Wall of Silence continues

1:00 pm, April 15, 2016

Following the enormous success of the  Wall of Silence launch in January and the exhibition held at London City Hall in February, we have been inundated with messages from well-wishers across the media.

In many ways it is extremely difficult and contradictory to use words like “success” given the context and the content on the wall: the heartbreaking tragedy that is there, right in front of our eyes, for all to see.

But success in this instance stands for giving power to victims and survivors, providing them with the rightful opportunity to have a voice and to make that voice heard. Success means making others aware of just what it means to face abuse, what it really means to battle to survive that abuse, to make it through and to reclaim our lives.

Tragically, the wall also displays the pain and anguish of so many: the ultimate death of so many innocent individuals. Yet within the wall lies hope, within the wall lies courage, tenacity, determination, the will to go on and on until we cannot go any further, and then to go twice as far until we reach our goal: freedom, emancipation.

The many comments left in the message books provided at each exhibition are so poignant, heartfelt and touching that we wanted what the exhibition has meant to many, many people:

“One of the most powerful exhibitions I’ve ever seen, a stunning tribute to those who survived and those who didn’t”  

“Amazing brave and candid stories with some messages of hope. Thank you”

“An extremely powerful and emotionally charged display of personal images and words that tugs at the heart of the issues. Each must play his or her part in ending the abuse of our children” 

Without doubt these two exhibitions exceeded our hopes and are likely to continue to do so. We’ve already confirmed three further venues in Dorset, Wales and Avon and Somerset Police Headquarters in North Somerset in May. The very fact that the police themselves have requested the exhibition is held in the heart of their operation speaks volumes for their genuine recognition and acknowledgement of what child abuse means: its impact, the awful nightmare of complex post-traumatic stress disorder that follows, and the very battle to survive.

The police, and in particular PC Mike Steven, are to be applauded for their efforts in helping charities like Southmead Project dismantle the wall of silence surrounding child abuse. They have allowed us once again to illustrate in such dramatic fashion, what child abuse really is and what child abuse really means.

Dr Mike Peirce MBE

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