The following is taken from the address given by Mark Tedeschi QC, Senior Crown Prosecutor, NSW on launching Innocence Revisited.
There will be some people who read this book who will be reluctant to believe that such abject cruelty to a child or young adolescent could happen. As a prosecutor in the criminal courts for more than 25 years, I can tell you that it does happen and that it exists in every segment of our society and most other societies. Some people who read this book will find it hard to believe that such abuse and cruelty could emanate from family friends and family members. As a prosecutor, I can tell you that it frequently does emanate from such people.
This dismissal of a child’s complaint represents a double betrayal of the child’s trust and sense of security – the first betrayal by the perpetrator, and the second betrayal by the person who has wantonly dismissed the complaint without making the slightest attempt to seek out the truth.
Bolded the parts that stood out the most to me. Refusing to believe a child when they tell of their abuse is a betrayal of their trust. Society betrays abuse victims again and again.
Perhaps because to admit that such things go on is too confronting. It would mean facing pain, wrong doings and failure to see what was going on. So instead the victim is told to ‘forget’ or ‘to move on.’
Or in Jenna’s case in Silenced – to smile and remain friendly to her abuser during family lunches.
Final reassurance for those abused or supporting someone who was – it was not your fault. Human weakness that has people choosing denial in the face of cruelty- isn’t a reflection of your worth as a person. Rather, it is a fatal flaw of humanity.