Lucy Faithful was a social worker. A no nonsense, old fashioned, put-the-children-first, social worker. Not one of your idealogical got-to-have-this-Saturday-off because I’m protesting about the ‘bedroom tax’ brigade.
She was so good at her job that she was elevated to the House of Lords – the first social worker to ever be so ennobled. Yeah! So she became one of those establishment ‘Tory Peers’ that we hear so much about who ‘protect’ Westminster perverts?
Scarcely! Lucy was formidable character – nicknamed ‘Lucy Faithless’ by the Tory whips for ruthlessly voting against the government when she thought the interests of children demanded it – she would have cheerfully fried and eaten for breakfast the entrails of any Peer, had she heard rumours of an ‘unnatural interest’ in children.
She was also an immensely practical woman. She founded the Lucy Faithful Foundation. You may never have heard of it – it doesn’t have the high profile of the NSPCC, nor the funding – but it does engage in practical work to protect children from sexual abuse. Note the term ‘practical’.
The Lucy Faithful Foundation doesn’t organise press seminars to disgorge titivating soundbites for the dying dead tree press, it doesn’t spend its money on afternoon television ads to bolster its profits, it doesn’t even work in tandem with ambitious ex-policemen to make gossipy commercial television.
It just quietly gets on with its work pioneering intensive therapeutic rehabilitation for sex offenders. It provides a help line where those who fear they may harbour sexual thoughts towards children can talk to qualified and experienced experts in the field and access the help they may need. That seems a lot more practical to me than demanding that those who harbour such thoughts keep them to themselves for fear of being hounded by the mob.
There is something quite illogical about demanding that those who offended 50 years ago are locked up in prison – but not providing a safe venue for those who may be at risk of offending today.
They don’t claim to be able to ‘cure’ every potential paedophile – but every person they do work with successfully is genuinely a child saved from abuse. More genuinely so than the NSPCCs recent claim to have ‘rescued’ 400 children from abuse, which turned out to mean that the children – and nephews and nieces – of those individuals who had viewed on-line porn which ‘in the opinion of a police officer’ may have included pictures of those who ‘may’ be below the age of 18 – had been either taken away from their family, or the putative ‘offender’ had been removed from the family home.
Any armchair paedo-hunter who cheers at the news that 400 children have been taken into care and are thus ‘protected’ from abuse has obviously never been in care themselves. ‘State care’ is a grim experience. If you doubt that, I suggest you go and experience it for yourself for a few months. You’ll soon get off your high horse.
It has become desperately fashionable to be shouting from the sidelines about the horrors of ‘child abuse’ – it even has its own Twitter hash tag these days; #CSA. Full of spittle-flecked judgemental attitudes – it has provided the moral high ground for the same sort of people who used to scream blue murder about homosexuality. ‘Paedo’ has replaced ‘Homo’ as the insult of choice.
Anybody who expounds any view that deviates from the approved ‘castrate them all’; or who fails to cheer as yet another elderly celebrity is hounded through the civil courts in search of ‘closure’ (which is apparently not the same as justice, but involves hard cash being handed over for sexual experiences alleged to have occurred 40 years ago – there is another word for this practice, but to use it would be to denigrate an honourable profession); or who suggests calm debate on any of the issues, is subjected to a howl of outrage that includes barring them from their profession, or publishing their names and addresses so that other late night members of the sycophantic squad can vomit out their spittle lathered lunacy directly into their home.
None of those ‘moral crusaders’ is doing a damn thing towards actually physically protecting children. The High Priests of the movement are busy publicising their money making ‘child protection’ courses; the political wonks are using the uproar to further their political aims; journalists are hanging onto their jobs; the ambitious TV presenters are furthering their career – ‘I’ve got a great idea for a series; Your Big Fat Abused Child Next Door’; and the professional fund raisers are planning their next Gala in Monte Carlo.
Two weeks ago, the Lucy Faithful Foundation gathered together experts from across the globe to discuss practical methods of protecting children from sexual abuse. They sent out press releases to all the national media. Not one journalist bothered to attend. Not one journalist bothered to rehash the press release. The BBC promised to send someone to learn what practical measures could protect children – but at the last moment they were diverted to cover a glossy celebrity filled piece about ‘600 Doctors and Teachers caught up in child porn sting’.
Actually working with sex-offenders, talking to them, treating them as the individuals they are, seeking to change the focus of their sexual orientation, especially to help protect the 90% of abused children that weren’t the object of some celebrity’s attention; rebuilding damaged families – well, there’s no column inches in that is there?
If you want to do something more than speculate on which celebrity will be arrested next – you can donate to the work of the Lucy Faithful Foundation HERE.