Thu 29 October 2020

It is a few weeks now since your illuminating interview on LBC Radio. I thought it better to wait until I was better able to use language that is socially appropriate and inoffensive – your words were extremely harmful.

Why? Well, at a point in my recovery where I have been rejoicing that at long last people in public office are starting to act over child sexual abuse (CSA), you arrived shouting loudly about what a waste of money it is to tackle historical cases.

You try and put me and my fellow survivors in our place by reminding us that what happened in the past should stay very firmly in the past. It may come as a surprise to you, but survivors would dearly love to have consigned our miserable histories to the past. But that is just not how it works. For survivors, the offences never become historic.

Childhood trauma wants to worm its way into everything we do in order to survive and move on. It torments us with images that a child should never see. It wakes us up at night and it intrudes on our days.

Between the ages of 5 and 8, I was raped, sodomised and humiliated.

Those events 40 years ago have followed me ever since. They have created a lifetime of mental health struggles, depression and self-harm. I have even contemplated suicide.

But you seem more concerned about your budget and how I, and others, have been a drain on public resources.

I do not share your financial anxiety.

As with other critics, you have questioned how tackling past CSA helps protect the public now?

Well, in my case, it stopped a predatory serial paedophile from going on to abuse and rape a 5-year-old. Not to mention the benefit it has on tightening up current rules on safeguarding.

And so, I will sign off for now. I would hate to take up too much of your time and your taxpayer-funded salary.

Yours truly,

A Survivor (Anonymous)