A good look at ourselves

Wendy and I were talking this morning about the results of the first year of our grooming research/survey. (Wendy is our counselling psychologist.)

When I set up our survey, I deliberately avoided race and religion questions. I think people are people.

Wendy encouraged me to add questions about ethnicity and religion. I realised I had been afraid to include those questions.

I have had to take a good hard look at myself, and am about to step into the fire…. It’s an uninformed look, and a plea for help.

I have come from a diversity and inclusion type school of thought, but having read some of the information put out by CharitySoWhite my thinking has changed. Only activism can change things, and just trying to be inclusive, in the face of what’s happening in the US right now, doesn’t seem enough.

I’ve happily written about Shamima Begum being groomed. This was particularly Islamic issue. What was so bad in this bright young woman’s life that going out to join a terrorist organisation seemed better? (And yes, I’m aware that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.) I felt, but didn’t dare voice the thought at the time, that it was racism and the uncomfortable status of muslims in our society that might have made going away seem attractive.

At the time of writing the survey, we were living in a society where anti-Muslim feeling was rife. We’d had bombings, Twin Towers, Lee Rigby, Paris and other ‘Muslim’ atrocities.

I was queued up in a coffee shop in Reading when a gentle mannered woman wearing a hijab felt the need to apologise to me – a complete stranger – for what was happening, to distance herself from it. I felt sad, and we chatted for a while, but frankly I should have been angry on her behalf. She should have been able to queue in exactly the same as I was, without having to give account – especially in Reading which has always been proudly multicultural. No-one blames every Christian each time a white ‘Christian’ does something.

Moreover, with all the talk of ‘Asian Grooming Gangs’ I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire, add racism to the mix. I can see now that this was just as inadvertently racist as not including those questions.

(Of course, it’s not just people of colour who experience racism – it’s also traveller communities/gypsies. Immigrants. Jewish people and people from other religions, including Pagans.)

How to put this right?

Here are my thoughts:

  • we will add those awkward questions to our survey and address issues head on;
  • it’s #VolunteerWeek, and whilst all volunteers are welcome, I would love someone with a deep understanding of race issues/racism to come and give us a hand to get it right;
  • we will use more inclusive images around the website. (I’ve been wary of suggesting that these groups might be groomers and adding fuel to the fire);
  • I am investigating the possibility of offering a black (or brown, or both) counsellor/psychologist free training in helping/handling grooming cases.

And here’s the tough one. I am well aware of the number of women who have been groomed into (legal in the UK) marriages by people already married under Sharia law, who wanted nothing more than their British passport and half of their targets’ wealth. I really need some support from within the Muslim community to help me address this and tackle it.

Help me out here, folk. What else can we do?

Get involved

Contact CAAge

Published by Claire (claireatwaves)

Founder, Waves PR To be found as claireatwaves in most social spaces. Helping people's reputations, online and off. Passionate advocate against adult grooming and groomers at CAAGe.org.

2 thoughts on “A good look at ourselves

  1. I’m a 58 year old man that never had kids because of birth defect caused me to have 3 chromazomes xxy so i adopted a boy who is now grown into a man and is away living life so when this 2 year old from foster care came into my life and caught me and would go all out to be the center of attention to me I enjoyed every minute with her now she’s 4 almost 5 and she told me a books worth of stories all pertaining to the after life and that we were friends there and that she had been killed by her grandmother before she was 1 and that her grandfather picked up her lifeless body and breathed life into her and that her grandmother was serving 20 years in prison because of killing her. When she had died she was immediately in Jesus arms and there were a crowd of people around them saying such nice things about the baby and I asked her about heaven and she had answers and I was writing a book about her experiences in heaven and as you can imagine something she said at daycare made them contact cps and then cps interrogated her and they claim I was abusing her but she says no Mikey didn’t hurt me in fact I have helped her to avoid a woman that wanted to abuse her I told her I would protect her and she would no longer have to be around that woman again but she would have to tell me if she sensed another person like that woman so I could protect her from being abused then cps claimed that I had abused her but she says she didn’t say anything of the sort to them like that so are they putting words in her mouth? Also I’ve been a victim of grooming and my last business partner did just that and has taken me for everything he could get and many many others have groomed me into a position of them benefiting and me losing everything. but as I read about what y’all are talking about I thought that I have been groomed by the 4 year old and she got me good also just like the others but she was meeting a need I’m me to have a daughter finally and I enjoyed buying her clothes and taking her to church to see her daddy as she had petted my beard and said Mikey I have 3 daddies you Mikey are my daddy and Joe and God and I have been greatful to be on her list of daddies then 8 told her that me and Joe would let her down in life but God would look after her and never let her down. She even warned me 15 times with tears streaming down her face she petted my beard and said she couldn’t bear the thought that someone would shoot me and that I would die and that she would never see me again then she said I don’t want to lose you again so I asked her what do you mean again? She said that when she had died and immediately was in heaven that i was there and we had many great adventures together in heaven where she rode on my shoulders and we went everywhere together. And then when she had to come back to her life here she lost me so I asked her honey what did I look like there? In my disbelief. she simply said. Just As You Do Now. I have been awestruck over all her stories and horrified that cps says that I sexually touched her so they could remove this remarkable child from the forever foster home where I was able to see her and in so many ways I’ve felt groomed by her as one time she told me Mikey I’m older than you realize so I asked her more questions like did you wear diapers in heaven she said yes then got into little girl panties then i asked did you have a birthday there she said she had her 1st and 2nd birthday there and that made sense since she was already potty trained when my dear friends got her at 2 and they got no information on what the first 2 years of her life was like. And she knew big words unlike any 4 years old ever and she was right about someone wanting to kill me so I changed my looks and drove a different car and did life differently and avoided the person that was out to get me then that person said something about me that made cps take her out of her foster care home and away from me but I have done nothing remotely wrong with my child that I’ve felt God had given me as a gift to make me feel fulfilled at having a daughter for the first time. I was so blessed then it’s all been ripped away and turned into something dirty and I’m going to be taking a lie detector test next week to prove my innocence. could it be possible that she was using me because I really don’t want to think that she as a 4 yrs old would hatch such a plan I’m so sad that this has all happened and as I hear from the people she’s being fostered by she loves her Mikey and flat out says she didn’t say that to the cps but they say she said it what am I to do I was like her daddy and I was treating her like she was mine dressing her up in all pink and taking her to church to see God she told me the first time that she didn’t get to see God as she had been in Jesus arms she expected to get to see Him there but since she didn’t have any church experience she without training raised her arms and swayed with the music of worship and praise to Jesus and I’m under an impression that these writings that I’ve been doing about her may have gotten to someone senister that quite possibly took her out of this home through using these tactics as a guise cause she is a very special child and I’m looking at having to go to court to refute these horrible accusations against me that are blatantly false aligations. On the other hand I don’t know if she would be capable of creating the stories to rope me in so to speak to get attached and have me turn over my substanchel inheritance to her alone when I die as I’m already feeling very sick and seeing where others have taken advantage of me for years. here I am alone with thoughts of what just happened how did it happen again but to be taken advance of by a 4 year old is hard to imagine. Please help me to understand more thank you I remember one time she was sitting on the bed with my 87 year old mom and I walked up to her and thrust my face close to hers and she fell backwards onto the bed and I said I feel old I look old I am old she gently petted my beard and said And I will love you all the more. I have so many really good stories that I was planning to put into a book but now I’m feeling dirty and I’m feeling abused see I didn’t see that coming and didn’t even know that it was possible. I’m extremely sad now cause I have lost the most precious gift and I feel like I’m in a war and don’t know who I’m fighting against as she feels the same way one time she asked me if she ever had to go to another home would I follow her there I told her I would but that my friends were going to adopt her and that this was going to be her forever home. Well now she is gone and we don’t know where and probably will never know.

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    1. Hi Mikey. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I personally don’t think that you have been groomed by a pre-schooler, but do think that this poor little girl sounds very troubled. I hope that wherever she is now she’s getting a lot of appropriate care.
      I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling bad, and would suggest that a really good counsellor might help you to unravel a lot of these very confusing and confused thoughts for you and work out what’s really happened and happening. May we wish you good luck in unravelling it all and finding some peace. Let us know how you get on.

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