Last night I watched an utterly harrowing and affecting documentary on More 4. I don’t know if this has been on before but it is so powerful and definitely worth a watch on the catch up. You probably didn’t see it, because only someone as relentlessly depressing as me puts themselves through such painful stuff. I watched the one where they set up a camera on the Golden Gate Bridge to watch people topping themselves, too, and that was a laugh a minute as well, let me tell you.
Chosen was basically three interviews with three men who were abused by the same couple of teachers (and their friend) at a private boarding school at the age of 11. It was very simply shot, with no fancy special effects or reconstructions. It was literally just head shots of the men being interview interlaced with some photographs of them as boys. The fact that you could be so gripped by that for two hours tells you everything about the powerful nature of their words and their stories. I was totally lost in it, and afterwards I felt like their stories had become a part of my psyche, if that doesn’t sound too dramatic (oh, it does).
I was struck by the sheer dignity of these men; and how brave and strong they must have been as children to endure such horrific crimes. They were all so eloquent and composed on the surface; but you could see them falter often as they talked about the horrors they had been subjected to; and it was utter horror, repeated over and over. You could see how real it was to them even now, how it was just seared onto their memory forever. You can’t ever escape it or get over it, I suspect, you just have to learn to deal with it.
The loss of innocence, the fear, and the weight of keeping the secret all took their toll. I was impressed with the honesty of all three of the men, who admitted as victims they had felt special, it just became normal to be raped and it did not occur to them to tell their parents, and had even felt jealous when they found out they weren’t the only ones.
I can’t begin to imagine the inhumanity of their teachers, and that matron, who just looked on, but eventually blew the whistle. But even when the whistle was blown; the events were played down, the teachers got away with it, and the parents even sent the boys back to the school.
Not until years later once their parents had died did the men take action. On of the men said poignantly ‘our parents had thrown us to the lions’ but that instinct to protect their parents from the reality of the real harm that had been done to them was so strong. That was something amazing in itself, that they wanted to protect their parents, the way their parents had not been able to protect them. Some had not spoken of what happened in 30 years. Some victims would not come forward. But they had to speak out, because the abuse could have still been going on.
As it was, one of the teachers got sentenced to a miserly 12 months. The other got off scot-free, due to the passage of time/ good character/ blah blah blah. I don’t consider child abusers to be of good character, ever. The judges who make these decisions are just closet paedos themselves as far as I’m concerned; how else could they hand down such sentences? I hope they watch this film and weep and repent, because they need to. You could see the truth in the men’s eyes as they told their stories; it’s written there for all to see. The fact that one of the victims could describe the headmasters twisted testicle seemed to account for nothing. Their words; nothing.
Yet the grown men, the victims did not seem bitter. Utterly damaged forever, yes, but they forged own lives for themselves, with wives and children. They seemed glad they had stood up and been counted. They just wanted it not to happen again, ever. I don’t want to think that this could still happen these days.
But it will. And here my liberalness dissolves; because I say kill child abusers of this kind. Any man who can rape a child does not deserve to exist on this planet, and if that makes me sound Daily Mail, then I don’t give a shit. Because it can’t be more wrong than that headmaster, a man in a position of such trust, still being allowed to breathe air after raping children. It’s like knowing the bogeyman is still alive.
And what is the point in that? Just take the old man out and shoot him.