Apologies for those outside the UK who may not be aware that our country is currently engulfed in an enormous scandal and exposure of unchecked power, child abuse, alleged collusion from institutions such as the BBC, NHS and Social Services (read the story here and here) affecting so many people both directly and indirectly.
As I sit, working from home, switching between Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live, it is hard, so hard not to be affected by the stories pouring out. People from many decades of life are calling in (many speaking for the first time) with stories both about Jimmy Savile but also of others (parents, uncles, priests, youth workers, leaders…) who violated their boundaries and did harm to their bodies and their tender child-hearts. The common threads are the silence, born for decades, the fear of not being believed, the attempts to tell and not being believed, the collusion of many with powerful individuals who repeatedly get away with the harm they do, and the dark legacy that those who are abused carry into their adult ears.
It has moved me to re-post the image that is “Glittering Shards’ – with the words I originally wrote when this mosaic was finished. This is for all of you touched by this story…those who have had to carry burdens, secrets and shame that were not yours to carry…
You Catch My Tears & Keep Them in a Bottle
Again she cries alone
Tears fall like diamonds
Into the nothingness
Her heart lost, unknown
She cannot see
The tears of others
A shimmering, salty shroud
Connecting the broken-ones in their alone-ness
And the great Other…
Nothing is lost or forgotten.
Support is there for anyone who feels the need to talk about past abuses – here in the UK through NAPAC , which exists for adults affected by any form of abuse (physical, psychological, sexual…). NAPAC is an organisation whose work I know and whose Chief Executive, Peter Saunders, I have met (listen to Peter on the Nicky Campbell show here). NAPAC have been, and continue to be tireless workers for adults who experienced any form of abuse in childhood. Maybe those of you outside the UK could post similar links in the comments…?
I am hopeful that this story may become a watershed in our country that gives thousands of people who have been beaten, controlled by fear, silenced, shamed and violated the permission to speak, to tell – to whisper even – what they needed to tell when they were a child.
No need to be silent forever…