Innocence Revisited: A Story in Parts

Praise for a child abuse victim’s remarkable journey – beyond survival to support for others

Adults Surviving Child Abuse congratulates Dr Cathy Kezelman on her memoir ‘Innocence Revisited: a tale in parts’

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23 February 2010: Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) today congratulated ASCA Chairperson Dr Cathy Kezelman on the release of her memoir – hailing her courage and a decade of leadership in breaking the silence around child abuse.

ASCA is the key organisation advancing the needs of more than two million Australian adults who have experienced child abuse. Author, Dr Cathy Kezelman, is the Chairperson of ASCA, an adult survivor and a prominent campaigner for the rights of adult survivors of child abuse in Australia. Her memoir, Innocence Revisited, will be launched on Saturday 27th February at Gleebooks in Sydney at 4pm.

ASCA’s Executive Officer Susan Leith-Miller says “Cathy is one of Australia’s most courageous advocates for child abuse survivors. She has spoken out fearlessly about this culturally taboo subject for many years – working tirelessly to see the needs of millions of Australian adult survivors acknowledged and addressed.

“Innocence Revisited is an extraordinary story of survival which recounts Cathy’s intensely personal journey of recovery from a childhood of severe trauma through chaos and confusion and onto a healthy and productive life.

“To allow the process of healing to begin, it is important for survivors to name their crime, tell their story, and for that story to be heard empathically and without judgment. Having lived with traumatising secrets for so long, this validation, coupled with professional and community support, and understanding, can help a survivor overcome their feelings of shame and self-blame and work towards a brighter future.

“ASCA commends Cathy for her honesty, courage and determination to create a shift in societal attitudes where greater community awareness and understanding and the right programs can help other adult survivors of child abuse work through the impacts of their own abuse,” she said.

Leith-Miller said society pays the price of child abuse on many levels. In 2008-9, there were 54,500 substantiated reports of child abuse in Australia. True figures are estimated to be at least 5 times official figures. Children who have been mistreated are at risk of a range of mental health problems including: depression, post-traumatic stress, dissociation, low self-esteem, social problems, suicidal behaviour, and substance abuse. Social, behavioural, mental and physical health issues continue into adulthood and often into old age.

“No child should suffer in this way, but so many do. Cathy’s determination to reclaim her life and tell her story of recovery is testament to the courage and strength many adult survivors muster on a daily basis to live normal lives. The problems of child abuse remain a challenge for our society, but with advocates like Cathy, we can start to heal old wounds,” Leith-Miller concluded.

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Read an extract from the address given by Mark Tedeschi QC, Senior Crown Prosecutor, NSW on launching Innocence Revisited in our Survivors’ Stories section by clicking here.

To order your copy of Innocence Revisited go to Jo Jo Publishing  www.jojopublishing.com.au