Last weekend, Josef Fritzl, an engineer in his seventies was found to have kept his 42-year-old daughter locked in his cellar since she was 19. The woman, who bore her father seven children during her captivity, was discovered only after one of the children she had with her father fell into a coma in hospital.
Austria does not have the monopoly of family abuse.
The following are all extracts from The Cockroach Catcher:
Dr Am Ang Zhang experienced this in Hong Kong:
“……But the crunch really came when I had to deliver the baby of an eleven year old mother. Yes, eleven. It was a smooth event but the complex case situation of the uncle abusing her and so on probably sowed some seeds for my eventual move into child psychiatry……”
In Australia, Sara’s mother made a brave attempt to save her:
“That her husband only served three months of a three year sentence for abusing his own daughter meant that she felt totally unsafe as soon as he was released. On top of that her belief in herself was totally destroyed or at least her belief in her own ability to judge character. He started stalking her and despite an injunction she did not feel safe and in desperation went to a refuge. Eventually she was advised to return to England.”
“……Amanda was by then fourteen but her father had been abusing her since she was about eleven. Her mother worked night shifts and father would come to her bed room to tuck her in. This had been going on for as long as she could remember.
…… She was bleeding quite badly and told her mother, who told her that was what happened to girls when they grew up. She knew what menstrual period was but she said this was different; but mum did not want to know and gave her a box of sanitary pads. Then her period started and she started to worry about becoming pregnant. Her father said it was not a problem and asked ……”
Chris’ mother had breast implants paid for by her father:
“……She had been abused by her father from about the age of twelve and the awful thing for her was that she actually enjoyed the sexual side of things. It was an abuse she found hard to come to terms with. She could not hate her father because when she came out of hospital after her Anorexia, she had no breasts to speak of. Her father paid for implants, twice……”
Laura’s mother found it too much to bear
“……She had just taken a massive overdose of Paracetamol and her liver was thought to be too far gone to survive. She died a rather painful death and we were all deeply saddened.
Could we have done any better? Was the truth too much for her to bear? Would she still be alive if we had not discovered the sex abuse? We would never know. We might have rescued Laura from sex abuse but now she had lost her mother……”
I can only quote from Shakespeare:
And your experience makes you sad:
I had rather have a fool to make me merry
than experience to make me sad…..
(from: As You Like It - Act II, Scene 7)