When we first began Survivors Voice Europe in Rome in 2010, we always knew that modern technology and communication was going to be very important to us.
All of us survivors recognised that we all had felt extremely isolated, either geographically, or in the case of our wonderful deaf and speech impaired friends, by their disability.
Isolation is a tool that the church has relied upon for centuries, they are well aware of how isolated each one of us has felt and they would like to keep it that way!
Many of us were abused BECAUSE we were in some way isolated, just like the weakest of the wildebeest, singled out and vulnerable.
When we all met that first time in Rome, in the office of the Radicali party, none of us had any idea what to expect, I, for example, had gone along really on a whim, after being contacted by Gary and Bernie from the U.S.
The room was deathly quiet, none of us knew how to begin communicating, indeed we were all a bit wary of each other, because we didn’t speak the same language and we didn’t know who was a survivor and who not!
But gradually, as we found ways of translating and using sign language, something really amazing happened, and for me it was life changing.
We unlocked a prison gate that many of us had been trapped behind for years, and the words and the tears and the absolute knowledge of the shared pain of our abuses became a bond that will stay certainly with me forever. I met people I felt I had known and loved my whole life. I connected with Ton from Holland, who could easily have been my twin, separated at birth! (although I know he would tell you I am older!)
David from the USA came and hugged me, and then Alda from Verona, Gianni, Monika, Paola, Davide from Senigallia , Tommaso from Rome, then everyone else!
I had arrived, I was HOME!
We realised that what had been denied to us, that it is our CONNECTIONS that will make us strong!
Since then we have stayed connected, and have connected with many many more, from Australia, from Hawaii, from Canada, Germany, Russia, Thailand, and from Poland and we grow and grow those connections almost daily.
I decided my role would be really to help empower survivors and help them in turn get strong, so I used my “day job” to spread tips and tricks to help people recover from this worst betrayal of body and trust.
I continue to give talks all over the country to tell everyone about all of my brave wonderful dignified survivor family and what we are doing.
I have been privileged that a few of them have been to stay here with me in England, and have spent some wonderful memorable times with them in Verona, Rome, Boston USA and Holland.
You keep me focused and YOU make me strong!
Of course the language and time differences can be a bit of a challenge! But we survivors are tenacious and adaptive and we always find a way! e mails, social networking, all make it easier for us to connect, and then there is SKYPE! this has meant that I can have wonderful face to face conversations with you from all over the World! A connection that none of us in our isolation would have believed possible.
So as we see the church continue to play their divisive and dirty games, we need more than ever to stay connected.
Some of you aren’t able to access SKYPE if that is the case please keep e mailing!
For those that do, this is my SKYPE address;
Even if we don’t speak each other’s language we can give each other a smile and maybe blow a kiss!
I am usually at home on a Sunday so if you see me on line give me a call! We are so much stronger together!