Fire in Ice is a self-help project run by and for men who have
experienced child abuse, especially those who were abused in
children’s homes. It has its origins in Operation Care, the
Merseyside Police investigation into historical institutional child
abuse. Taking statements from survivors of abuse, the police failed
to understand the traumatic consequences of their doing so. “I want
this website to reflect the positive feeling that Fire in Ice has
been able to give to many hundreds of men over the past few years,”
says Matthew Byrne. And it is doing just that. This small,
simple-to-use site includes male survivor life stories in the form
of poems and prose. The self-help pack, which covers “controlling
panic and sudden distress”, “beginning to feel” and “coping with
crisis”, is particularly useful. The crimes suffered by these men
scorches the soul and melts the heart.

Whereas Fire in Ice immerses its outrage in a quiet dignity, there
is nothing silent about this site, run by False Allegations against
Carers and Teachers (Fact). While police methods clearly leave
something to be desired for alleged abusers and, let’s not forget,
the abused (see above), Fact sees it as “a horrendous witch-hunt!”.
Fact was also set up after Operation Care, but this time over the
perceived miscarriage of a 12-year sentence for Basil
Williams-Rigby, a residential care worker with the Liverpool
Catholic Social Services. Nonetheless, its tabloid approach (as in
the headline, “Are you aware of the large amounts of compensation
available for those claiming to have been abused?” – speculating
that people are interested only in money) clearly struck a chord
with the home affairs select committee inquiry into the
investigation of child abuse. One of Fact’s aims, to impose time
limits for bringing of allegations of sexual abuse, has been

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