Prof Freda Briggs AO, Emeritus Professor Child Development

Freda saying it how it is!

“This book is a sensitive and detailed account of one woman’s struggle to overcome the effects of severe childhood trauma.  As a professor of child development I am all too aware of the importance of nurture and care in the early years and the long-term disastrous effects of abuse.  Cathy’s book highlights some of the creative ways in which child victims cope with horrendous experiences.  It shows the typical refusal of the mother to believe and protect her child and stop the abuse.  It shows how hard it can be for adult survivors to live comfortable in loving sexual relationships and the strain this imposes on partners and family members.  When children are not supported, they may push their traumatic experiences to a corner of the memory where they remain until a trigger leads to their return.


Cathy’s capacity to dissociate as a child helped to save her and her ability to repress all memory of her abuse allowed her to function to some extent.  But still, she knew that something was wrong.  Her survival as a child and again as an adult coming to terms with her trauma is a testament to human resilience.  Child sex abuse is known to be one of the greatest contributors to later mental illness, substance abuse, self harm and suicide.  I hope her story will encourage others to create a safer and more caring world for children.”