The Guardian, separate to the NCCL story, also ran a question/problem page article from someone wishing to tell their mother about the historical child abuse they sufffered. That article is here with some interesting comments that follow the counsellor’s answer.
Two teacher stories appeared in two countries this week, one in Montana where the male teacher got a month for sleeping with a 14 year old student, and another in Scotland where the female teacher was put on the register and cautioned under Scottish law for sleeping with a 16 year old. Those stories are here and here respectively from the Daily Mail. The American case resulted in the student’s suicide so the prosecutors are appealing for a tougher sentence.
Since the fallout from abusing a teacher-pupil relationship is totally random and extreme, from nothing in Scotland to suicide in America, it remains to be seen whether tougher sanctions would be applied to Scottish teachers should the country vote for independence in September 2014 from that new school year onwards.
Also by the end of February 2014, BBC National Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis was cleared of 12 out of 14 counts of indecent assault with the jury deadlocked over the final two counts. He then found out that the remaining two counts are to be the focus of a retrial. The BBC Story is here.
Earlier last month the third UK soap star appearing in Coronation Street, actor William Roache, the last original cast member of 50 years’ standing, was cleared of his own historical abuse charges. That was covered here.
Last winter the Daily Mail formally reported a 40 year old general story about the unwitting association by paid membership of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) now known as Liberty in the 1970s. Three people who went on to become Labour MPs, governing for 13 years, were working there and along with 999 other affiliates, were aware of the paid membership of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), members of whom were jailed in the 1980s.
Since then the story has rolled around again in the past fortnight and one of the trio, Patricia Hewitt, has formally apologised. Husband and wife Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey have expressed regret, but not directly apologised and this seems to be the Daily Mail’s main hangup compared to the lack of support for any victim or survivor of the time. The Guardian’s opinion piece on that is here.
As of Saturday 1st March you have had to search for the Daily Mail article as its concentration on the past has backfired and nobody in the whole story has emerged with any moral high ground, despite how they might consider themselves. That latest story is here. To see everything else the Mail has reported, go to the main page and enter NCCL in the search box on the right under the main headline band on the right and the same initials in Google News should bring up anything the BBC and other agencies had to say.
First off, a public apology. It’s been a few months since Lynne Rowland was kind enough to send me a copy of her novel The Gnosis of the Salmon but work, life, and every in between drew my attention away from you know, actually reading it. So, Lynne, I’m sorry it has taken so long to get this review written!
OK, first of all, this is a novel. I am not going to make any claims about how much of the story is real and how much isn’t. I suspect it is based on the authors own life, but I’m not going to base my review on it as a memoir, but as a novel.
The story is told by Elinore, or Eli as she is know by her family. It bounces around a little, which is actually pretty normal once you realize that Eli is sharing her story of healing, and as we all know, healing rarely occurs in anything that looks liket a strict timeline. Eli goes through the process of remembering things about her childhood and also learning about her families secrets at the same time. She goes from anger and hatred all the way through finding healing and even learning forgiveness. She is aided in this journey by spirit guides and reiki treatments.
I realize that might be a turn off for some of you. That’s fine. There’s quite a lot of spirituality and a little girl’s fantasy in the story. I will say, however, that even if you do not consider yourself spiritual, and don’t believe in any of the same things that Eli uses to heal, I do believe that any survivor will find some common themes. Things like a repeating cycle of abuse, of needing to face the past before we can heal, and finding the strength from within ourselves, even when we don’t feel strong, are all things we can identify with, even if we can’t identify exactly with what Eli is doing.
One of the things I really liked about the book was the end. Even after working through the memories and finding a way to forgive, Eli was still not truly healed. It takes more than simply getting over being abused. Life is not about finding a way to deal with the pain, but finding a way to move past it and open yourself up to the life you want to lead. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I found that message to be a very powerful one.
You can find out more about the book, and the author on her website.
Spotted this through one of my news services. It picked up a blog post by Norman Lebracht:
Two members of the 5 Browns, the classical piano quintet whose father was jailed for molesting his under-14 daughters, have launched a foundation for fellow survivors. It deserves everyone’s support. Please click here.
You can also find the foundation on Facebook.