I've hesitated before writing this post, for a number of reasons.
The main one is that I feel very uncomfortable about the idea of using the recent allegations against Jimmy Savile to promote my book. The idea that I'm somehow exploiting the suffering undergone by so many young people appals me. This is why I've already begun this post on two previous occasions and then deleted it.
But... the subject needs airing. We all need to talk about it much more. It was almost impossible to tell anyone, back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, that you were being abused. It's easier now, I'm told. But it's still not as easy as it should be. There is stigma and there is shame associated with being a victim of such abuse. There shouldn't be, but there often is.
My book, Charity's Child, is set in the 1980s. I don't usually tell people it's about child abuse, because I don't want to give away the plot, though I do tell them that it deals with some difficult issues.
But who cares about giving away a plot, in comparison with what we are now discovering has been going on in real life? My story offers reasons why a young girl in the 1980s, a member of a small church, found it impossible to tell anyone what was happening to her. I'm not claiming that her reasons are typical or common ones. There were and still are all kinds of reasons why young girls and boys find it difficult, if not impossible, to tell anyone what's happening to them. This is just one instance. It is not based on a true story. The events in the book did not, I'm very glad to say, happen to anyone I know. But sadly, I know that there are many people who have experienced something similar.
Charity's Child is a book for an older YA (14+) and adult readership. It does not go into graphic detail about sexual abuse, but the direct and indirect effects of such abuse on the lives of two young girls are explored. If my novel can play even a small part in helping to raise awareness of the abuse of children and young people, and make it any easier for people to recognise and report it, I would be very pleased.
If you are interested, you can find the link to my book in the right hand column of my blog.