The Truth is No Longer a Lie: Children’s Experiences of Abuse and Professional Interventions

Book Cover - Truth is no Longer a Lie The Truth is No Longer a Lie: Children’s Experiences of Abuse and Professional Interventions
 Neerosh Mudaly and Chris Goddard, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
 ISBN: 184310 317 6,


Child protection dominates social work within children and families but in this field it is rare to hear the views and experiences of child abuse victims themselves. This book goes a long way towards remedying the situation, writes Steve Rogowski.

The authors draw on their research in Australia including a discussion of ethics and research methodology. But it was the results, after allowing child victims to speak about abuse and its effect on their lives, that really interested me. Included are their views on the reasons for abuse, their opinions of abusers and the non-abusing parent, their disclosure experiences and, not least, their views of the professionals who intervened whether it be to protect them, prosecute the abuser or to provide therapeutic counselling.

Of particular interest were the children’s views on professional intervention, especially the view that some were not helpful in that they tended to side with the adults because the truth was too hard to deal with.

Thought provokingly, children’s vulnerability to abuse is compared with that of hostages held by terrorists.

As for ways forward, the emphasis is on a child-centred approach, which essentially means genuinely listening to them. This involves a child-centred society requiring investment in the nurturing, education, health and leisure of children irrespective of the parents’ capabilities. This is all well and good – but it’s how we achieve this that is the problem.

Dr Steve Rogowski is a children and families social worker in Oldham

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