The evidence is out there

Reading articles and watching programmes which proclaim the
innocence of sex offenders cause me great concern. If people are
being wrongly convicted then they deserve to have their case
reinvestigated. However, any reinvestigation should be done by the
proper authority or at least by a body that is prepared to look at
all the evidence and not just what suits a journalistic purpose
without consideration as to the facts or its impact.

I don’t speak out of malice or revenge or a desire to see the
innocent convicted. I speak from a personal and professional
standpoint, as someone who was sexually abused many times over a
long period by those charged with caring for me.

It took me over 30 years and almost £25,000 to trace one of my
abusers in January 2002, only to discover that he had already been
convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse against numerous
vulnerable children in four different children’s homes. Some of my
abuse was carried out in a dormitory with other boys present. I
have criminal convictions and I have had numerous health problems,
mental and physical, which have continued to blight me throughout
my life.

That I have become a professional working with vulnerable people
does not lessen my pain, but neither has it turned me into a
revenge-seeking money-grabbing liar. But I do feel that justice and
some recompense has, by and large, been denied me and countless
others. In a standardised letter I received from the Criminal
Injuries Board last year, in a response to a claim made only on the
advice of my solicitor, I was denied compensation because the board
considered sexual abuse not to be “violent” crime (although I
pointed out that a child forced into being buggered was in fact a
very violent crime).

I was in local authority care for over 15 years and have repeatedly
tried to trace my records, only to be told they have been “lost”,
which means the local authority can avoid any responsibility. In
fact, this particular local authority has denied that I was ever in
their care. There also seems little possibility of tracing one of
my abusers, a social worker, even though the police know he has
abused others, as they simply do not have the time, resources or
personnel to investigate.

I do not blame the police for this. To claim that the police go out
“trawling” for victims is far from the truth. It’s a smokescreen
that has its roots in the shambles that was Cleveland, Orkney and
Rochdale. If anything, these days the police and Crown Prosecution
Service are over-cautious in investigating and prosecuting sex

What money, if any, abuse victims get from successful prosecutions
can never bring back the innocence of a childhood so cruelly
robbed. Any money that Iwill get back I will have spent tracing my
abusers, on medical bills and counselling. I am entitled to it,
like any other victim of crime.

Chris Miller now works with vulnerable people. He has used
a pseudonym.

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