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A powerful emotional read
on 16 August 2014
Shy Keenan's autobiography is incredibly moving, raw and a powerful read. It covers her childhood, growing up with a neglectful immature mother and a step-father who systematically sexually abused her from the age of four. Keenan details her abuse at the hands of Stan and at the hands of his paedophile friends. She escaped into the care system, only to be abused there and ended up on the streets of London. Every time Shy voiced what was happening to her, she was ignored or demonized as a 'problem child'. Eventually she was able to get justice via the BBC Newsnight programme in 2000. She bravely confronted Stan as an adult and he finally got the prison sentence he deserved, for abusing many children.
The book made me reflect on how we need to give survivors of abuse a voice. Too often we, as a society, do not hear their words or have preconceived ideas about victims or abuse. As I was reading, I was wishing that just one professional had taken the time to see the pain Shy was going through and to act.
Shy Keenan has established herself as a campaigner and advocate for those abused by paedophiles. She is one of those women that I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for. She is a fighter for justice and to support those who have also gone through similar experiences to her. She amazes me. A very courageous woman.