The Living Nightmare of Child Sexual Abuse

‘Hurt’ explores the aftermath experienced by families of sexually abused children

Overall 11% of boys and 21% of girls under the age of 16 experience sexual abuse during childhood (NSPCC). Often their parents/guardians are not aware that the abuse is happening.

A book Hurt, by Julia Webb-Harvey, shows how non-abusing parents have navigated through the carnage after discovering that someone close to them has sexually abused their child.

Actress Patsy Palmer, who portrayed Bianca Jackson a mother whose step-daughter was being sexually abused by her partner, in BBC Eastenders said:

“Having played the role of the non-abusing parent, I believe that Julia’s book will help bring solace to parents going through the reality of uncovering abuse. I hope it will help many more families to cope and know that they can recover and have happy times again.”

Hurt tells in-depth stories of four family’s harrowing situations, each with a different sexual predator: father, stepfather, close friend and grandfather.  The book gives a voice to each parent individually, so that their painful truth is revealed to the reader.  They share how they found out about the abuse and how they reacted and felt as events unfolded.

Julia said:  “I have written the book because time and time again I found people needed to know that they were not alone.  Parents have feelings of shame and isolation because Society holds such a taboo over childhood sexual abuse. Parents struggle to cope every single day. They want desperately to learn how other people coped. ‘Why us? – Why didn’t we know it was happening?’ are common questions.”

Hurt gives a voice to the parents and guardians of children, who suffer greatly and feel that they have let their children down by not protecting them.  The stories show the ways in which the families coped, and will provide a useful pathway for parents facing the same tragedies in their family.  It does not offer step-by-step advice, but shows a way through to recovery, providing hope that families do begin to recover.

The book is published by Live It Publishing and will be available from: at a RRP of £17.99.  All profits from the sales of Hurt will go to Mosac, which supports the non-abusing parents/carers of children who have been sexually abused.