Sue Cox

Sue Cox

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Just for today



Just for today I don't give a flying f... about anything.

I don't care if I pay my income tax, or if the carpet needs cleaning, the garden needs tending, the food needs buying, the bills need paying.

I don't care about my health, my addictions, my past, my abuses, my advocacy, my activism, my writing, my work. 

I don't care if I eat or not.
I don't care what I look like.Or even get dressed.
I don't care if it is raining, cold, miserable. 

I don't care if the pope still exists or the narcissistic church is still abusive, 
I don't even care that I was one of their victims.

I don't care what day it is or even if it is.

Because today is the day thirty years ago that my wonderful son Nick was killed, and there is NOTHING in comparison to the pain of losing a child, and living a life without them.

It has been thirty years of grief.

When you first lose someone, your grief is obvious to everyone, you cannot hide it. Thereafter it continues , just as painfully but more invisibly.It is still there, but you have to navigate around it in order to function.

And it unfolds over time, the initial devastation is replaced every day with new senses of loss. Stuff I couldn't have envisaged, the fact that he didn't get to his siblings graduations, weddings, he never met their partners, his niece or nephews, I didn't get to see him settled and happily married with his own children around him.

Every milestone in all of our lives,  no matter how joyous reminds us that there is one of us missing.

And grief changes you, I am a different person to the one I was before Nick died. His death made me into  somebody, something else.
Someone he probably wouldn't even recognise.

He was only 19 , and this year we would have been celebrating his 50th birthday.
So forgive me if today I just can't care about anything else. Tomorrow I no doubt will put my facade back on and best foot forward, but today I just don't care.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Damned if you do!


I went to a funeral yesterday, I nearly didn't go, in fact it got down to the last minute and Gez tossing a coin for me! Heads I went tails, I didn't = I lost!

No "biggy" going to a funeral you would think, she was my father's youngest sister, had a full life and was 90. I hadn't seen her for years but always had nice memories of her and that side of the family.

My Dad's side of the family the "Paines" were actually all very nice people, very kind always and all of them had nice kids and grandkids etc. 
Problem for me is, they are VERY catholic! Not in the same bigoted manner of my mother's family, in fact very much the opposite, genuine and  simple, if not somewhat  naive. Walking their walk, while my mother talked a good talk!

And they don't know about me!

They do not, as far as I am aware, have any knowledge of my abuses, or the role I have played in trying to bring their dreadful church down!
They live a long way from me, we tend only to meet up at funerals, and that has been my doing really. I have always felt it was better to be thought badly of than be exposed.

 They could have seen me on the television I suppose, but I do really think they are the sort of people who simply would not watch that stuff, and might even have turned it off if the subject came up at all. My surname  wouldn't automatically have registered.

This  has  always been my  dilemma, and ultimately my dreadful burden, this terrible secret I had to keep at all costs.

When my mother caught the abusive priest and did nothing, although I never trusted her again, and my life spiralled out of control, I still had a strange desire to protect  her secret too! 
When  trying to talk to a cousin once, I lied and said my Mum didn't know, because I knew it would have hurt her!!  

There always seemed to be someone who's  hurt would be far greater than mine if I told than if I kept it all inside. This is surely one of the things that wretched church relies upon, they fuel our guilt from birth, and being abused compounds that guilt, so we are always ready to "take the hit"

That isn't a quality, I take no credit for this, in fact  it has been a curse, and even yesterday, sitting with all of the "Paine family" I felt I had to be someone I wasn't, because to show them my damage would have caused so many problems for them. Opened up a can of worms, and not helped anyone.

It has always been a very painful  impasse, damned if you do- damned if you don't.

Which is why I have chosen to just have an arms length relationship with everyone, despite in many ways wishing it could be different.
I have often talked about feeling like an alien in the world I so badly wanted to belong in, and once again that was the raw reality.

The other problem of course was the requiem mass!( I avoid churches like the plague!)  Having to sit in the church for over an hour, being triggered right left and centre by the familiar hymns, and the rituals, and worse than that , it was in the church where my parents were married, where I was baptised, and where I married to my first very unpleasant and violent husband! 

The churchyard is full of reminders, Grandparents graves, a stained glass window to an uncle who died in the war, the dreaded confession box where the grooming still goes on.
The arrogant, didactic, priest spouting lies and more lies, to these very nice people who hung on his every word.Obsequiously grovelling his thanks as they gave him "offerings" at the end. It was hideous!

I met a  distant "cousin" who I had never met because after my father died, my mother wouldn't have anything to do with her mother because she had married a non-catholic vicar! 
The cousin was very nice, and so pleased to chat, telling me all about her happy childhood with her vicar father and she asked me if I had a happy life? What do you say to that sort of question? Well I did what I always do, laughed  and said "It certainly has had it's moments!"

We all left swearing that we would keep in touch more, but of course that is not going to happen.

It left me feeling sad and tired and a bit more battered, but over all I am glad I went.
The church is just bricks and mortar, the priest a twat, the words I know to be nonsense, but  I felt I had gone to honour my father who died when I was twelve, and his family who have never hurt me.

And among my Aunt's photographs they had found a really old photograph of my Dad,
Lewis,  in his early flying days aged about 30. I had never seen it before, so it had all been worth it just for that!

I cannot help feeling that had he lived, my life and that of my own family would have been very much different. I have never missed him so much.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A meaningful New Year!

I woke up this morning ready for the new year at work, but with an overwhelming need to do something MEANINGFUL! 

Of course, I do see my work as meaningful, and my support of survivors, the writing I do, my family,  etc. But this is something different!

I can't explain it specifically, but it is a very strong FEELING!

I don't want to wash the net curtains, or paint the bathroom, neither do I want to watch the television or read a trashy magazine, or go and have a facial or window shop - 

So I am asking you all if you have a meaningful cause that you think I could contribute to in some way (I don't have any spare money though I hasten to add!) Then please do let me know about it!

This is almost certainly a "selfish" request, there's no doubt that  as human beings we are all a lot happier when we are making a useful contribution, I know I am! 

Many of you are passionate about a variety of commitments, perhaps I could make a small difference  to some of them! Please let me know!
A very Happy and Meaningful New year to you all

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The measure of the church!

I  have heard it so often said that the way to judge a  society is in the way it treats it's weakest members ,  it's vulnerable people, the elderly, the children the  mentally ill.
The lovely Michele Obama added her voice to that concept.
I would extend that further to suggest that the way we should measure religion, any religion, is in the  way it creates victims of  abuse, and the subsequent  treatment of survivors of that abuse. Apply that rule of thumb to all of them and you will see, there is not ONE religion that would pass that test, not one of them that has got it anywhere near right!
None of them!
 They all play the same game, it begins with denial, "It didn't happen" "Those stories are all anecdotal" "And if they  did happen , it is not like that in OUR religion ", "It has all changed now" "its a long time ago"  blah blah blah.
Then they love to  move  on to "victim blaming"  
 "They probably asked for it", "seduced the priest", "were promiscuous" etc" "Are just looking for compensation"!!
Then swiftly on to prevarication, "We are forming a focus group, commission, inquiry, fact finding body, etc" " we have made significant changes" (absolute rubbish, but has got to enable  another few years avoidance!) 
Then come the obsequious,  meaningless "apologies" dragged  screaming out of them ,and utterly condescending.
Then the "horror" when survivors not only dare NOT to accept their grovelling apologies, but are unashamed at their refusal to grant them "forgiveness"! (Back to blaming the victim!) 
If they do accept any blame for any of their millions of abuses, they have no comprehension of the severity of that damage, nor do they care.
They do a nice line in kicking survivors  when they are down. They offer pathetically inadequate amends, preferring to do as little as they can possibly get away with rather than as MUCH as they can do!
It is a great dance, this dance with  the devil, round and round and round we all go, in this ridiculous merry go round.
Then as we are getting old, and some of us are dying off (Thanks to the damage done by our abuses) the whole bloody dance will start again, with new partners,  new victims.
When are we going to get off this ride? stop the dance?  the feeding of the narcissists? When will we start to apply that rule of thumb to each one of these man made organisations? 
Get out our measuring stick,  because there isn't one that won't be found woefully lacking.

To hell with the focus groups, inquiries, fact finding missions! They are getting us nowhere, and these churches, these purveyors of lies so incapable of change,  can  have no place in   the solutions, THEY are the bloody problem!
They do NOT measure up!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Seventh anniversary!


Can it really be seven years today that Survivors Voice Europe was born in Rome?
 It has gone so quickly!
And we have been doing so much, many other gatherings in Rome ,Verona, London, and Poland. Three times to the UN in Geneva, many conferences and rallies  and still our preference is  to support and care for each other.
We have never felt that our mission was to chase errant priests, we know the whole catholic organisation to be  corrupt and abusive, so  there is no use in keeping  on telling ourselves that!
We all have our own priorities, and we only have so much energy, so we must each use that precious and finite commodity in the best way possible.
So we have concentrated on what matters to us,  and that has always been  Survivors themselves. 
We won't become a self serving charity that spends all it's time fund raising, how much money do you need to offer compassion and support to your fellow survivor? 
Ours has always been a labour of love, and I am pleased that we still feel the same today.
We are getting older, and inevitably will die, no doubt our demise hastened by the abuses we have suffered, and no doubt also keenly awaited by those who are still heading this abusive cult. So we are trying to make sure we leave something for the next generation of clergy abuse survivors,so they don't have to start again from scratch,  and there WILL be a next generation I am afraid, narcissists don't change, so this narcissistic organisation will remain the same, already spreading it's insidious  tentacles further, to Africa, Asia and South America, many thousands more vulnerable people. 
But today I want to send love and gratitude to all my fellow survivors, who made that life changing event seven years ago possible.
I hope you are as ready as I am  to make more memories in the next seven years!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Holy Shits!

I have sent this letter today to the UN committee, please do pass it on to anyone and everyone, the vatican  cannot be above the law!

Warwickshire U.K.
6th September 2017

I am once again writing to you in my capacity as co founder of Survivors Voice Europe regarding the 2014 complaint made by us against the Holy See to the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child.

After hearing  our evidence, and that of other NGO’s, and investigating further, the committee found the Holy See were very definitely in breach of several articles of the Rights of the Child over many decades,  and clear directives were given for specific and robust  changes to be made in the safeguarding children,  the treatment of abuse survivors, the protection of offenders, the holding on to incriminating documents, moving offending priests from parish to parish, and the covering up of crimes. 

Those changes were to be completed and a report given to the UN committee by September 1st 2017.

No such changes have been made, and no report has been submitted.

The reality is that in the three years since we gave evidence, the  incidences of child sexual abuse by clergy has escalated and we are still seeing no changes made by the vatican.
We only have to consider the enormous complaints  in Guam, and also in Australia and Ireland, to be clear that these violent crime against children continue unchallenged.

Our own experiences of victims coming forward worldwide is continuing  to rise at a disturbing rate. 

The arrests made, and the further complaints are being summarily dismissed by the vatican who still feel they are above the law and  seemingly above the directions made to them by the UN committees.

(After our further deposition, they were further found in breach of the articles of the UN Committee against torture) 

The  formation of the dysfunctional papal “commission” is typical of the lip service being paid to the charges against them. It has shown a consistent disregard for survivors .Pope Frances’ declaration that he would have “zero tolerance” for bishops who protect pedophile priests and vigorously penalise them, has been meaningless window dressing.

It is our firmly held opinion that the vatican are incapable of policing themselves, nor should they be allowed to do so.

It seems they have a low opinion of the intelligence of survivors groups, and indeed of the UN, to imagine that we don’t view this impotent commission as a cynical PR exercise, which shows nothing but contempt for  those of us who have suffered at their hands..

The Royal Commission in Australia  has shown determination in trying to bring criminal priests to justice, to the extent of arresting one of the the most prominent cardinals.(Pell).

But I doubt that the vatican will attempt to comply with any of their recommendations for safeguarding or submitting themselves to further  scrutiny. 

The British Independent Committee which is about to examine the conduct of the catholic  church next year, will I know, after hearing individual and organisational evidence be made aware of many  outrageous incidences of clergy abuse, cover ups ,regular shipping of errant clergy to overseas parishes where they inevitably continued their abuses. 

They will find the church here inadequate,evasive, and defensive ,following the same rhetoric churned out by the vatican. What we feel sure they won’t achieve is any kind of change from the vatican, or the catholic church here in Britain. 

On a personal note, I have to say that my colleague Ton Leershcool from the Netherlands and I, who came to Geneva to give evidence, at great personal cost , were so encouraged by the committee’s willingness to listen and show their determination to help put a stop to decades of violent sexual  abuses against children by catholic clergy, after we had been so frustrated in the past by many attempts to shine a spotlight the catholic church’s crimes .

So we gritted our teeth,and sat in the same room as the vatican representatives and listened for six hours to the vatican’s response to those accusations as they lied,and contradicted themselves, and even at one point laughed. 
It was quite an ordeal.

We were therefore then quite elated when the ruling came from the committee recognising and highlighting those breaches, and  making their recommendations. 

So it is deeply disappointing to us that these directives have been ignored, although we do see the church’s disregarding of them to be  consistent with their contempt for others, flaunting this, and most other laws of the land, and therefore  comes as no surprise.

Our suspicion is also that the vatican is once again playing for time, seeing those of us who have been active in this battle against them for so long are an aging population, and relying on us to  die. Then the next  group of child clergy abuse victims (and there WILL be more) will  have to begin the fight again, which will take just as long.
It will always be passionate survivors who champion this cause. 

I would now like to add, from our lawyer David Greenwood, a renouned specialist Child abuse lawyer,specific  information about catholic “secret courts”

 We have seen that the Roman Catholic Church has a clear set of rules administered centrally with which all members must comply. The Crimen decree from the Vatican dated 16 March 1962 required investigation in secrecy was reinforced by the letter written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on 18May 2001, endorsing the maintenance of secrecy and that no report should be made to the civil authorities such as the police after the child has reached the age of 28 (most cases). This 2001 letter is known as “De Delictis Gravioribus” letter. A copy of the “Crimen” document can be found at the Vatican’s website  . The De Delictis letter can be found at a website which operates to record church abuse  . This means Catholic law requires their Bishops to deal with cases in house and not to refer them to the police of social services.
Despite the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the Child looking into the Holy See and denouncing its policies on allowing paedophiles to remain within its organisation, neither spokespersons nor the Pope have taken constructive measures to implement the UN’s recommendations  . It is of real concern that this global organisation maintains its dangerous policies in many parts of the world. The reality is that even in developed countries Catholic priests are held in such high esteem that their crimes are often overlooked. The level of secrecy operated by the Catholic Church means that figures on its effectiveness in repelling allegations are not available
The process of taking action against a priest is extremely convoluted and openly favours the accused. It can only be used where there is good evidence (to be determined by the Bishop), the whole procedure is kept secret, there is no jury, any appeal automatically suspends the penalty, no adverse inference can be drawn from a cleric’s silence, the accused is the only person at the hearing allowed to give evidence free from being under oath, and a final decision is made with a standard of proof known as “moral certitude”which seems to suggest the Bishop can essentially decide for himself whether it is “fair”to impose a sanction. The sanctions themselves as we know bear no relation to those found in the secular justice system. The most grievous sanction is excommunication, hardly a serious penalty for very serious crimes against children.
For more detail the Catholic procedures are set out as an information sheet entitled Disciplinary Penal Process for Clerics at section 5 at this website

We would charge  the UN committee to act swiftly and robustly to challenge the Holy See in this matter.

I believe you have a unique  opportunity now to show the rest of the world, and other official bodies, your contempt for the holy see’s flagrant disregard of this process.

Until somebody takes some concrete punitive action against them, the children of the world remain  at great risk.

Sue Cox
Survivors Voice Europe.
Avon Cottage,
Banbury Road,
CV35 0HG

David Greenwood 
Director & Solicitor, Head of Child Abuse Department
Switalskis Solicitors

You can see our original deposition here:

    In response, we were then invited to a pre-sessional meeting in Geneva in June, where we gave evidence to support our accusations, made a further presentation, and answered questions to the committee for three hours.
This was what we presented: CRC Introduction – Sue Cox

The CRC made subsequent requests, which we replied to and these can all be found  and they can be found on our website :

Our submission to the UN.Committee against torture can be found here:

Sue Cox  Lic Ac.M.B.Ac.C.
Survivors Voice Europe
01926 640525
0781 3808026

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Happy Seventieth!


Today my husband is 70!! He says he never thought he would make it past nineteen!

I am so glad he did, we all would be a lot poorer without his presence.

Apart from being an amazing artist, an extraordinary drummer and a brilliant cook,this is the man who took me on board, with six children and more baggage than Piccadilly's lost luggage dept.!

When we first met, and were "going out" as they say, he very often asked me "out for a drink", and of course I don't drink! He wanted to know why? and at that point I didn't think it was any of his business!

But as we got more involved, and it was clear that something was happening between us, I thought I had better tell him all about me! I thought if he was going to get involved with me he should have all the chances in the world to walk away.

So one night I sat him down, and gave him the lot, all the drinking , all the chemicals, all the shit! I think I probably laid it on a bit so he had absolutely no illusions!

It took a good three hours, and his face steadily became more and more serious.
When I had finished, waiting for a "walk out" he just said:

" Thank fuck for that ! I thought you were going to tell me you are gay!
That is the man who I have been  married to for 28 years, and who is still making me laugh!
                  Happy Birthday Gez XXXXX