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In April 1981, Landa Mabenge enters this world, trapped in a girl’s body. From an early age, Landa is aware that he does not relate to his female form, despite being socialised as a girl. In this groundbreaking and brutally honest memoir, Landa Mabenge establishes himself as a resounding and inspirational voice for anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms. In mesmerising detail, Becoming Him lays bare Landa’s tortured world, growing up trapped in the wrong body, while unflinchingly tracing his transition from female to male.
His childhood in Umtata is brutally shattered, when at age 11 an angry woman and her zombie-like husband unexpectedly arrive to force him to accompany them to Port Elizabeth. Life in PE with ‘The Parents’ soon morphs into a Dickensian nightmare. Landa is subjected to horrific physical, emotional and psychological abuse as he descends into a world of isolation and shame. He recalls his prison of powerlessness: “I count the years I will have to remain a slave. There are seven before my redemption: 7 x 365 = 2555 days. Today is nearly at an end. By the end of tomorrow there will be 2554. By the end of the week, 2548. And so I will myself on. Eventually the day will come when I will be free.”
At 18 Landa is finally able to escape PE to study at UCT, where he tries to embrace life as a butch lesbian, but he remains tortured by his female body. After a close-to-death break down, Landa finally finds strength to embark on an arduous four-year-long journey to physically and legally become “him”, relentlessly researching what it will entail to embark on gender alignment. In 2014, Landa makes history by becoming the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid to pay for his surgeries through the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic.
Both heartbreaking and uplifting, Becoming Him is a unique story of torture and triumph, bravely opening the lid on cultural shame and abuse against those who choose a path less travelled.
'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
Pedofilie. Ontvoering. Moord? In Suid-Afrikaners se koppe het hierdie begrippe sinoniem geword met die name van Gert van Rooyen en Joey Haarhoff. In die dertig jaar sedert die tragiese verdwyning van ses jong skoolmeisies en die dramatiese skietdood van die land se berugste paartjie, hang onbeantwoorde vrae steeds in die lug. Die makabere raaisels wat hulle agtergelaat het, het nie saam met hulle gesterf nie.
Joernalis Pieter van Zyl gee in hierdie boek, waarvoor hy eksklusiewe toegang tot Huisgenoot se uitgebreide argief gehad het, ’n volledige oorsig oor dié sage. Die jongste insigte en ervarings van rolspelers wat direk by die saak betrokke is en was, word ook betrek – nie net aan die kant van die slagoffers nie, maar ook aan die kant van die vermeende “monsters”. Kenners, waaronder sielkundiges, kriminoloë, baasspeurders, handskrifontleders en selfs sieners, verskaf ’n sonderlinge blik op die gebeure w at by Suid-Afrikaners bly spook.
Die tragedie verkry ’n nuwe dimensie wanneer dit gekaats word teen die agtergrond van Suid-Afrika drie dekades gelede. Dit blyk ook dat Van Rooyen en Haarhoff nie in isolasie kon optree nie, maar waarskynlik deel was van ’n uitgebreide misdaad-netwerk. Hierdie boek sal niemand koud laat nie.
It is the late 1980s. Serious allegations surface against three prominent National Party cabinet ministers, one of them the second-most powerful man in the land. They are, it is said, regularly abusing young boys on an island just off the coast of Port Elizabeth.
From opposite ends of South Africa, a brave cop and a driven journalist investigate. Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn independently uncover evidence of a dark secret. But the case only surfaces briefly before it disappears completely.
Thirty years later, the two finally connect the dots to expose this shocking story of criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and possible murder of children, most of them vulnerable and black.
The book which inspired Spotlight, 2016 winner of the Best Picture award at the Oscars!
This is the true story of how a small group of courageous journalists uncovered child abuse on a vast scale - and held the Catholic Church to account. Betrayal is the ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize-winning work of investigative journalism, now brought brilliantly to life on the screen.
On 31 January 2002, the Boston Globe published a report that sent shockwaves around the world. Their findings, based on a six-month campaign by the 'Spotlight' investigative team, showed that hundreds of children in Boston had been abused by Catholic priests, and that this horrific pattern of behaviour had been known - and ignored - by the Catholic Church. Instead of protecting the community it was meant to serve, the Church exploited its powerful influence to protect itself from scandal - and innocent children paid the price. This is the story from beginning to end: the predatory men who exploited the vulnerable, the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes, the 'hush money' used to buy the victims' silence, the survivors who found the strength to tell their story, and the Catholics across the world who were left shocked, angry, and betrayed. This is the story, too, of how they took power back, confronted their Church and called for sweeping change.
Updated for the release of the Oscar-winning film, this is a devastating and important exposure of the abuse of power at the highest levels in society.
Dit is die laat tagtigerjare. Ernstige aantygings teen drie prominente NP-ministers doen die ronde. Een van die drie is, naas die staatshoof, die magtigste man in Suid-Afrika.
’n Waagmoedige polisieman en ’n vreeslose joernalis ondersoek die gerugte dat jong seuns op ’n eiland aan die kus van Port Elizabeth misbruik word. Mark Minnie en Chris Steyn kom onafhanklik van mekaar af op dieselfde donker geheim. Maar die saak kry net kortstondig aandag voordat dit doodgesmoor word en verdwyn.
Dertig jaar later sit Steyn en Minnie hul bewyse bymekaar en lig die sluier oor dié skokkende gebeure – ’n verhaal van misdaad, toesmeerdery en amptelike medepligtigheid in die verkragting, en moontlik selfs moord, van weerlose kinders.
From Torey Hayden, the number one Sunday Times bestselling author of One Child comes Lost Girl, a poignant and deeply moving account of a lost little girl and an extraordinary educational psychologist's courage and determination. Jessie is nine years old and looks like the perfect little girl, with red hair, green eyes and a beguiling smile. She even has a talent for drawing gorgeous and intricate pictures. But Jessie also knows how to get her own way and will lie, scream, shout and hurt to get just exactly what she wants. Her parents say they can't take her back, and her social workers struggle to deal with her destructive behaviour and wild mood swings. After her chaotic passage through numerous foster placements, Jessie has finally received a diagnosis of an attachment disorder. Attachment disorders arise when children are deprived of the all-important close bonds with trustworthy adults that allow them to develop emotionally and thrive. Finally educational psychologist Torey Hayden is called in to help. Torey agrees to weekly meetings with Jessie to try and uncover why she is acting out. Torey's gentle care and attention reveal shocking truths behind Jessie's lies. Can Torey and the other social workers help to provide the consistent loving care that has so far been missing in Jessie's life, or will she push them away too?
Based on a true story, The Forgotten Child is a heart-breaking memoir of an abandoned newborn baby left to die, his tempestuous upbringing, and how he came through the other side. It's a freezing winter's night in 1954. A baby boy, a few hours old, is left by his mother, wrapped in nothing but two sheets of newspaper and hidden amongst the undergrowth by a canal bank. An hour later, a late-shift postman is walking wearily home when he hears a faint cry. He finds the newspaper parcel and discovers the newborn, white-cold and whimpering, inside. After being rushed to hospital and against all odds, the baby survives. He's baptised by the hospital chaplain as Richard. Everything feels as though it's looking up; Richard is put into local authority care and regains his health. However, after nearly five blissful years in a rural care home filled with loving friends, it soon unfolds that his turbulent start in life is only the beginning... Based on a devastating true story, this inspirational memoir follows Richard's traumatic birth, abusive childhood, and search for the truth.
Sadly, southern Africa is no exception to this statement and every healthcare professional will see survivors of abuse during their career. One of the objectives of Child Abuse: Guidelines and Applications for Primary Healthcare Professionals is to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge to detect such abuse early. The authors provide detailed information on the risk factors and indicators of abuse, the ethical decisions around reporting, and in-depth clinical information for the clinician. Final chapters give information on the legal aspects of child abuse, including giving evidence in court and the avenues available to prosecute the perpetrator.
Child abuse is a problem we face in all our communities. Over the last few years people have been encouraged to speak out about abuse. Many schools have had to come to grips with dealing with this painful and complicated issue. This title will not turn you into an expert counsellor, but rather provide you with some basic tools to deal with abuse in schools. Educators have a duty to protect children from danger and make sure that schools are safe places for learning. Schools need to create environments for children that are safe and caring. Children are more likely to be open about their troubles in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
__________________________________________________________________ Bestselling author and psychologist Dr Susan Forward offers effective alternatives for achieving inner peace and freeing yourself from frustrating patterns of relationships with your parents. Millions of lives are damaged by the legacy of parental abuse: * Parents who ignored their children's needs or overburdened them with guilt. * Parents who were alcoholic or addicted to drugs. * Parents who were exploitative and cruel, or simply indifferent and inadequate. When these children reach adulthood the damage done by their toxic parents manifests itself in depression, or difficulties with relationships, careers and decision-making. In Toxic Parents, Dr Susan Forward shows why it is so difficult to put the past behind you and helps readers to confront this painful legacy with tested self-help techniques. With this book as your guide, you will discover an exciting new world of self-confidence, inner strength and emotional independence.
THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY BEHIND THE HIT TV DRAMA THREE GIRLS When detective Maggie Oliver first discovered that children as young as 10 were being groomed, abused and trafficked for sex by gangs of men in the Rochdale area, she felt like a lonely voice calling for people to act. Banging on closed doors, it seemed that nobody was able or willing to help her save these vulnerable girls, but she couldn't just sit back while countless lives were being destroyed forever in plain sight. Instead, she launched a one-woman campaign to bring down these sickening gangs. This is the heartbreaking and shocking story of how the actions of one determined detective secured convictions in what is now one of the most notorious grooming cases in the UK. Along the way Maggie discovered countless examples of how the authorities were letting down our most vulnerable children. She blew the whistle, losing her job and at times her mind in the process, in a bid to stop others from experiencing the same. This is the first ever account from a police insider on the endemic problem of child sexual exploitation across the nation and how these cases are handled by the authorities put in place to protect us. It tells the story of a woman brave enough to speak out when many tried to silence her and a group of girls who found the strength to tell the world about their experiences after having their lives completely shattered by their abusers; together they show in shocking detail why this must never happen again.
When Zoe was taken into care at the age of 13, she thought she was finally going to escape from the cruel abuse she had suffered throughout her childhood. Then social services placed her in a residential unit known to be 'a target for prostitution', and suddenly Zoe's life was worse than it had ever been before. Abused and ostracized by her mother, humiliated by her father's sexual innuendos, physically assaulted and bullied by her eldest brother, even as a young child Zoe thought she deserved the desperately unhappy life she was living. `I've sharpened a knife for you,' her mother told her the first time she noticed angry red wounds on her daughter's arms. And when Zoe didn't kill herself, her mother gave her whisky, which she drank in the hope that it would dull the miserable, aching loneliness of her life. One day at school Zoe showed her teacher the livid bruises that were the result of her mother's latest physical assault and within days she was taken into care. Zoe had been at Denver House for just three weeks when an older girl asked if she'd like to go to a party, then took her to a house where there were just three men. Zoe was a virgin until that night, when two of the men raped her. Having returned to the residential unit in the early hours of the morning, when she told a member of staff what had happened to her, her social worker made a joke about it, then took her to get the morning-after pill. For Zoe, the indifference of the staff at the residential unit seemed like further confirmation of what her mother had always told her - she was worthless. Before long, she realised that the only way to survive in the unit was to go to the `parties' the older girls were paid to take her to, drink the drinks, smoke the cannabis and try to blank out what was done to her when she was abused, controlled and trafficked around the country. No action was taken by the unit's staff or social workers when Zoe asked for their help, and without anyone to support or protect her, the horrific abuse continued for the next few years, even after she left the unit. But in her heart Zoe was always a fighter. This is the harrowing, yet uplifting story, of how she finally broke free of the abuse and neglect that destroyed her childhood and obtained justice for her years of suffering.
This is the personal story of a woman whose suffering has changed the law in America. By sharing her personal journey through the pain she has suffered, Erin Merryn proves that one person can make a difference in the lives of others.
The key missing piece of Jon Krakauer's multi million, multi territory bestseller and widely acclaimed Sean Penn film Into the Wild is finally revealed by his best friend and sister, Carine. The story of Chris McCandless, who gave away his savings, hitchhiked to Alaska, walked into the wilderness alone, and starved to death in 1992, fascinated not just New York Times bestselling author Jon Krakauer, but the rest of the nation too. Krakauer's book and a Sean Penn film skyrocketed Chris McCandless to worldwide fame, but the real story of his life and his journey has not yet been told - until now. Carine McCandless, Chris's sister, featured in both the book and film, was the person with whom he had the closest bond, and who witnessed firsthand the dysfunctional and violent family dynamic that made Chris willing to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled and volatile household that sent Chris on his fatal journey into the wild, Carine finally reveals the broader and deeper reality about life in the McCandless family. For decades, Carine and Chris's parents, a successful aerospace engineer and his beautiful wife, raised their children in the tony suburbs of Northern Virginia. But behind closed doors, her father beat and choked her mother. He whipped Carine and Chris with his belt. He cursed them, belittled their accomplishments, and told them they were nothing without him. Carine and Chris hid under the stairs, hoping to avoid his wrath. They were teenagers before they learned they were conceived while their father was still married and having babies with his first wife, who finally summoned the courage to leave him after he broke her back in a fight. In the 20-plus years since the tragedy of Chris's death, she has searched for some kind of redemption. But in this touching and deeply personal memoir, she reveals how she has learned that real redemption can only come from speaking the truth. Finally, she has found the truth not just in her brother's story, but also her own.
'A CHILLING new memoir by the daughter of mass murderer Fred West and his wife Rose describes the savage cruelty of her upbringing in 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester' DAILY MAIL 'Mae, I mean this ... I'm not a good person and I let all you children down ...' Rose West, HM PRISON DURHAM It has taken over 20 years for Mae West to find the perspective and strength to tell her remarkable story: one of an abusive, violent childhood, of her serial killer parents and how she has rebuilt her life in the shadow of their terrible crimes. Through her own memories, research and the letters her mother wrote to her from prison, Mae shares her emotionally powerful account of her life as a West. From a toddler locked in the deathly basement to a teen fighting off the sexual advances of her father, Mae's story is one of survival. It also answers the questions: how do you come to terms with knowing your childhood bedroom was a graveyard? How do you accept the fact your parents sexually tortured, murdered and dismembered young women? How do you become a mother yourself when you're haunted by the knowledge that your own mother was a monster? Why were you spared and how do you escape the nightmare?
Detective Sergeant Harry Keeble's bestselling books, Baby Xand Little Victimdescribed his early years in Hackney's Child Protection Unit, as he battled to get to grips with cases of horrific child abuse. In Hurting Too Much, a more experienced Harry relates a series of extraordinary cases he encountered with Ella, a young and newly qualified social worker. Together, Harry and Ella face the violence of forced marriage, the horror of maternal incest and the cruelty of child slavery. As the unrelenting caseload threatens to push the inexperienced Ella over the edge, Harry uncovers one of the most shocking cases of child abuse he's ever witnessed, forcing the duo to tread new ground in the search for justice. Harry's searing account reveals why working in Child Protection has never been so tough. It also shows why, despite the fact that so many courageous people are ready and willing to meet impossible challenges, we are still unable to reach all of the children who so desperately need our help.
The concluding volume of Dave Pelzer's million-copy bestselling memoir. 'I don't blame others for my problems. I stand on my own. And one day, you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself.' These words were eighteen-year-old Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother - a woman who had abused him with shocking brutality. But even years after he was rescued, his life remained a continual struggle. Dave felt rootless and awkward, an outcast haunted by memories of his years as the bruised, cowering 'It' locked in his mother's basement. Dave's dramatic reunion with his dying father and the shocking confrontation with his mother led to his ultimate calling: mentor to others struggling with personal hardships. From a difficult marriage to the birth of his son, from an unfulfilling career to an enduring friendship, Dave was finally able to break the chains of his past, learning to trust, to love, and to live.
A harrowing, yet inspiring true story of a young boy's abusive childhood, from internationally bestselling author Dave Pelzer. Brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother - Dave became a slave; he was no longer a boy, but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and unwashed, and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dog's bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational book of the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive. It is the first book in the My Story trilogy. 'His child's voice is immensely powerful and is an extraordinary testament to the human desire for survival.' Daily Mail 'This heartfelt true story of one child's courage to survive cannot fail to move you.' Heat 'It takes a personal testimony like Dave Pelzer's to bring home the horrors of child abuse - the secrecy, the shame, the struggle to survive.' Bel Mooney, Mail on Sunday 'Pelzer is able to continue his dreadful story in an admirably dispassionate style ... It is this cool tone that makes what he has to say even more compelling.' The Times
The story of Dave Pelzer is a legend of our times: the shattering tale of the child called 'It' who was forced to live in the basement. His mother was the perpetrator of the horror, but she had a willing accomplice. It was Dave's brother Richard - the author of this book. When Dave was twelve the police removed him from the household, but the cycle of abuse continued. Mrs Pelzer had a new target for her crazed, alcoholic wrath. The hunter became the hunted - at the age of nine. This is his story. Recounting the warped dynamics of a family riven by abuse, he reveals his guilt at being the abuser, his scarring at being abused, the complete lack of questioning within the family about what was happening - and even the twisted respect the boys had for their mother. Richard became the target of his mother's artillery of insanity, the victim of savage beatings leading to hospitalization, the boy denied clean clothes, the one who 'deserved' whole bottles of hot Tabasco sauce poured down his throat ...
AS SEEN ON 60 MINUTES This compelling memoir of family secrets, murder, sexual assault and domestic violence is also the gripping story of Renee's constant struggle to accept the truth and her true identity, and, ultimately, to forge a life on her own terms. From the outside, Renee McBryde had a fairly typical childhood - school, working mum, swimming lessons with loving grandparents. But waiting for her was a secret so awful that it would rock her to the core. Renee's mother was a teenage runaway who found herself pregnant and alone when Renee's father was jailed for killing two men. When Renee discovered the truth, she knew her life would never be the same again. She was a murderer's daughter - but that made her determined to escape the past. This is her sometimes shocking, often moving, inspirational true story of terrible secrets and tragic lies, and a life of abuse, suffering and survival.
Victim. Prostitute. Gangster's Wife. Survivor. Tara grew up in squalor on the island of Alderney. When she was only four, she was sexually abused by one of her mother's many lovers, a horror that continued for five long years. As a teenager, desperate to escape the toxic environment at home, she fled to London - but was swiftly drawn into working as a prostitute. She became involved with some of London's most notorious gangsters - even marrying one - but when she realised the danger she was inflicting on her children, she knew she had to find a way to get out. This is the inspiring story of one woman's will to survive, and to fight for a better life.
A stunning and poignant account of an extraordinary teacher's determination from the author of the #1 Sunday Times bestsellers The Tiger's Child and One Child. Jadie never spoke, never laughed, never cried. She spent every waking hour locked in her own private world of shadows. But nothing in Torey Hayden's experience had prepared her for the nightmare Jadie revealed to her when finally persuaded to break her self-imposed silence. It was a story too painful, too horrific for Hayden's professional colleagues to acknowledge. But Torey Hayden could not close her ears... or her heart. A little girl was trapped in a living hell of unspeakable memories. And it would take every ounce of courage, compassion, and love that one remarkable teacher possessed to rid the "Ghost Girl" of the malevolent spirits that haunted her.
The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage. Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn't have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn't make sense. Until I learned what had happened. ... Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.
Fourteen-year-old Adrianna arrives on Casey's doorstep with no possessions, no English, and no explanation. It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting the shocking answers to her questions.... Brought to Casey as a short-term emergency placement, fourteen-year-old Adrianna arrives with nothing but her gratitude. Having `turned herself in' to a social services office some hundred miles away, she has no possessions, no English and, apparently, no history - not that she's willing to share, anyway. She is a beautiful young Polish girl, with the bearing of a ballerina, but is terrified, malnourished and unwell. And, having slept rough for some time (the little they do know about her) she spends much of her first days with Watsons asleep in bed. Growing concerned about Adrianna's wellbeing, and her persistent high temperature, Casey decides to call in the GP. But, to her surprise, Adrianna becomes almost hysterical about being examined and, given her refusal to talk - even via the interpreter they've brought in for her - Casey's fostering antennae begin twitching. Where has she come from? And why is she so terrified to be touched? What has happened to make her so ill and scared? It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting answers to these questions. Shocking answers; ones that throw up a whole host of new questions and the beginnings of a journey to find justice for Adrianna, and, more importantly, a future, and a home...
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