Historical child abuse: Key investigations #childabuse

Historical child abuse: Key investigations

The repeated use of the word "historical" is clear Anti Victim Prejudice.  I only allow it here as it was in the original article (again by the BBC..)

A quote from The Phoenix Post explains more 

"Historical Sex Crimes – They never say historical murder or historical stabbing, they call them ‘unsolved crimes’. What is so bad about this offensive AVP trick/lie? They say ‘historic’ to give off a false sense of safety, even distance, whilst nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that if the paedophile has never been challenged or stopped, then the paedophile never stopped and are more likely now to have many more current child victims. Furthermore, there’s nothing ‘historic’ about the ongoing lifelong damage and harm paedophiles leave in their destructive wake. Dr Sara Payne MBE"

  • From the sectio
There are a number of ongoing investigations and inquiries - criminal and otherwise - into historical abuse allegations at institutions across the UK. Here is a guide to the key inquiries and their scope.

Operation Hydrant

In the summer of 2014 a co-ordination hub was set up by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) to oversee the investigation of allegations of "non-recent" child sex abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence.
The team of officers working on this operation have been picked from forces across the UK, but the hub is based in South Yorkshire. The operation's staff are identifying links between investigations, and preventing duplication between forces
On 1 December 2015 the NPCC announced that the operation had received reports of 2,228 suspects being investigated by police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - 1,217 of the suspects were "related to institutions", while 302 were classified as people of public prominence.
The operation is being led by Norfolk Police Chief Constable Simon Bailey.

Child abuse investigations graphic

Met Police

Umbrella inquiry: Operation Fairbank
Fairbank is the Met Police's umbrella inquiry into historical child sex abuse claims involving politicians and other public figures. It began in 2012 as a "scoping exercise" to establish evidence for formal investigation and went on to establish a number of criminal investigations: Operations Fernbridge, Midland, Cayacos and then later Athabasca.
  • Grafton Close Children's Home: Operation Fernbridge (now closed)

Anthony McSweeneyImage copyrightPA
Image captionFather Anthony McSweeney was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy between 1979 and 1981

Launched in February 2013 and led by the Met Police, Operation Fernbridge investigated allegations of abuse in the early 1980s at Grafton Close Children's Home in west London, and at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London. In connection with Grafton Close, two people were charged with offences. One was found dead and one, Catholic priest Father Anthony McSweeney, was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy. He was sentenced to three years' jail in March. The operation has been closed and investigations into Elm Guest House taken up by Operation Athabasca (see below).
  • Elm Guest House: Operation Athabasca
This new investigation takes over from Fernbridge in investigating allegations about a paedophile network centred on Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west Londonin the 1970s and early 1980s. Police are still appealing for information on 020 7161 0500.
  • Dolphin Square: Operation Midland
Established in November 2014, Operation Midland is examining claims that boys were abused by a group of powerful men from politics, the military and law enforcement agencies at locations across southern England and in London in the 1970s and 1980s. It is also examining claims that three boys were murdered.Operation Midland has focused on the Dolphin Square estate in Pimlico, south-west London.

Peter RightonImage copyrightPA
Image captionConvicted paedophile Peter Righton

  • Paedophile Information Exchange: Operation Cayacos
Operation Cayacos investigated allegations of a paedophile ring linked to convicted paedophile Peter Righton - a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned to make sex between adults and children legal. Righton died in 2007. Two men, Charles Napier and Richard Alston, were subsequently convicted and jailed for 13 years and 21 months respectively.

Greater Manchester Police

  • Cyril Smith

Cyril SmithImage copyrightPA
Image captionCyril Smith died in 2010 aged 82

Greater Manchester Police is investigating allegations that Cyril Smith, the larger-than-life Rochdale MP who died in 2010, abused vulnerable young boys in the town. His family says he always denied the accusations.
The allegations first surfaced in 1979 when Private Eye magazine carried reports that he abused teenagers at Cambridge House, a privately run "hostel for working boys" in Rochdale.
It has also been alleged that he raped boys at Rochdale's Knowl View residential school and that he frequented Elm Guest House in south-west London - a location linked to the Met Police's Operation Fernbridge.

Wiltshire Police

Edward HeathImage copyrightReuters

  • Edward Heath
The national investigation into claims of historical child sexual abuse involving former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is being led by Wiltshire Police.
More than a dozen forces are carrying out investigations linked to Sir Edward - Wiltshire Police will act as overseer to ensure a "consistent approach".
Sir Edward lived in Salisbury, Wiltshire, for many years and died at his home there in 2005 aged 89.
On 3 August 2015 the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said it would look at whether officers at Wiltshire Police failed to pursue allegations made against the former prime minister.
A retired detective has alleged that claims were made in the 1990s but not followed up.

States of Jersey Police

  • Operation Whistle
In a statement released earlier this year the States of Jersey Police provided details of its "locally- generated operation" - Operation Whistle - which it said had been running "under the auspice of Operation Hydrant".
The force said Operation Whistle was set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal, and following an increase in the reporting of historical cases of abuse in Jersey.
The force said it was investigating a number of allegations involving:
  • 45 suspects - some of whom are deceased or as yet unidentified
  • Four institutions
  • 13 people of public prominence - one of whom is Edward Heath

Other inquiries and investigations

A number of other inquiries and investigations are under way or have been completed. Here are the details:
Inquiries into the handling of abuse allegations
Independent inquiryAnnounced in July 2014, the independent inquiry will investigate the way public bodies handled child sex abuse claims. Former judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was chosen to head the inquiry, but she stepped down following concerns about her family links. She was replaced by Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London. But in October 2014 she also stood down after concerns were raised over her social links to the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. In February 2015, New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard was announced as the new head of the inquiry.
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)The police watchdog is investigating alleged corruption in the Met Police, including claims it covered up child sex offences because MPs and police officers were involved. The IPCC is investigating 14 referrals spanning four decades. The Met said it had voluntarily referred the allegations, which arose from Operation Fairbank.
Home Office (Wanless) reviewHeaded by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless, the review examined Home Office handling of historical child sex abuse allegations and the way police and prosecutors dealt with information given to them. This followed a call from Labour MP Simon Danczuk to explain why written allegations about powerful paedophiles - presented in the 1980s to Lord Brittan when he was home secretary - have since disappeared. A 2013 Home Office review of allegations concerning child abuse from 1979-99 resulted in four files, not previously disclosed, being passed to police. The Wanless review found no evidence that records were deliberately removed or destroyed.
Historical Institutional Abuse(Northern Ireland)Set up to establish if there were systemic failings by institutions or the state in their duties towards children in their care between 1922-95. Due to report January 2017. Chaired by Sir Anthony Hart. A High Court judge in Belfast has granted a judicial review into how the Kincora Boys' Home will be investigated. Three senior care staff at Kincora were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys. Allegations remain that some members of the British intelligence services knew of the abuse and helped to cover it up.
Scotland care inquirystatutory public inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care has been set up by the Scottish government following scandals involving child abuse at institutions including those run by the Roman Catholic church.
Other inquiries
Operation Pallial, North WalesThe National Crime Agency is investigating allegations of historical abuse at children's homes in North Wales. It has found evidence of 140 alleged cases of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992. Also, Mrs Justice Macur has been appointed to review the 2000 Waterhouse inquiry into North Wales abuse dating back to the 1970s.
Operation Garford, SuffolkInvestigating historical abuse allegations centred on Kesgrave Hall School from the 1970s to the 1990s. Results of the original investigation, carried out in 1992, are being reviewed. Suffolk police are carrying out two further, unconnected investigations into allegations of abuse at two other schools.
Independent Jersey Care InquiryThe Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is investigating historical abuse claims in Jersey's care system from 1960 to present day. It began in July 2014. Frances Oldham QC is the inquiry chairwoman.
Jimmy Savile inquiries
Operation YewtreePolice investigation into Savile and others. An investigation by the Met Police and NSPCC reported in January 2013 on allegations against Savile. Cases which emerged as a result of investigations into Savile, but were unconnected to him, included Max Clifford, Rolf Harris and Dave Lee Travis. Investigations into other suspects are continuing.
Savile NHS inquiryReports found Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 between 1962 and 2009 in 28 hospitals, including Broadmoor and Leeds General Infirmary. Reports relating to 13 other NHS organisations, including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, were published in February 2015. The Stoke Mandeville report found Savile abused 63 people connected to the hospital between 1968 and 1992.
Savile BBC inquiryDame Janet Smith is investigating whether culture and practice at the BBC enabled Savile to carry out abuse of children unchecked. It has now finished taking evidence. Her report was expected in May 2015, but its publication has been delayed.
Dept for EducationHeaded by human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff - to look at allegations that Savile abused children in schools and children's homes, from the 1960s to 1980s.

Source BBC...

Monday 30 November 2015

Male Abuse Awareness Week, Dec. 1-8 via @Help4GuysOrg

The Male Abuse Awareness Week with Help4Guys

Help4Guys.org (formerly the P. Luna Foundation) believes that Male Victims of Abuse should no longer be silent. Every day we give a voice to these isolated individuals because by doing so they are more likely to work through their problems and get the help they need. We strive to prevent or relieve the crippling effects of past and current abuse like; serious psychological problems, relationship problems, drug addiction, suicide and the random cycle of abuse.
We also wish to inspire people and organizations that provide help services to female victims and survivors to start offering specialized services for abused males, if you do not already. If you are a service provider, we offer information here to help you start to understand some basics of how to deal with the special needs of male victims and survivors of all forms of abuse.
The P. Luna Foundation started Male Abuse Awareness Week, Dec 1-8 in 2008 and are the official organizers of this annual awareness campaign.
Get involved and Follow them HERE

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Survivors Voices via @WeAreOneInFour #childabuse #survivors

It is estimated that One in Four adults has experienced child sexual abuse* (CSA). We are proud to announce the launch of Survivors’ Voices, which features the narratives of fourteen survivors with an analysis of the findings. There is also a supplement with eight further narratives. Most survivors mentioned that they had seen many professionals before they received the help they needed. An important outcome from this project has been the development of a pocket guide for professionals, partners families and friends.

For too long child sexual abuse (CSA) has been unrecognised or not fully understood, now One in Four has given survivors an opportunity to tell the world of the impact childhood sexual abuse has had on their adult lives.Survivors’ Voices is an important REPORT that brings together the narratives of women and men who have survived abuse in the family environment, which accounts for 70 percent of CSA.
Written in their own words, Survivors’ Voices is a powerful testament to the devastation of CSA and its impact, not only on the individual, but also to those around them and wider society.
Survivors’ Voices includes an analysis of the themes that emerge from the narratives. A strong commonality between the narratives is length of time it has taken to find appropriate professional help and counselling. As a result of this One in Four has produced a pocket guide for professionals.
Survivors’ Voices is available to view or download HERE.
Follow OneInFour on Twitter @WeAreOneInFour

Monday 16 November 2015

GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” via @SurvivorsUK

Tomrrow (17th November) is the publication of the GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” which estimates that between 2010 – 2014 there were 679,051 sexual assaults and rapes of males un England and Wales, 96,103 in London alone.


SurvivorsUK welcomes the publication today of the GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” which estimates that between 2010 – 2014 there were 679,051 sexual assaults and rapes of males un England and Wales, 96,103 in London alone –http://glaconservatives.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Silent-Suffering.pdf
This first of its kind report, specifically examining the prevalence of sexual assaults affecting males in London and some of the barriers that stop them from reporting and/or seeking support to manage the effects of their experiences, clearly points to shortcomings in existing provision that work against the benefit of male survivors of these assaults.
We endorse the recommendations contained in this report and hope that they will be acted on quickly to ensure more robust support for male survivors.  We object, however, to assertion made in the report that the onus lies on voluntary organisations to manage to do more with less in a climate of uncertain funding.
Michael May of SurvivorsUK says – “This welcome report highlights some of the issues affecting male survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse that we have been pointing out to MOPAC for some years now.
In 2008, Mayor Boris Johnson said in his manifesto that “…There is also no doubt that victims of rape feel ignored, and they need long-term help and support to re-build their lives.”  He then went on to outline how he would raise the funds necessary to launch 3 additional female only rape crisis centres in London, to increase the support provided through the existing centre and to sustainably fund the provision of support through these centres on an on-going basis.  He stressed that long term, sustainable funding for these centres was important to allow for the uninterrupted provision of support and to allow these centres to plan and implement services.  He said – “It is in sharp contrast to the present situation in which funding decisions are often made midway through the financial year – meaning that Rape Crisis Centres are forced to survive hand-to-mouth and often face the threat of imminent closure.”
Since then the Mayor has spent more than £5m ensuring that these services continue to provide invaluable support to female-only victims of rape and sexual abuse and continues to provide more than £1.25m per annum to fund them.  These services are in addition to those separately funded through the London Haven’s which MOPAC notes “… provide crucial medical care and support to victims of rape and serious sexual assault and … are complementary to those of the Rape Crisis Centres.”  Clearly Havens are not seen as a replacement for the specialist counselling offered to female victims through Rape Crisis Centres.  The same does not seem to be the case where the victim is male.  MOPAC’s Natasha Plummer wrote to SurvivorsUK recently and noted that MOPAC funded specialist services were in fact available to men and boys – through the Havens.
The current lack of specific funding for counselling support for male victims of rape and sexual abuse begs the question whether the Mayor no longer believes that “… victims of rape … need long-term help and support to re-build their lives”.  8 years ago he said “It is nothing short of a disgrace that the government has cut the funding for Rape Crisis Centres in London”.  I now believe it is a disgrace that this administration has provided only £32,000 to support male victims through the provision of specialist counselling in 8 years and is currently providing nothing more.”
The “Mayoral Strategy on Violence Against Women and Girls 2013-17” notes that, in addition to the services provided through Havens,  “Further plans for supporting male victims of sexual violence in London will be developed over the next year following the completion of the review into victims’ services currently being led by Baroness Newlove.”  That report, published in July 2014, notes as its first recommendation that “Commissioning should address key gaps in provision, including support for: young victims; victims of hate crime (and particularly victims with disabilities); repeat victims; victims of trafficking and exploitation; and male victims of abuse.”  In the full text of the report, on-going mention is made of the needs of male victims of sexual violence and the current lack of funded provision.
 The Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy noted above states – “the Mayor also recognises that men and boys may also be victims of sexual violence and should be offered appropriate support. The London Havens offer a service to all victims of rape and serious sexual assault including men and boys.”  “Appropriate support” for men and boys appear not to include long term specialist counselling which is at the centre of MOPAC’s support for female victims of the same crimes.
In recent correspondence, Ms. Plummer notes that in addition to the Havens provision, Respect have been funded to develop service standards for organisations working with male victims of domestic violence and male victims could access the services of Victim Support.  We would point out that Respect has to date developed guidance for domestic violence only and that Victim Support is clear that they do NOT provide counselling.  Ms Plummer also notes that “…it is not possible to ascertain how much of the £4.1 million currently being invested in specialist services for all victims of domestic and sexual violence will be used to support male victims.”
We call on MOPAC as a priority to make funds available to provide long term, specialist support to male victims of rape and sexual abuse.
For further information, please contact Michael May at Michael.may@survivorsuk.org or on 020 3598 3898 or 07986 614 093.
 Source Survivors UK

Thursday 12 November 2015

I wish my brain had a delete button.. #childabuse #memories

Trauma memories can surface at any time. Personally I have found that when under extreme stress in daily life, I am more likely to have flashbacks and the simplest thing can trigger a memory. Thankfully I have learnt techniques that keep me safe and grounded most of the time.

Recovery from child abuse trauma and the frequently ensuing PTSD and other after affects means that we have to face our demons and relive much of the trauma in order to deal with it in a safe manner and reduce or stop it's impact on our lives today.

I find writing to be incredibly therapeutic. By writing out the memories I seem able to take away much of their power. One memory I have not shared before. The abuse I endured was varied in nature. There was sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and also combinations of the three. 

As a child my feel turned in quite badly. I also spoke far too fast for most people to understand me (apart from when I was in full on stutter mode)..

Grandfather kept an old polio leg caliper in his workshop. At his whim I had to wear it. It had belonged to a cousin of his who had lived with my grandparents for a number of years. His brother, a Calvinistic Minister, had suggested to him to use it on me during one of our visits to see him to give me my "spiritual lessons".. The caliper fitted badly and rubbed harshly against my skin. I would only be wearing underpants (or less) and he would make me walk around wearing the contraption. Sometimes he took his "game" further and in the interests of not triggering others I will say no more about what these events led to. He simply delighted in humiliating me. 

Life has had some very stressful moments recently and since yesterday I have been able to feel the caliper rubbing against my leg and causing me to limp a lot of the time. The pain is real. The body often remembers things that our brain hides from our consciousness. I hope that by sharing this I will be able to minimise the discomfort and also shelve the memories where they belong - firmly in the past.

This is not the actual one used but similar enough to illustrate my point.


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