Read this book. You will be drawn into Linda’s story, which will keep you turning the pages. You will want to know what happened to her and how she survived the unthinkable sexual abuse by her mother.
But this is more than just an excellent memoir recounting terrible childhood traumas – it is insightful and pithy, and it brings you into a world the majority of us have thankfully never experienced. It is a hidden world which we need to know about and understand. Sane Enough is important, not only for survivors who will be comforted to know they are not alone, but also for their families, professionals and anyone who cares about children.
When I began writing in the 1980s about sexual abuse of children, there was disbelief that anyone could do such things to children and babies. Those of us who were declared as experts decided that sexual abuse was perpetrated by men and was the result of male power. Therefore women could not be sexual abusers of children, even though we knew that women battered, emotional abused and sometimes killed children. But sexually abuse? No.
Many years later, while speaking at a conference, a young man approached me and with tears in his eyes said, ‘You know it isn’t only men who do this.’ That brought me up short, and I started asking audiences on radio and television if any of them had been sexually abused by a woman. The response was overwhelming – hundreds came forward saying they thought they were the only ones that had been abused by mothers, aunts, grandmothers, babysitters. So I wrote a book, Female Sexual Abuse of Children, with their stories – and was attacked by my fellow experts for doing such a disservice to women.
That is history, but it is true that today sexual abuse by women is still rarely spoken of or written about by professionals or those who are survivors. I am impressed that Linda Day has had the fortitude and will to write Sane Enough. She is an inspiration to us all.
Dr. Michele Elliott, OBE
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