19 September 2018 ·
I am a survivor of historic child sexual, emotional and psychological abuse that took place in the 1980’s in a state school in Scotland, these violations occurred between the ages of 12 and 15 years.
During this period I was frequently warned not to tell anyone because “in the eyes of God we were meant to be and no one would understand just now“. Over the following three years the sexual and emotional and psychological abuse intensified as did my isolation. In the early 90’s I reported these abuses to the local council whereupon the accused was suspended and moved to another local council, continuing to teach until recently.
Two years ago I felt compelled to examine why this had been allowed to happen to me at school and why the accused continued to teach. This was not done for retribution but to enable my own understanding and to make sure it would not happen again to another child. In taking my case to the police an investigation was launched. Frustratingly this ended in a “no comment” interview and subsequently no trial, no conviction or changes to the system.
Since then I have received an apology from the local council for the abuse that I suffered whilst a pupil at this school. I have also been offered compensation and I have instructed my solicitor to submit a review, primarily due to the prolonged and continued suffering that has infiltrated every aspect of my life both professionally and private as a result of these abuses.
Throughout this long and arduous forty year journey I have been intimidated and had establishments refute any knowledge of my abuse. I believe that no other child, male or female should ever have to suffer sexual or any other form of abuse at the hands of an adult who betrays their position of trust and power. As a result of this belief I have now submitted two petitions to the Scottish Parliament.
Petition 1: Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to endorse a public inquiry into the abuse of children within Scottish state schools, faith or otherwise.
Petition 2: Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to abolish the law of corroboration which requires two separate sources of evidence before a case can proceed to trial in child sexual abuse cases.
As ever I am hopeful that these petitions will be accepted and a date will be set allowing me to stand before a petitions committee and present my case.
It is my moral obligation having the understanding that I now have to draw attention to weaknesses that potentially could be allowing predators to remain within our schools and to seek justice and redress for the other victims including myself. Lack of action on my part would compound the complicity in what appears to be systemic failures in our society. In addressing these issues I then believe as a society we could confidently say that we will be further along the road of getting it right for every child. By encompassing the guiding principles of the United Nations protection and redress for victims of crime and human rights violation, coupled with those within the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. I believe and hope that this would also allow society to support the rehabilitation of the perpetrators.
This summer in Edinburgh I proudly carried a banner in “Processions”, marking one hundred years since the Suffragette movement started making inroads into a journey towards equality. On one side of my banner I painted “Walking tall, survivors of child abuse in state schools” and on the other side I painted Handel’s “Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verita”- The Triumph of Time and Truth. This beautiful music and many other musical colours have sustained me on this journey towards becoming a healthier and happier woman.
Throughout my journey, #Moving on it has become apparent that there are some loopholes that need to be closed. I am hoping that in passing the baton of responsibility to the Scottish Parliament these will be addressed, with the positive result of making the state schools in Scotland safer environments for our children.
It only leaves me to say thank you for taking the time to read about how I am #Moving on with my firm belief in hope, with my faith in humanity and with love.
Maryanne Pugsley 19 September 2018 ·… – Maryanne Pugsley …
Maryanne Pugsley 19 September 2018 · #Moving on I am a survivor of historic child sexual, emotional and psychological abuse that took place in the…