Who will listen to special needs? The law must accommodate everyone in society – special needs must have a Voice!  Listen to the mother and her son’s story!

Recently in a Sky News report regarding the Caroline Flack unfortunate incident, they stated that “the CPS laid out how it comes to prosecution decisions, saying it does not make the decision over someone’s guilt but instead whether they should face a court.

I think someone who sexually abuses a special needs little boy should face a court.  Don’t you?  Here is a mother’s story……………

Hearing about the sad events leading up to Caroline Flack’s death and the comments since, made my skin crawl and brought back such horrific memories.

My special needs son was so young.  One of his many problems is severe speech and language, he can barely put a sentence together, so to hear those disgusting sexual words from him, and watch as he correctly gestured what they meant, when he spent most of his day in ‘Disney world,’ was an unbelievable shock.

In this Sky report, the CPS, also said it has to ask two questions when making the decision: “Does the evidence provide a realistic prospect of conviction?” and “Is it in the public interest to prosecute?”

How is an incident between two adults, which has since allegedly been described as an accident, in the public interest?

The constant physical, mental and sexual abuse of special needs IS in the public interest.

I asked the CPS at the time of my son’s incident, ‘if someone wants to sexually abuse a child, and doesn’t want to get caught, I suppose a special needs child is the best choice?
The reply from the CPS Investigator was ‘Yes’. “Unless, someone else comes forward and mentions the same person/s, there is nothing more we can do.”

He told us.  He showed us.  He made drawings.  He played with dolls and showed us.  He acted out at school. The school agreed.  An eminent Psychiatric Professor agreed. He told me where it happened, he took me there and showed me where it happened, he gave names, but you wouldn’t pursue it.

Am I bad Mummy? he asked me

His drawings were clear for all to see.

‘So are you saying there are different laws for special needs children?’ I enquired.  ‘Their evidence would not stand up in court’, was the reply.

So basically, although through no fault of their own, special needs children cannot prosecute and are laid totally vulnerable by society?  At the time, I was the only person who was his ‘voice’; naturally, as his mother, the only one who understood what he was saying.  We were told that all evidence from him would not be admissable in court because it would be treated as ‘hearsay’.  The law needs to change.  Those less able need to have a Voice!

From my experience I can tell you, you would not wish this on your worst enemy.  Everyone gets affected.  To feel no-one is listening or taking you seriously is a feeling unbelievably hard to carry.  If I could have taught him to do this, which was one of the reasons they gave me for not pursuing his case, then it’s a miracle!  If that’s possible, why can’t I teach him to talk in sentences then?

An ex CPS prosecutor wrote a message on Twitter describing, in his view, why ‘victimless prosecutions’ was being used in the Caroline Flack case.  “Let me explain why ‘victimless’ prosecutions (evidence based prosecutions as they are actually known) are pursued in the public interest if a ‘victim’ does not or cannot support the case.  He went on to say that to avoid domestic homicides, of which there were 120+ which were obviously prosecuted without victims’ evidence, prosecutors pursue the former.”  He added “Sometimes you need to protect someone even when they can’t see it themselves.”

So why was my son different?  Why wasn’t he offered ‘victimless prosecution’? Why didn’t you protect him?  He gave you all the evidence, and you call it ‘hearsay’!

Special needs, even more so, need protecting.  Why are special needs NOT treated like human beings?  There is a rule for one and a rule for the other.

My son needed protecting.  Other children need protecting from these people.  Yet you did nothing!  We have had to pick up the pieces, alone.  Move forward, trying to explain what happened, trying to understand ourselves.  It was hell leaving him at school or letting him go out on trips, just in case someone would approach him and the school didn’t realise.  I lived my life in total fear.  We received no justice, no closure.

Superintendent Gordon McCreadie, Scotland Police’s former lead for domestic abuse, is worried about the allegations too, saying that it is a “very dangerous step to blame prosecutors”, warning it could lead to victims being blamed for reporting abuse allegations.

How wrong you are Superintendent.  Victims are blamed when the law is not on their side.  You have no idea the strength you have to find to come forward, the affect on everyone, to then find that the ‘prosecutors’ attitude is that time was wasted, and special needs will just have to learn to live with it.  No justice will be coming their way.

A domestic abuse survivor also commented in the report saying “The CPS and police had every right and responsibility to charge her (referring to Caroline Flack).

“We cannot not prosecute alleged domestic abusers because they may kill themselves… the police could have used victimless prosecution too without the victim’s input.”

In the particular case of the alleged assault by Caroline Flack, she has reportedly said it was an accident; the ‘victim’ didn’t want to pursue the case, yet her story was front page news.

However, my son’s life was not splashed into the public domain and media.  Why would they?  He’s not a ‘public figure’.  Why would the media care about my son? Why would the media support a change in the law to help special needs cases?

Yes I am angry.  We have a hard enough time as it is – some people shouting in public that people like us ‘should be dead’ ; some places asking my son to wear an identity cord around his neck so that he clearly is marked as having special needs and sticks out.  The reason being that staff and people can clearly see he has special needs.  Why? It feels like he is wearing the Star of David!   You are not going to look after him.  I am.

He doesn’t want to stick out, he wants to be accepted for who he is!

Just recently, I went to try some clothes on in a women’s shop and walked towards the disabled cubicle.  The assistant stopped us saying, he can’t go in there.  I enquired as to why.  He would be inside with me, and no trouble to anyone else.  She said it was company policy.  I asked if she would let me take him in if he were wearing a dress.  She replied, ‘oh that’s different, yes’.  I continued to the cubicle saying ‘well, it’s my policy that he comes with me’.  People who are less able work twice as hard every day to be accepted into your world.  Their families suffer in silence. 

“Sometimes you need to protect someone even when they can’t see it themselves.” they say.  Why is my son treated differently when evidence is there?