Big and small coincidences..

I believe in coincidences, that they are the Universe nudging you along a path of fate.  My husband scoffs at such thoughts.  Our birthdays are a couple of weeks apart, we are both Aquarians.  Nothing really in that, but is it a coincidence that when we first got together, that we were both given the book “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield.  A book all about coincidences, synchronicity.  It made for fascinating discussions at the time!  In recent weeks, I seem to have stumbled, or rather, have perhaps been nudged, through a series of synchronous events. Continue reading Big and small coincidences..

Theresa May launches another inquiry – but let’s herald Tom Watson

In Parliament on Wednesday (6th November) Theresa May announced another inquiry, into the allegations of child sex abuse that took place in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.  There was an inquiry before, but it was restricted in what it did and whom it listened to.

The alleged abuse centring on children’s homes in north Wales – and specifically the Bryn Estyn home at Wrexham – began to emerge in the 1990s. They were highlighted again last week when victim Steve Messham said the Waterhouse inquiry had uncovered only a fraction of the abuse.

I read in the Times yesterday that Tom Watson had rather bristled Theresa May, urging that the truth is sought out.  No more half-baked inquiries, we’d hope.  I wish I’d heard the exchange.  Tom Watson spoke on behalf of the children that have been interviewed but have not been believed. Tom Watson is to be heralded for the following comment (excuse the screen shot, but I’m learning about technology all the time):

Still, in most cases, children do not disclose to anyone that they have been sexually abused. According to a recent study on behalf of NSPCC, more than one in three children aged 11-17 (34%) who experienced contact sexual abuse by an adult did not tell anyone else about it. (1) 
Perhaps the tide will begin to turn as more people speak out about childhood sexual abuse, more parents ask their children and more people understand the nature of grooming and what a paedophile is (and isn’t).
(1) From: Radford, Lorraine, Corral, Susana, Bradley, Christine, Fisher, Helen, Bassett, Claire, Howat, Nick and Collishaw, Stephan (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. London: NSPCC.

Hiding in the open

When I was researching Hurt, I read a lot, spoke a lot, and thought a lot about paedophiles.  I felt I needed to in order to write with any authority about the sexual abuse of children.  In the opening chapter ‘ the unspeakable truths’, I wrote about the myths surrounding paedophiles.   The media, at the time, would have us believe that they are gruesome monsters, grotesques.  I was challenging that view in my introduction, exploring not the possibility, but the reality, that in most cases paedophiles are nicer than nice.

Here we have the sordid truths unveiling of how prolific sex offenders get away with it.  By hiding in the open.   The archetypal wolf in lamb’s clothing.   The case of Jimmy Savile is well documented today, as people struggle to reconcile this magnanimous, generous, popular figure with another aspect – that he was a sexual predator of children.   The same is true in the US, the football coach Jerry Sandusky.  This time, it was a case of manipulating his role in sport to access children. Like Savile, his persona and work for charity was a cover.  Sandusky was sentenced in October 2012 to a long term in prison (30-60 years) for sexually offences against minors following decades of abuse.   There can be no case brought against Savile.  His death has saved him from prosecution.

In my work at Mosac, a common theme would be the cry of “how did I not know”, from the non-abusing parents.  This cry has been echoed down the helpline phone lines, and reverberates around the therapy rooms.  They did not know because the paedophiles were not grotesques, they did not present as demons, but as caring, warm people.  Grooming of the parent is as much a part of the manipulation in order to sexually abuse their child or children.

It is my hope that in exposing Jimmy Savile as a prolific child sex offender that the general public may stop looking in the shadows for those who steal the childhoods from our children, and start looking in the open.


Review of Cassie Moore’s “Did you hear me crying?”

I was felt very privileged to receive a review copy of Cassie Moore’s new book.  It’s an incredible story, an important story, and I would encourage anyone to read it.  It adds weight to the fact that we just can’t stop ignoring the abuse that goes on.  We must try and end the tears.


Did you hear me crying?

The moving story of survival through 45 years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse

Cassie Moore

Liveit Publishing

ISBN 978-1-906954-59-8


Did you hear me crying is the account of Moore’s life, from early childhood memories up to the present day.  Hers is a relentless story of neglect, abuse, manipulation and survival.  The narrative is chaotic, as the reader is tossed through extremes of emotion with Moore.  With every turn of the page, the reader tumbles through horrific abuse, the withdrawal of Moore in to herself, only to be catapulted out with some new optimism, or promise by her abuser.

The account is raw, emotive, and therefore unpolished.  There are many contradictions in her story, which are recognisable traits of anyone who has undergone sexual, physical or emotional abuse.  This makes for confusing reading at times, but it is truly representative of a survivor’s journey towards recovery.

Moore tells us that writing was her salvation, and her book is peppered with moving songs penned during the years of her abuse.  It is only a shame that the printed page cannot provide the melodies that she will have chosen to enhance her lyrics.

Moore’s story ends in a good place, and the reader may be left surprised at the sense of peace that is revealed in the last pages of her book.  Moore has clearly reached acceptance of her past, and it is from a place of acceptance that healing begins.

Did you hear me crying is an important story, and Moore is to be heralded for lifting the shrouds of self-doubt, self-loathing, shame and hurt for the truth of her life story to be shared.  Moore’s story will hopefully provide a blueprint for other survivors of abuse to end their tears.


Julia Webb-Harvey

Psychotherapist and author of Hurt: The harrowing stories of parents whose children were sexually abused.

Really? “Savile coverage: Help or hinderance”

This was the subject of the phone in, Your Call, on Radio 5Live aired this morning.  Earlier, I had heard Brendan O’Neill, editor of on-line magazine Spiked, interviewed, and was astonished at what he said.  Actually, I have been deeply troubled.  Really Brendan, “if you were abused by Jimmy Savile, maybe you should keep it to yourself”?  I couldn’t disagree more. Continue reading Really? “Savile coverage: Help or hinderance”

Hot news! Kindle contract signed!

Yesterday I signed a contract with Live It Publishing and for the move of Hurt to the Kindle platform. I am so excited about this.  I wrote Hurt so that the stories of the families of children who were sexually abused could be heard – to give a voice to this voiceless section of society.  Sales of the paperback book have been steady, but not staggering.  It has been frustrating that the voices aren’t being more loudly heard – although I know that Hurt is reaching those that need it.  By going on Kindle, a different marketing strategy can be applied, and it has every potential to go viral.  So, go Adam ( do what you can to accelerate Hurt up the Kindle sales list.  Watch this space for details….

Deception: Truth will out

Is it just me, or does anyone else have the feeling that veils of deception are being shaken and slowly lifted?  There seems to have been a stream of truths emerging over the last few months, perhaps even longer than a few.  Organisational deception, so deception on a mass scale.  The amount of energy, of collusion that it must take to conceal a truth is massive; monstrous.   Continue reading Deception: Truth will out