Welcome to Abigail's Journal Space

I have set up this space to provide a focus for all things writing-related and in order to keep some kind of record of my published pieces. Where possible I will supply links to e zines and information about printed material. If you wish to get in touch with me directly, please leave a comment. Alternatively, I can be found on both Twitter and Facebook.

In addition to the outlets mentioned above and in fairness to all the editors to whom I am equally grateful, my work has also appeared in: 'Ink, Sweat & Tears', 'Symmetry Pebbles', 'Reflections Magazine', 'Earth Love', 'First Edition', 'Magnificent Me', 'The Human Genre Project' and 'Rumble'. If I have left anyone out, I apologise in advance. I will rectify any omissions of discovery. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Abi

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Me and Polanski

This morning, when I switched on my laptop, I was browsing the Yahoo news when my attention was caught by a piece on the current Polanski debate.  I finished the piece and began to read the comments that had been posted below.  I was shocked and saddened by the number of comments I found that sought either to defend Polanski or to minimise his wrong doing by attributing responsibility  to the child in the case.  I do not normally contribute to public fora like Yahoo News; on this occasion, however, I felt that I needed to make an exception.  Below is the material I posted there as an act of solidarity with all those women who, like myself, have been emotionally and psychologically damaged not only by the offendeners themselves but also by the 'system' that excused and protected the wrongdoers.  I should point out that is only very recently that I have been able to speak openly about these events though, clearly, they occurred many, many years ago.  Outwardly, there were no dramatic consequences except that, for a time, I was both very fat and very,very frightened.  There was damage, though, - in my heart and in my head - and I have spend much of my life trying to heal that hurt. In many ways, I have succeeded  but I would like to make it clear that I will never succeed entirely - and that never again will I be a girl just turning thirteen.

In the mid-sixties and at a similar age (to the girl in the Polanski case who was 13) I was 'groomed' by a man who would now be termed a paedophile.  This 'grooming' went on over a period of months.  I was persaded to engage in sexual activity of various kinds by a subtle blend of kind words, emotional blackmail, and terror.  Eventually, I was taken - at the point of a knife - to the other end of the country where he took my spectacles - I am very short-sighted - and hacked off my long hair with a hunting knife.  Eventually, after three days of fear and miser, he was cornered by the police and gave himself up.  I thought that my troubles were over.  I could not have been more wrong.  The woman police sergeant that came to see me the next day called me a 'dirty little tart' and I was sent to a hell-hole of a remand home while he was released on bail.  Finally, in court, his barrister was permitted to humiliate me utterly while presentin his client as a respectable man who had been tempted by the amorous overtures of some kind of Lolita figure.  My tormentor was not actually acquitted but he served only three months in a 'soft' open prison and, on his return to my home town, mocked me in a very public way.  I received no counselling.  In fact, when I returned to my school, I was shunned by my classmates whose parents had instructed them not to talk to me.  There is no doubt in my mind that this experience has affected me throughout my life.  I would like to think that, over the past decades, the world has moved on.  It seems, however, both from the fact that Polanski continues to evade justice and from the presence of so many men willing to blame the child in this case, that if the world has moved at all, it has has not moved very far.

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