Welcome to an increasingly cold week’s start and our topic for discussion.
Samantha Morton, actress and director, talks about her experience in care homes in Nottingham as a child, where she was sexually abused for years. She recalls feelings of fear, bullying and abuse. Samantha talks about being punched in the face by a young residential social worker for telling him to “F**** off”. She explains that abuse by residential social carers was prolific, and went all the way up the top of the ranks. She believes there is institutional prejudice right across government bodies and if someone at the top is corrupt, then this permeates throughout the system. Samantha explains that no one believed her when she complained and felt like she was punished for speaking out.
She says sexual abuse is a life sentence. Samantha also says that this is about grooming, poverty and vulnerability – the forgotten children who don’t have the strength or support to speak out.
Our question this week, then, is this: what do you feel is the root cause for this abuse – is it culture, poor management or something else entirely?