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Friday, 27 June 2014

Operation Yewtree and unexpected reactions *tw for CSA*

My father (and my lip involuntarily curls in disgust as I grudgingly let that word flow from my mind through my fingers and onto the screen in front of me) is a violent paedophile.  In July 2000 he was convicted of multiple serious sexual offences against a child and was sentenced to fifteen and twelve years, to run concurrently.  He served eight.  On the Sex Offenders Register for life, he cannot have unsupervised contact with children, including his grandchildren by my brother.  

I haven't had contact with him, my mother (lip curl again) or my brother since court - well, actually since before that.
I've moved on - in some ways more than others, but you know, a work in progress and all that.

I can share the facts of my story with relative ease, and I am utterly clear in my mind that I no more deserved to be raped than I did to be chased around the house with a kitchen knife, or choked into unconsciousness by his hands around my throat, but - according to a few professionals I've met recently - I have little emotional connection to the events of my childhood and teenage years.  They tell me this was most likely a necessary coping mechanism at the time, a survival tactic of sorts, but a hindrance now, since I am safe.  

But that is a story for another day.

The story for today is
Operation Yewtree.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A report published today deals with some of the findings of Operation Yewtree, naming twenty eight hospitals.

I've avoided press coverage to be honest, although I was aware that one of the first institutions named was Stoke Mandeville.  I knew my father (and my stomach roils again) had worked there, as a porter, and once what I assumed to be mainly speculation began about how Savile could have gained access to the premises which included references to porters I simply ignored the coverage.  I didn't want to know what may have happened there.  But this list, these twenty eight places - as I looked through the names in the BBC News coverage I realised that Stoke Mandeville wasn't the only one that rang a bell in my mind, albeit muffled by the years.  Great Ormond Street.  East Grinstead.  Queen Mary's Carshalton.  And then, "There are also new investigations at Springfield Hospital and Crawley Hospital".

Crawley.

I lived in Crawley until I moved to Bristol, and he (spits on floor) worked in the hospital.

When you look just a little more closely at the allegations and findings (although no report has yet been published on Crawley Hospital since the allegation was only made in April of this year) none of them seem particularly damning (relating to the hospitals mentioned above - this is not meant in any way as a comment on the more substantive allegations) - for example the information given in regards to Crawley Hospital so far is simply that Savile was seen at the hospital, and so potentially could have offended there.
Not exactly what you'd call conclusive.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Faced with even the highly unlikely possibility of Savile's abuse linking to the hospital where I was born, the hospital where my father (ugh) and mother (even more ugh) both worked, possibly even to my father (blergh) himself - it made me feel physically ill this afternoon, 
and inspired ... panic.

I took to twitter (as one does), asking whether I should be knocking on the door of Operation Yewtree (metaphorically speaking), giving them his name, pointing them in his general direction, flagging him for their attention.  Thanks are owed to Daniel, Drama Llama, Mr Boos mum, The Ninja Worrier and Donna Wishart for their support - strange how heartening it is to know that you've passed through the mind of someone, somewhere, and they have taken a moment to let you know you were there.
I have now resolved to pass on the info I have, though as a sex offender who was working at the hospital at the time he may well already be on their radar.

As blasé as I can be at times, sometimes the past still catches me out - a sudden sharp hot spike stabbing me in the chest, stealing my breath, shaking my mind.  The strength of my reaction shocked me this afternoon, so who knows, maybe my emotional connection
to the events of my past is kicking in -
the professionals will be pleased.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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