Sue Cox

Sue Cox

Friday, 12 October 2012

Twisting the knife

It would be very easy for every survivor-focused organisation to jump on the very unpalatable and horrific bandwagon that is the Jimmy Savile/BBC et al saga to highlight their particular cause – I am sure they all will, and so will we! It is vital to  use such a high profile case to spotlight the real issues. But as a charity focused specifically on survivors of the most prolific of all child abuse cover-ups in history across the globe, we think it right to take a more global view on what this saga represents for our society.
We were struck by the alleged random comment from one of the many names involved in Operation Yewtree that because this particular story had captured the interest of the public they needed to do something about it?  
What we fail to understand is why the systematic abuse and cover up by the catholic church fails to capture the interest of the public – but more importantly why so much time, effort and obviously money will be put into a full enquiry about a tinpot presenter who during his lifetime had he been found out would have been pursued by our legal system.  Why is there no enquiry or like Enda Kenny, a clear, definitive standpoint about other child abuses, thousands of them, by the catholic church who institutionally enable, collude and cover up their crimes all under the banner of the sanctity of canon law?  
We feel a sense of dark connection to all survivors of abuse and can empathise with the obvious disgust that Savile’s victims may well be feeling to know that so many so called professionals including nurses and colleagues are coming out of the woodwork, wringing their hands saying that they were aware of the rumours, some even allegedly witnessing these abuses and doing nothing to report it or stop it.  It is galling to realize that as a survivor you have been sacrificial, unimportant in the face of the greater good – in our case the holiness of the church, and if it is to be believed, in Jimmy Savile’s case his ‘great charitable work’. Such flagrant psychopathic, predators rely on an aura of arrogant imperviousness and as a country we should hang our heads in shame for allowing such people to remain untouchable.  
At what point are we going to say that a child’s life and potential is more important than money, than politics, than religion, than the reputation of so-called celebrities, than charities – surely a child’s life has to be the most important thing on our planet today. What could possibly be more important? 

Because Savile was well known, this case has garnered national attention but it is important to remember that childhood sexual abuse is widespread,and impacts on thousands of peoples lives every day.Thats why shedding a light on this issue is crucial.    
We call on our Government, on all churches, on the police, on the British public on anyone who believes that what they are reading about in the press is the tip of an iceberg of covered up abuses across the spectrum of institutions.  We ask that a full enquiry be had, as much money if not more to be put into investigating the list of crimes against children that are systematically negated, ignored, covered up and shoved under the carpet, especially by institutions that hide behind their self-created canon law, their diplomatic immunity and any other such ‘get out of jail free’ cards.  We demand that all our political and global representatives take a unified standpoint on the rights of children across the world, that no child’s potential be taken away by the failure of the adult world to protect them from these ‘hiding in the open’ criminals – and it is a failure of all societies starting with the first time an adult hears or witnesses these abuses and closes the door on it, preferring not to be involved.  And we call upon anyone, anywhere who is aware of child abuses to come forward, be brave and report it. Maybe then, when enough people come out it will then be big enough to capture our attention and therefore somebody will take a stand and do something about all the rest.
For us the latest revelations are not about whether he did it or not, whether he should be stripped of his title, whether the BBC covered it up (although we have our thoughts) or whether anyone else was involved – for us this sadly highlights the deep flaws in a society that is suddenly outraged as oppose to having an inherent almost biological sense that these criminals are allowed to carry out their travesties on children and get away with it. We know that paedophiles live in our midst, we know that there is no place for them in our society, we understand that they are flawed but that does not mean that we have to accept, allow, collude and enable their deviancies.  Neither does it mean that because ,in our case ,they wore a black cassock and a dog collar and are seen as "next to god" that they are above the law.  

We send our sincerest, empathic, kindest thoughts to all survivors of abuse but here specifically those of us who had the crime compounded by the snivelling, cowardly accomplices that allowed the criminals to get away with their crimes and the pathologically self-absorbed institutions who gave these perpetrators fodder for their predelictions all behind the safety and arrogantly locked closed doors. 

And from a personal perspective. The overiding legacy for me of being sexually abused by a priest , and then not cared for, was  a profound feeling of being "Unworthy of concern,""Insignificant", and "Sacrificial" That default position was further compounded for all of us by the church's lack of compassion and appalling disregard of survivors of their pedophile clergy.This is a life sentence. Made worse by various governments,who have ignored  our decades of screams  for an independant inquiry into the handling of these crimes, and have faced denial,been blamed,  been lied to, belittled, called liars, manipulated and completely disregarded.
I do hope that the BBC and our Government makes good on their promise to hold an "immediate inquiry" into Savile's crimes,and the culture which enabled them, and I am pleased for his victims that their abuses are being taken seriously.
But as they do that, know that unless they give the same attention to ALL of these crimes they are twisting that knife further into our hearts and putting  catholic clergy abuse survivors right back into feeling exactly what we have always been made to feel- abused again, and "Unworthy of concern", "Insignificant" and Sacrificial"

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