Tuesday, 31 October 2017
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
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!
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 http://www.vatican.va/resources/resources_crimen-sollicitationis-1962_en.html . The De Delictis letter can be found at a website which operates to record church abuse http://www.bishop-accountability.org/resources/resource-files/churchdocs/EpistulaEnglish.htm . 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 http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/VAT/CRC_C_VAT_CO_2_16302_E.pdf . 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 http://www.csasprocedures.uk.net/contents.html
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.
Survivors Voice Europe.
Director & Solicitor, Head of Child Abuse Department
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
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
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
Friday, 4 August 2017
On the radio today I was asked what I thought about the statute of limitation applied to survivors of childhood sexual abuse desiring to bring a complaint?
Well it is quite clear what I think- it is quite appalling! When you consider that sometimes it takes a victims fifty years before they are able to talk about what happened to them, let alone bring themselves to go as far as a court case, then to put any kind of limitation on these crimes is nonsense.
There is no time limit for murder, and I make no excuses for suggesting that these crimes should be seen as comparable.
I was then asked what I thought about the Criminal Injury board denying claims for compensation for victims, regardless of the fact that there had ben a guilty verdict for their perpetrators, because some of the victims had subsequently been convicted themselves for other offenses!
How bloody judgemental can you get! These victims had their lives turned completely upside down when they were vulnerable children, in the worst way possible, and put on an entirely different and lonely path, hardly surprising that they turn to drugs and drink and maybe crime!
Then they are obviously considered "less worthy" of compensation than other victims of crimes-Disgraceful.
I was then asked how I felt about it being said that some victims of exploitation "consented" to their abuse! WTF!
Everything I know about healthcare(and that is my job) tells me that to ascertain consent from another person for anything, the criteria must always be that it is "Informed consent" as the dictionary has it:
"An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications,and consequences of an action"
So apart from the fact that they are children!
Are the victims of sexual abuse told of those consequences?
Are they "informed" of the implications? That what is happening to them may cause them brain damage, damage to their immune systems,shortened life span, rob them of their potential, give them higher incidences of addictions,(abuse victims are 4,600 times more likely to be addicted than the rest of the population!) mental health problems, and suicide???
Of course they are NOT!
So how the f... can they possibly be said to have "consented"
It is hardly surprising that survivors of childhood sexual abuse feel that the system is stacked against them...because it is!
Sunday, 30 July 2017
After finishing a conversation on the phone with someone who wanted me to teach a four day course in one day! I find myself pondering her question:
"Why do you need to give that amount of information?"
And indeed WHY? should always be the question! But NOT in this context!
I do get really fed up with skimming the "surface" training, treatments and interventions, doing as little as necessary rather than as much as possible.Trying something randomly to see if it works, like throwing mud at a wall to see if it sticks!
Also I get fed up with people keeping hold of knowledge, that would profoundly help others, creating a sort of "elitism" and disempowering people further.
Many want to keep the "magic" to themselves, so that others are bound to seek their help, and become dependent.They know that often people are looking for a "magic bullet", a one off fix that will make everything alright, and every time something seemingly new comes along they will cling to it for dear life.
They will soon realise, of course,that there is no such thing, and if there were any kind of magic wand we would all be waving it and every one would live happily ever after! Would that were so.
That is the reason we have always gone into everything we teach in great depth, We are not "training" performing seals, we teach adults with many existing skills, who really do need to know WHY we do what we do.The skills we teach are not party tricks, but valuable adjunctive treatments, so we should not only be clear about their efficacy, but also be able to explain exactly WHY.
When we teach it shouldn't be to hear the sound of our own voices, but because we understand and can evidence WHY we are saying what we say.
More importantly, we CARE very deeply about the eventual recipients of our teaching,the addicts, people dealing with a mental health issue, and survivors of sexual abuse, all very close to my heart. They deserve the very BEST, not "that will do".
Survivors of abuse already have difficulties surrounding self worth, having had their self esteem destroyed by their criminal abusers. So they will often settle for second best, grateful for any small crumb thrown at them, all of those meaningless "apologies", the derisive compensation, because they feel that is all they deserve. NONSENSE ! They deserve the very BEST.
Addicts and people with mental health conditions already feel lower than a snake's belly in the grass, the very last thing they need is to be made to feel less important than those helping them!
These damaged wonderful people are increasingly seen as a commodity, a "cash cow" , a never ending supply of vulnerable people to be used by organisations to keep those organisations in work!
There's no doubt it certainly would be easier to just show people "how" to do something rather than tell them WHY they are doing it! But it would be exploitative and lacking in integrity, and MY students, their clients, and MY fellow addicts and survivors of abuse must not to be disempowered any further.
Knowledge needs to be shared properly otherwise we create that dreadful "elitism" that for me has no place in this area of work.
So although we welcome, these days the media talking more about "statistical propensities" "Vulnerability to damaged immune systems" and "shortened life spans", it simply is NOT enough.
We will always go a bit deeper, as deep as we can, to explain exactly what happens physically to make these stats a reality and teach exactly WHY!?
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
I don't watch this very often, because it still makes me cry when I see my beautiful friends heartbreak.But someone asked me to send it to them, and I had to watch it.I decided to post it to send my love to the people in it and so that I can keep these crimes in the minds of everyone in the present and so that these crimes are not forgotten.
Saturday, 1 July 2017
My adopted Mother didn't ever say anything much of any great wisdom, in fact I could count on one hand anything of real value! She did have a wealth of clever sayings though, thrown out on a regular basis, usually religious in nature, but nothing of real consequence.
One thing that she always did say, whenever things went wrong was "In a hundred years from now it won't matter to anyone!" It used to infuriate the fuck out of me when things felt as if they were disastrous!
Now however, looking at the length of time it has taken to charge people like Pell, and at the way the catholic church has dealt with, (or rather avoided dealing with) childhood clergy sexual abuse for decades, I am wondering if they all have mothers who have been telling them the same thing!
I can't help feeling that they are "playing for time", waiting for those of us who have been fighting them to die, (we are all getting older!) and then this duplicitous narcissistic church will be able to re-write history, in their usual deceitful manner!
I remember going to Rome for the first SV occasion in 2010, there were many of us there, some of us still pretty vibrant, some of course older, but most of us "able bodied" to a degree!
The following year, at our meeting, there were more walking sticks and walking frames visible among us! We were still full of the joy of being together and although we could still dance in the shadow of the vatican, a lot of us found it harder.
The year after it was apparent that some of us were missing, and a few of us could no longer actually dance, march or even walk!
The following year I nearly passed out because of the heat at our meeting in Verona, and only managed half the event.
Last year I didn't make the journey at all because of being unwell. (I am much better, so I will be back soon!) Not everyone will be able to be back unfortunately.
They have shortened our life spans already by their abuses, then cynically exploit our shortened longevity and vulnerability to further delay their responsibilities!
They see us an an "irritant",and they KNOW we will spend even more of our shortened lives trying to get justice for ourselves and future generations.
This is what happens, we are only here for such a short time, and It will always have to be people with passion that are able to continue the a fight.
It is why we need to perpetuate our experiences with things that will last long beyond our shortened days.
It is why films like "Spotlight" and Gary's film "Basta" and even our own "Out of the shadows" are so important, they are solid testimonies, and will last longer than we will.
Some of us also are able to ,write about our experiences, these are all crucial,to create an archive of facts and warnings, in the same way as testimonies of slavery and genocide.
Otherwise the next generation of abuse victims, (and of course there WILL be a next generation, while ever this narcissistic power hungry predatory church exists) may have to start re-inventing the wheel, and so it goes on and on.
I suppose I am so conscious of all of this, having reached (amazingly) my seventies, and with a myriad of health issues. So my legacy will be my writing, if I manage to stay around to actually finish my book!
The point is that there is no time to hang around! It suits a narcissist so well, as we continue to feed their insatiable ego! and then one by one we die trying to bring them to book!
So if we feel we may have something to contribute, Don't delay! "BASTA" is the word and TODAY is the DAY!