In Cleveland in 1987 a medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse was made in 127 children, resulting in their removal from home. The consequent intense scrutiny and public criticism around the case, together with the subsequent Butler-Sloss inquiry, resulted in the medical evidence being discredited, giving rise to a system which relies on children to speak out about their abuse. This book argues that this 1987 crisis continues to shape child protection today, resulting in opportunities to protect children being missed.
Now re-issued with a substantial new introduction and concluding reflections, this book provides the only account by key professionals directly involved in the Cleveland cases, allowing readers to understand what really took place in Cleveland and why it continues to matter today. It analyses the many failures to address the plight of sexually abused children and makes constructive suggestions for the way forward to provide more effective interventions for children at risk.
Sue Richardson is a psychotherapist in independent practice. In her former post of Child Abuse Consultant to Cleveland Social Services Department, she was a key figure in events leading to the Butler-Sloss Inquiry.
Heather Bacon was a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, specialising in work with children and families for over 30 years, now retired. She worked in Cleveland throughout the 1987 crisis.
Why Cleveland still matters: connections with a new era ~ Heather Bacon and Sue Richardson;
From Colwell to Cleveland 1973 to 1988 ~ Marjorie Dunn;
A framework of belief ~ Sue Richardson and Heather Bacon;
The medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse: the paediatrician’s dilemma ~ Geoffrey Wyatt and Marietta Higgs;
After the medical diagnosis: everyone’s dilemma ~ Geoffrey Wyatt and Marietta Higgs;
The continuum of disclosure ~ Sue Richardson;
Seen but not heard: the children of Cleveland ~ Heather Bacon;
The unwanted message: child protection through community awareness ~ Hilary Cashman and Annette Lamballe-Armstrong;
Questions not answers: progressing the debate ~ Sue Richardson and Heather Bacon;
Thirty years later: how far have we progressed? ~ Heather Bacon and Sue Richardson.
"This updated and expanded edition has current relevance for those striving to protect children from sexual crime who, like the Cleveland professionals, similarly witness the silencing of abused children and face brick walls of denial, disbelief and interference with their practice. The authors, who in 30 years have never ceased to proactively protect children, provide direction and inspiration to those following in their footsteps." Liz Davies, London Metropolitan University
"By shedding light behind the headlines in Cleveland, this book highlights ill-informed societal discourses about sexual abuse... The new additions show the relevance of analysis of this high-profile case, and its insights should significantly inform current efforts to curtail abuse." Elly Hanson, Clinical Psychologist