Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Why I don't write about Child Protection.

I've been asked this - so I'll tell you.

I understand the curiosity. I spent thirty years with traumatised children, surely I have stories to tell. They'd be interesting. They'd open people's eyes to the suffering of children and their capacity for recovery. All very true.

Firstly, I'll not write about anyone I knew - it would break all the rules of confidentiality, for a start. But it's more than that - children are precious and so are their stories. It is up to them who knows.

I know - I wrote about therapeutic work with children and used case studies, all heavily disguised and with the child's permission. It must be possible to do that on my blogging platform. But that writing was for other professionals - men and women trained to work with children, or men and women who needed to meet and think about the gruesome details of child abuse before meeting a real child. The aim was help them be better at what we were doing - helping children.

This blog aims to do nothing more than entertain. Occasionally I get polemical, but mostly it's chit-chat about books and writing and travelling. Nothing to frighten the horses. Child abuse isn't entertainment. There is nothing funny or exciting about it. It is messy and frightening and deeply uncomfortable. What's more, some people get off on the details. (Surely not?? Oh yes there are. I've come across the worst that people can do to children and know that there are w*nkers out there.)

Couldn't I make it amusing - were there no funny moments? Of course there were. And often we found a terrible grisly humour which kept us going but would be inappropriate to share with anyone. For they were funny moments that only had validity because of the things we had seen and heard.

It is vital work - and I'm proud of everything I achieved. There are children I worked with who are making a success of caring for their own children (I am especially proud of them). But it's behind me - I left at the right time for me, just as I was beginning to wonder if I could listen to this any more. I don't miss it.

So no, I won't write about Child Protection. Instead I'll write about travelling, and bluebells.

9 comments:

  1. Well said. I used to read books about real life traumatic childhoods, but once when I bought one a shop assistant said, oh, I cant read those, they make me sad. And she was right.
    As a curious writer I won't lie, there is a morbid fascination, but sometimes things are better left unsaid.

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    1. I understand curiosity, but the reality is not for me to share.

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  2. Sometimes I wonder just how much those writers of child abuse "real life" stories really care.

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    1. I do wonder sometimes who is exploiting who - there are publishers who have made a mint out of them, but no evidence anyone feels any better.

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  3. I agree with you. I work with parents and families and many of them are vulnerable. Often they have a history of mental health issues, or domestic violence or abuse in childhood. If I ever approach a subject like that I do it from a neutral point o fview, without involving work. I totally understand where you are coming from and applaud your decision.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thank you - just that, thank you.

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  4. I feel upset that anyone even asked you to blog about it. Your work memories are not for this blog. I love your blog. I love popping along for a chat. It makes me feel as if we really are having a coffee together so let's carry on chatting about travelling and bluebells and anything else that makes for a relaxing coffee break. Besides, there's enough gruesome reality on the TV News.

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    1. Thank you, Ros - bluebells rule, ok!!

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  5. I missed this somehow, Jo. Like all the others here, I completely understand why you don't write about it. It's too serious a subject for a blog, and there must have been deeply disturbing aspects to it too. I also love your blog. Your humour, observations and travel experiences always add something to my knowledge and you do it in such a 'Jo' and special way.

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