As many readers here know, my book Cry and You Cry Alone, tells my own personal story of being abused in care.
I wasn't sexually abused, but I lived in an environment that was dominated by the sexual abuse of others, and the dysfunctional atmosphere of living in a house that held dark secrets. Each 'House' within that institution had its own particular sadist, and/or sexual deviant, drawn to the profession by the easy access to vulnerable children, whose word would never have been believed above theirs.
I left the convent I was in, with my own demons, as many of us did. I cannot begin to imagine the trauma of those physically used by those evil men and women who had absolute care of us.
I know at first hand, how difficult it is to adjust from an institutional world to a real world. Many of us, are unable to adjust or 'fit in' with the rest of society, tormented that our 'sordid past' of being in care, should become public knowledge. Terrified that, our childhood in care would put off any potential friends or colleagues, or partners. It carried that kind of stigma. Society thought, maybe still does, that being in care came with all sorts of negative connotations. That you were a second class citizen and that abuse went on, was taken as a given, and you had to wait for a second for the interviewer to write 'likely to be very unstable' on your job application.
The truth is, the victim statistics are alarming. Unfortunately, too many care leavers end up in prison or blot out their demons with drugs and alcohol. Many end up as society's dregs, another John or Jane Doe, found dead in the gutter.
That is the reality of child abuse. Unfortunately the abused,the claimants are rarely sympathetic. Often, petty criminals with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, the courts and society in general, do not have the resources (money) to psychoanalyse and research the backgrounds of their 'regulars, or write more than 'death unknown' for the suicides in bedsit land.
In my book, I write about Philip, a young boy/man, who was indeed a boy with great expectations. The only one among us to get into grammar school. Intelligent, good looking and oozing charm, he was destined for great things. He died, way too young - never, ever, having lived.
Childhood abuse wrecks lives, lets never forget that.