T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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Last night was quite nice. I was meant to be going to a gig with Paul but I was too tired, so instead I stayed in, had a bath (it takes ages to fill up...) and a shower, and watched Accused on BB2. This was a documentary about how Social Workers in Orkney took nine children away from their parents in the nineties because they suspected a ritualistic child abuse ring - which didn't actually happen, and was the theory of some mad, psychoanalyst-wannabe Social Worker who was using a psychological/thought model she'd learnt in America. The parents spoke out and went to court, and eventually got their children returned. The court leaned in their favour because, even after a month of interviewing the children, NONE of them admitted they had been abused, and the interviewers had blatantly tried to coerce them into admitting it in the way they questioned them. The model was basically stating "abused children will never admit it", so every time they denied it the workers took that as further evidence.

It was very interesting viewing, and certainly made you realise how barmy some people can become when it comes to child abuse cases. The entire thing had kicked off because of one family where abuse WAS happening, first from the father and then from the elder brother. Interviews with two of the children now that they'd grown up revealed that they'd eventually said they'd been abused by villagers in order to shut the damn interviewers up, because they felt so threatened by their questioning.

This all took place at a time when child abuse was 'fashionable' in the media, as there had been a sudden rise in the amount of cases being reported, so maybe that can account for the extreme reaction of Social Services. Perhaps the most ridiculous aspects of the whole fiasco were the police raiding the house of one of the families and removing 'ritualistic' items - an iron crook used for rounding up sheep (the children said they'd been 'hooked' into the middle of the circle), general interest books about magic, and two Moroccan dressing gowns with hoods. When the villagers wrote to the children to offer them support and all spoke about rainbows, because there had been a lot of rainbows in the sky that week, Social Services took these as being coded messages. Finally, one mother sent her child a teddy bear that had belonged to their grandmother after she died; she attached a note to its neck reading "please look after this bear" - hoping they'd appreciate the humour - only to have the bear returned, sliced to pieces.

At the end of it all, most of the Social Workers involved still seemed quite guilty and confused by the situation, still wholly unsure whether the children had been abused or not. One of them still adamantly believed that they had. "Of course they denied it!" she said. It seemed rather a catch-22. Children are often not believed when they say they've been abused; but if they deny it, that's suddenly a sure sign that they have been.

So, that was that. I went to bed and read a bit more of The Magic Toyshop (I'm trying to re-read some of my novels from Uni) by candlelight - both of the bedside lamps have fused - and nodded off, to be woken up by Paul about an hour later as he was coming back.

In other news, I seem to have developed a rash on my stomach and sides. After a little look on netdoctor.co.uk, I suspect it's a side effect of the penicillin I had to take for my virus, whatever it was. I've been attacking it with germolene and sudocream (thanks to a shopping trip to Boots the other day) but will ask the doctor about it when I'm next there on 6th September.

Also, I am still sweating excessively, to the point where even Mitchum is giving up the ghost. Any more suggestions?
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