Disclosure of Rape and Child Abuse at Welsh Orphanage

Its was Tuesday the 6th November 2017 – BBC Radio 4 at 2pm Jane Garvey was presenting the Jeremy Vine show covering the topic of the Welsh Orphanage, which is currently at the centre of abuse in the 70’s an 80’s. The discussion centred around victims/suvivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) who were emotionally and physically scarred for life. There were no words other than theirs that could describe the overall chilling account of what had taken place behind closed doors of silence.

One male listener was called “Bobbi”. Bobbi had grown up and was now in a relationship with his partner of many years. What he was able to do, which he had never done was openly speak about the silent abuse he had endured since early childhood at the orphanage. He gave a graphic detailed account of what it was like to be picked as an innocent child at the time, in his case because some children were allowed to visit family or parents during the weekend, there remained those children who had no one and it was on these occassions Bobbi feared the worst. In his account, Sunday he recalled as being the worst, sometimes taken to his abusers on site; at other times he they came to him. Silence did not befriend him into reasurrance that he would remain out of harms way, it was far from that, alone terrified watching the shadows being cast along the corridoors as people quietly walked past, in the hope and belief it would not be him tonight where the shadows might stand still with the door handle twisting quietly to open and hence his life was at the mercy of others once again. Bobbi described how when entered his room alone on these weekends there was no privacy just shame and humiliation, it was a playground for his abusers to do what they wanted to everyone in similar circumstances. He thought after night he might be overlooked as he went to bed, instead suddenly his bed is tipped upwards with two attackers appearing from underneath his bed and he was violently held down by both and raped.

Both the radio presenter and listerners were shocked in what they had heard from a victim who had never had the courage to disclose what had happened in childhood before. The effects of CSA on his life has left him a legacy of being unable to trust other people, emotional and psychological issues, which prevents him at times from working or engaging with others in his community, he leads a silent exsistence, which has overall damaged and destroyed him.

The feedback from listeners was overwhelming emotion mainly those expressing themselves that even as regular listeners, they were in tears at what they heard. We hear about CSA, but do people know what it is like to preyed on and be abused or is it easier to believe it does not happen in their community or social circle. CSA has no boundaries, one in four people have been abused and if Bobbi found the courage to finally speak we all should not turn a blind eye for this to continue to be more than one in four.

This blog is to raise any awareness to assist those who are still silent and need a voice.

Reported rapes down in Tandridge

FEWER people in Tandridge are coming forward to report rapes than in previous years, according to Surrey Police.

In 2011, the force received eight reports – one every six and a half weeks. But in 2010 there were 21 reports – or one every two-and-a-half weeks. To date this year, there have been just three reports.

DECLINE:  The number of reported rapes has dropped

DECLINE: The number of reported rapes has dropped

The drop came to light after the Courier & Observer made a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Oxted-based Catherine Sonaram-Taylor, who runs Clearing Thoughts Counselling centre which helps victims of sexual abuse, said she was concerned by the drop in reported incidents.

She said: “It does concern me more people aren’t coming forward, but at the same time people need a lot of courage and support to report these sorts of crimes.

“I do think that the number of people suffering from rape has not changed. I think it has stayed the same for the last decade. The police are trying to enable victims to come forward, but the process is long and lengthy.

“Victims can be put off of reporting rape and sexual assault because of the process.

“But equally there are people who want to see their attacker brought to justice. I think there needs to be extra support groups to help victims understand that they are not alone and there are others who have gone through it and come out the other end stronger.”

Detective Inspector Juliet Parker of the Surrey Police Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: “The number of rapes reported nationally has decreased, which could be due to a number of factors including the way in which crime is recorded. Surrey Police continues to have one of the lowest rates for reports of serious sexual assault per head of population in England and Wales.

“Surrey Police treats all allegations of rape and sexual assault seriously and over recent years we have invested significantly in supporting victims.

“Our specialist staff and officers are trained in obtaining the best evidence from victims and will always treat their welfare as paramount.”

Seven of the 21 rape offences reported locally last year were recorded as “no crime”, meaning any alleged offence was no longer considered as rape.

An allegation of rape made in April by a woman in her 30s following an incident in Jenners Field, off Vicarage Road, Lingfield, is still under investigation.

For confidential advice on issues of sexual assault, call 0845 5196168 or e-mail cobham@solacesarc.org.uk

Source: East Grinstead Courier and Observer.