Saturday, 21 June 2014

Jersey Abuse survivors

This is not a blog that I normally link to, but I will this time

Please excuse me for this one off link.

I just wanted to recall something.

In Jersey and also in the UK, who have left Jersey, are victims of child abuse, maltreatment, silencing and cover ups, people who have been intimidated, branded as mad and bad, and effectively silenced.

The Jersey Comittee of Inquiry says that people are reluctant to come forward.

I know this is true.

While I was in Jersey, in 2008, I was seeing a counsellor, and she told me that clients of hers were survivors of the child abuse and cover ups and that they were afraid to come forward because of how they felt they would be treated.

And, back then I didn't grasp the full significance of what I was being told.

This was the same counsellor who told me to slap the churchwarden on the nose when he misbehaved, as she was not happy with what I was describing to her.

I know why people are afraid to speak up in Jersey, I saw my life destroyed completely and was left homeless and destitute.
On the other hand, I survived and came to a safe place and have a good home.
And I believe that enough people know about the churchwarden to prevent him even attempting to abuse again.

I feel unqualified to say anything to the survivors of Haute de la Garenne as they have been through far worse than what I have.

But, I would say, take this opportunity, if you were abused, or witnessed abuse, Jersey cannot suppress you forever, you have a right and an opportunity to speak, please do, while the opportunity is there.

I understand that people feel inimidated by the fact that the inquiry intends to publish all statements, which is dismaying. I sincerely hope that the inquiry has the sense and care for people's welfare, to redact their names.

And I understand how in a small island like Jersey, this can be very daunting, speaking up in Jersey remains a dangerous thing to do.
But eventually, people have got to overcome this suppression, and have got to make the people speaking up into a majority.
Because I believe that although the oppressors are powerful, they are, people-wise, the minority, it is their wealth and power and high profile infallibility, and how they use it, that is giving them the grip they have, the ability to silence

Ok, I do feel a bit out of my depth, but I do not want anyone to be silenced, unheard, suppressed. It was bad enough that children were made to go through what they did go through, and were threatened with things like detention in the mental hospital if they spoke up.
Things have got to change, and I am writing this from the heart.
Stand up to your enemies and watch as they start to turn and run.
You can do this. But it is your decision.

There are some good people in Jersey who blog about what has happened, and most of them are keen and able to help survivors, in confidence and with respect.

I understand that there are survivors who just want to get on with their lives, oh yes, I understand, and the inquiry should make a note of that.
three years after I left Jersey, having fought for my complaint to be heard and failed while I was in Jersey, I had gone on with my life when the Diocese publicly launched a bodged and biased investigation on me and halted my life and wrecked my life, so I can understand that some survivors and witnesses just want to go on with their lives and leave the past in the past, and not drag up injustices that should never have occured and should have been dealt with at the time, and not dealt with by threats of mental hospitals or other punishments.

As I sit here knowing how much a risk I am taking in my own battles, I know how hard it is, and I know from my former counsellor that there really are people out there who are afraid to come forward, and I know from my own case how people, known and unknown to me, have been intimidated into silence by the 'Jersey Way', Jersey people, people with evidence, don't dare speak.

If you were abused and blamed or told it was normal or part of life, or that you deserved it or it was a punishment or because someone loved you, those things were also abuse, when you are a child, someone assaulting you is never your fault, ever, it is never your fault if you are made to do sexual things, and it is never true for the abuser to blame you, ever, it is never your fault, it is them abusing their power, and if you react in anger and behave bizarrely or violently, that is because you have been abused and reacted, and anyone with knowledge of abuse will understand that and will understand that any record of your actions is linked to you being abused and reacting.

All government and states departments appear to remain ignorant of the affect of abuse on behaviour and usually villify survivors and have no understanding of why they behave as they do, which is shocking in this day and age.

But the tide must turn at some point, you can't go on calling your Island a democracy when you are unable to report what you suffered and cannot be heard and understood, something needs to change, and people need to assist that change by being brave and speaking up. All stand together, be counted be heard.

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