Thursday, June 9, 2011

Panorama hurts

I've said nothing here about the Panorama programme so far, but it had a real emotional impact on us. Our son is rather more disabled than those who were abused and victimized. He's actually more vulnerable than they were.

I'm fairly certain he isn't taken advantage of, mainly because both service providers welcome us into sharing his care and even when he's with them, we frequently just turn up unannounced to do practical things - new clothes in his wardrobe, pick up a piece of equipment for fixing or just to see him.

This didn't make viewing Panorama any easier. We could have peopled that unit with very similar friends of his who we know well. I don't think they're being abused, but they don't all have families looking out for them - how would I know? CQC was obviously no help.

It was a strange mix of emotions that I'm only now beginning to get sorted out. There was a big element of pain/distress - I didn't cry because there was too much else milling around. There was considerable anger - I could comfortably have taken the law into my own hands if I'd been there. There was real fear mixed in with it - it made me doubt others care quality that I'd assumed was OK. There were mixed emotions about the role of the reporter - he'd made it public but stood by and let it happen.

I can react to this abomination on a practical emotional level - I can hate the people who did this, I can despise the company that let it happen, I can berate CQC for not intervening. But I still don't know how I feel about the whole thing myself - obviously my feelings are very negative, but there's an awful lot of numbness there as well. I'd like to not believe it had happened, but it did. And it could so easily have been my son.


  1. I didn't watch it as I just couldn't bear it. It's the one thing which scares me most about having my son going to a residential school - he is a beautiful, trusting, and utterly naive child who wouldn't even remotely understand abuse coming at him, or how to get clear of it, who to tell, and why to tell them. And yes, the law process would be damned if I ever found that happened to him.

    But are people actually surprised that this happens? Really? With announcements that safety checks for people who work with children will be cut as "too expensive"? Can we really say that these abuses are such a new thing when the horrors of services of days past really isn't so far back as we think?

    I am not surprised at all that such things occur - and that alone is probably the most worrying thing, that I'm well aware it happens. What shocks me is that we still haven't been able to find a solution to keep it from happening.

  2. I can understand you not wanting to watch it - I can't say I learned anything new by doing so. I felt I needed to as it's something I'm afraid of and I needed to be informed so that I can quote it accurately.
    It's depressing this didn't go out with the '80s - I suspect it's less commonplace but even one incident is one too many.