Why Child Abuse Cases are Important to me & Why I’ve Decided to Shine a Light on the Subject
My name is Rick I’m a 27-year-old male. From the outside, I appear like any other ordinary young man in his late twenties but deep down I have a troubling past plagued by a rocky childhood and abuse suffered at the hands of social services and my care workers.
Growing up I was just like any happy-go-lucky kid, I was brought up by my grandmother whom to this day, I adore very much. I had three brothers and a sister, I was the eldest of my siblings and contact with them was sparingly thin, as they were brought up by my mum while I lived with my Gran.
I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of why I ended up in care, mainly out of the little respect I still have left for my mother who is still alive. To cut a very long story short, I was removed from my Grandmother’s care at the age of 11, as my mother who had recently had all her children taken from her and placed into the care of the local authority, had a nervous breakdown and moved in with my Gran.
Social Services gave my gran an option, kick her daughter out or have me taken out of her care and put into the care of the local authority. My gran refused to make the choice of choosing between her daughter and grandson – a decision I do not hold against her, however, social services decided to make the decision for her and removed me from her care and placed me under the care of the local authority and under the subject of a full care order.
For the most part, my time in care was horrific as I was moved from placement to placement, kids home to kids home and most were worse than the one before.
The first children’s home I was in Orchard House in Stockport, was by far the worst Children’s home I have ever been in. Within just a week of being there, I had the then manager of the home, hold me down so another – older child – could beat me up. I was subject to dozens of restraints (if you could call them that) where staff members would sit on my chest or on my back, leaving me unable to breathe.
The manager of this home during the time I was there, was a real nasty piece of work. I re-call on occasions where I’d be sat in the lounge with no slippers on my feet, he’d come walking in and stamp on my feet while yelling aggressively “Why don’t you have any slippers on?”.
It was a really traumatic time during my short stay at Orchard House and it’s a period of my life that has left me with many psychological and emotional scars today.
The point of me writing this article isn’t to get sympathy and it’s not to slander anyone’s name. This is why I won’t be naming names within this article, I simply want to highlight why many upcoming articles on my site will be covering child abuse and child sex exploitation.
To say my whole time in the care of the local authority was bad would be a lie. I particularly enjoyed my time at a home called Prospects in North Wales, that helped mold me into the man I’ve become today. Taking out of the equation one staff member who worked there, the other staff were lovely, genuinely caring and made the remainder of my time in care an enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, this can’t be said for the majority of the homes I was in.
While in the following homes:
Orchard House Children’s Home – Stockport
Country Care Children’s Home – Derbyshire
Adventure Care Children’s Home – Derbyshire
I suffered significant abuse. Whether this is by the staff members assaulting me, throwing faeces in my face or being dragged out camping in the middle of winter, braving gale force winds, all because I couldn’t be trusted to live close to local residential areas, as they were scared I’d run away. I’ve been kicked, punched, spat at, called names, physically and emotionally abused. While at other homes there were minor incidents, these are the homes where I experienced significant abuse.
I have since tried to bring legal action against these homes however, I have found it difficult to find any solicitor who will take on the case. Most state that because I didn’t prosecute and involve the police at the time (I didn’t know I could) it would be difficult to do anything now, especially considering so much time has elapsed it will be difficult to prove my claims in a court of law.
I want to make it clear that I HAVE NEVER experienced sexual abuse while in the care system. I have however experienced severe physical and emotional abuse and seen how corrupt the establishment and specifically the government agency that calls themselves Children’s Social Services can be.
Especially since becoming an adult, I have been hounded, abused and treated unfairly by Social Services. They have tried to involve themselves in personal family affairs on the basis that – because I state I experienced abuse when I was younger, it makes me much more likely to be an abuser (by their logic).
It’s a strange situation to be in, to this day I still do not see myself as a victim, which may sound totally contradictory to everything I have written above. I am a strong believer that life is what you make of it and we should not be determined by our past. As a young child, it was so easy for me to justify to myself, all the abuse I received, by telling myself I was a bad kid. Only now I am older and wiser can I see how flawed that thought process was. I can also come to the sensible conclusion that while my future is indeed what I make it, I can’t deny that the abuse from the past and poor decisions made by social services have negatively impacted my life and continue to cause issues in my life to this very day.
I started free and fearless as I’ve always considered myself a bit of a digital-activist. I’ve always been passionate about international affairs, politics, and local issues. I then stumbled across so much data from people who are claiming to have been abused by people in power, whether this is at the hands of their local authorities, MPs, teachers, children’s homes or other figures who were in a position of trust. The data I came across was gut-wrenching and I felt like I had to try and shine a light on some of these cases. So while Free & Fearless was never a project started to cover this topic, it has none the less become a platform that will be host to this subject and many others like it.#
I just wanted to give a brief history of my personal past and try and justify to my reader-base, why I am passionate about this subject and will be pursuing it with such a passion.
Anyone who would like to stay updated with regular posts and articles made by myself on these issues, should head on over to the Free & Fearless FaceBook Page and give it a LIKE!