What people want to know about 'Raised by Committee'
Is 'Raised by Committee' autobiographical?
Was it difficult to write such a personal story?
Yes, it is, but there is more to it than that. 'Raised by Committee' is a compelling read about how I grappled with abandonment, sexual abuse and my own budding sexuality - issues which many can identify with, if only in their most private thoughts.
Absolutely, but I felt compelled to keep working on it. The story is universal and hopefully will help raise awareness of the issue and other young girls in similar circumstances.
How did you do the research for the book?
In 2004 I contacted the Devon County Council and was able to obtain a copy of my file, #7952/2, dating back to 1962-68, under the Freedom of Information Act. This file laid out in clinical detail my comings and goings, ups and downs, and successes and failures - all 500 pages of it! The emotions contained in this story, however, come straight from my heart.
Excerpts from file #7952/2
Did you stay in touch with the Committee?
Reunion with Nurse and Aunty Dawn
Unfortunately, no. However, in 2004 when I started doing the research for 'Raised by Committee' I was able to locate Aunty Dawn, one of the live-in care workers at the girls' home. She put me in touch with Nurse, the matron, who at 95 was still as sharp as a whip. Within weeks I was on a plane home to England for a reunion with Nurse and Aunty Dawn.
What qualifies you to write on this topic?
Having lived through it, I know first hand what emotions and challenges young girls face as they struggle to come to terms with abuse. Also, as a volunteer and past Board member with Nanaimo's Haven Society [which provides sheltered support for women and children fleeing abuse] I have gained an understanding of the extent of this issue, the devastating impact it has on its victims, and the challenges faced by those who work so hard to care for victims.