Some time ago, I posted here details of a book I was writing called 'The Devil's Coachmen'. This was a working title of a book I had originally intended to be the sequal to my earlier book 'Conspiracy of Faith', which was published in February 2007. Conspiracy of Faith told the story of the abuse I suffered as a child at the Salesian College in Chertsey Surrey, and the subsequent police investigation, 40 years later, into what had happened. However, during the research for my new book, evidence of other Salesian victims continued to grow, in part due to what I had revealed in Conspiracy of Faith. As a consequence of this new evidence and other information, the book began to change from an account of these disclosures to a wider examination of child abuse in the United Kingdom, and the way victims are dealt with by our society and the criminal justice system in particular. The book, which is described below, is now finished and will be published later this year.
The Devil's Advocate
Child abuse and the Men in Black
A survivor’s account of the failings of Government, the Churches, Religious Orders and our Criminal Justice System, in understanding and responding to victims of sexual abuse in the UK.
Graham Wilmer MBE
I have written this book to help expose the catastrophic shortcomings of the United Kingdom’s government, the Churches, religious institutions and our criminal justice system, as they attempt to deal with the scale and consequences of sexual abuse in our country. The book is far from the full picture, but it should serve to remind those who hold power in our nation that, as a society, we are not dealing well with the enormity of the problem, which remains hidden in plain sight, despite the courage of the many victims who come forward, even though that usually means they face hostility, resentment and denial, rather than the compassion, understanding and acknowledgement they need and deserve. The cost of sexual abuse in our society, in whatever way one measures it, is on a scale that makes it both a national disgrace and a national health epidemic, neither being something that should be tolerated by any government, but tolerated it is.
What follows is not just about me, although it tells my story. It is about the ongoing failure of society as a whole to respond to and support victims of sexual abuse. It is also about the many conflicting and deep routed myths and negative perceptions about sexual abuse: what it really is and the devastating consequences of its long-term impact. Some of you may find the repetition of facts a little tedious, but I ask you to bear with it and read on, as it will help those of you who have not suffered the blight of sexual abuse understand the seemingly never-ending nightmare that survivors struggle with on a daily basis. For us, the story never ends, but with the right kind of support you can reach a level of recovery that is sustainable, and from that point onwards you become the master of your history, rather than its slave. For those victims who still struggle in silence, despite what I say about the lack of effective support services, you have nothing to fear from speaking out, other than fear itself. So, if you want help to tell your story, but don’t know where to start or what to expect, contact me and I will help you.
Graham Wilmer MBE