It’s a week where I am pleased with myself for standing up for other people. Here is an example of me speaking out against child abusers as I think we all should. Whatever the truth around the Prince Andrew news of recent weeks, child abuse continues when people do not call it out as wrong. We can all play out part in that in ways large and small. We have got to stop victim-blaming once and for all.
Earlier in the week, I was in a charity shop when I noticed a board game with convicted paedophile Stuart Hall on the front of the box grinning. This was placed on the shelf highlighted as potential Christmas gifts. I did not like the idea of it being there at all. I am very much of the view that it can’t help victims of child abuse to keep seeing images of those that abuse in the media and so on.
However, we are too often encouraged not to make a fuss so I walked out of the shop but remained troubled. The next time I was in there, I bought some Christmas decorations and Stuart Hall was still there. Suddenly, I found myself stumbling through words trying to highlight the issue with the two women behind the counter. One seemed a little aggressive and as if she could not see what i was getting at. The other starting googling Stuart Hall and then went into the back presumably to find the manager or something.
At this point, I was embarrassed and flustered. Imagine my surprise when the woman who had being off with me suddenly disclosed to me that a family member had abused her as a child. So as well as apologising for making a fuss I was now saying sorry to the woman for bringing back unpleasant memories. She said I had no need to say sorry and I left the shop.
I went in again today and noticed that Stuart Hall was missing. As I was browsing the bric-a-brac, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It made me jump. It was the woman again saying they had got rid of the game. I felt a bond, two women one a victim and one not united against child abuse.
I am not naming the town I was in or the charity shop brand as it is not necessary.
What I will say is that perhaps charity shops should be issuing their staff and volunteers with guidance on products that have a connection with child abusers.
On reflection, I am proud of myself for having my say, blushing, stumbling but raising my voice all the same. The more we do this, the less power abusers have whatever game they think they are playing.
Are you speaking out against child abusers?