My name is David Harries and I am 38 years old and a survivor of child abuse. When I was 5/6 I used to climb out of my bedroom window and run away because of the abuse I was getting off my drunk father. I told my primary teachers of all the nasty things my dad was doing, it was all physical abuse very violent and very cruel/wicked. Social services were aware but never intervened for another three and half years which led me to get more damaged.
Just before my tenth birthday I was given a beating by my father for something I never did. Of course I ran away. The next day being hungry I stole a pack of three Mars bars and I got caught and when the police officer grabbed my arm I winched. Upon getting into the police station the officer made the Sergeant aware of my winching. A doctor looked me over and I had a bruise the the whole of my back. That’s when social services got involved. That’s when I was taken away from my mum.
The weird thing is how the social worker made ‘care’ sound comfortable and safe and creepily inviting. I have never forgot that day Whitney Houston’s track One Moment In Time was on the radio and my mum was broken in floods of tears and my dad never said a word(coward). The social worker took me to Elmfield house in Rochdale. I was put in a big bedroom with a big antique bed in it and I curled up and I fell asleep. Nobody checked to see if I was OK till about half past eight in the morning. Coming out of that room was the scariest moment. Eleven years of age and every single person around me was a stranger. They use to give you a clipper card to get to school and I used mine to go on a bus journey all over Manchester. When I got back I was frog marched into the office. The manager told the member of staff to leave and he belted me right around my head hard then slapped me across my back and bum. The place has been knocked down now plus the night watchman use to be on the girls landing all the time. He use to hit you in the private bits if he caught you out of your room, I can still remember in detail the inside of that place.
I was moved shortly after to Rotherham Keppel’s view. I was placed on Hood. There was two more units Anson/Nelson they also had a secure unit. There was physical abuse here too. In fact I ran off. About fourteen of us ran off and I played a role in helping another lad off Anson pinch the home van. I got the worse beating for that and was put in the secure bit to recover from it . Un-be-known to me my social worker had brought my mum and