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Unforgivable Paperback – 24 Apr 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405918233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405918237
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

'I brought you into this world and I can take you out with one click of my fingers.'

What if Baby P had lived to tell his tale?

Collette's childhood was a place of filth and terror. Her prostitute mother abused and neglected Collette; leaving her with clients, starving her and beating her to a pulp.

But the worst thing was that the people who were supposed to protect Collette turned a blind eye.

She slipped through the net and only just survived.

This is the story of a little girl who waited years for justice. It's the story of a woman determined to protect other children from suffering her fate.

About the Author

Collette Elliott is a 35-year-old mother of four. She was born in Birmingham to Maureen Batchelor, a prostitute, and suffered years of physical and mental abuse. In April 2013, Birmingham City Council awarded her £20,000 in damages for the anguish she suffered and their failure to protect her. Collette is now happily married, a devoted mother to her girls, and is campaigning on behalf of other child abuse victims.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This book was so sad but most most of all it resonated with me. Like Collete, I am also mixed race and endured racism and beatings from my mother and stepfather.
She went through so much and after it all she took on Birmingham Social Services. She is amazing and a very strong woman. I've read many books like this but this one made me cry so much and I felt like I was there with her at times.
This book keeps you captivated from start to finish. I'm sad that Collette never got any answers from her mother but pleased she found the strength to carry on.
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I can't say I enjoyed reading the book because of the very sad real life experience of someone I know. It was heartbreaking to read what Collette had to deal with in her life but she is an inspiration and I hope she is now happy and she succeeds in her fight to get children more protection. It is hard to believe that people can be so cruel to their own children. If you get chance give this book a read and support Collette xx
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Unforgivable is tough reading from the start opening, as it does, with a small child sexually and physically abused and surrounded by adults she can’t trust as those she tries to tell, take advantage. But unfortunately, its straightforward linear narrative lets the book down terribly. This isn’t all the fault of the author, Collette, who was assisted by ghost writer Douglas Wight (absolutely fair enough), who one might reasonably expect to help her lift the book beyond a diary of abuse to something more.

Too many chapters end on poor attempts at cliffhangers: ‘Once again, I was on my own with Mother’, ‘I wasn’t out of the woods yet. More misery was lurking just around the corner’, ‘I would soon be facing a new terror’, ‘When would this torture end?’, ‘Little did I know that I was going to see them again, and very soon’, ‘Finally, I thought, I had a passport out of this misery. I couldn’t have been more wrong’, ‘I told myself things could only get better. They couldn’t get any worse, could they?’, ‘There was no way Mother was going to hurt me or have control over me again … or so I thought’ or ‘my life threatened to spiral out of control’.

The sad truth is that for the period of the book Collette is never in control. Thankfully for her, the cliffhangers don’t deliver greater and greater depravity, but rather more variety. As we settle in this becomes a little repetitious and familiarity causes us to harden our hearts.

Other reviewers have mentioned their frustration with a victim who not only refuses opportunities to escape, but continually returns to her abuser. Perhaps worse, Collette leaves her own children with that abuser even after witnessing her ‘mentally torturing’ one of them.
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This girl has been let down, proud of her for telling her story. Takes gut's. Things have not be learned, this is still happening.
Cut backs will make it even worse. The people that stood back and watched this happen are as bad as her mother was. This kind of book should be used to train teachers what to look for, also Social Workers. Some are to weak to help these children. My Message to all those in Authority. Stop spending so much time covering your back and do the job you are meant to do !
Found it a little frustrating with all the system. This should not have happened. Very easy to blame the child. Well worth the read x
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Would recommend!!
Although the events that occurred were tragic and should never happen to a child, reading these events just makes what I want to do in life more real. Saving children from parents who do not deserve to bring a child into this world, what they did was heartbreaking, sad and disturbing.

A heartbreaking story of a child who needed a hero, and could have had one. The lack of communication between teachers, staff, parents and social services is appalling. This opened my eyes to a world that I have heard about but never have really been inside; makes you realise some deep thoughts.
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I enjoyed this book very much. it makes you realise how much you should appreciate what you have got.i cannot get my head round how some parents treat their children. would recommend everybody reads it.
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By rainbow on 6 Jun. 2014
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Unbelievable nobody ever believes these cases are real that poor girl hope it makes people more cautious when dismissing simple signs
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Collette story has already changed the mindset of Essex Safeguarding by speaking recently at a number of conferences held with Essex Police. Everyone one with a responsibility for protecting children should read this book and if you get the opportunity get Collette to speak at your training event or conference bite he arm off!. She is an amazing woman who by rights shouldn't be here to tell her story. I thank the lord she did survive. She is the voice of every child being abused now. Her message to all safeguarding authorities is "speak to the child. Hear their voice and act on it to make them safe"
Her husband is a pretty special chap too
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