Nobody else believes her, mainly, it seems, because Claridge had labelled her as an unnaturally promiscuous child who would throw herself at his groin. They believed him instead.
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Her sisters were too terrified to speak up. In today's climate, it seems incredible that a child who has mustered the courage to speak up would be disbelieved. There is a particularly harrowing moment in the first Newsnight film in which a much more fragile and vulnerable Shy than the one I am talking to today breaks down in front of the cameras and cries, 'He was a horrible, fat, bald, disgusting man! He was a repulsive, horrible man and you wouldn't go near him with a barge pole unless you had to!
She shakes her head wearily. Whenever she tried to tell her mother, she got a beating and was accused of trying to 'steal' Claridge away.
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Listening to Shy's account of his depravity, it is as if she is describing some kind of sub-human species. Aside from contemplating the fact that Claridge maintained that he too had been abused as a child in a care home, the damage and cruelty he afflicted on the little helpless girls and countless others - he kept birds especially to attract local children - is so profound that his own sickness does not invite any attempt at a considered, intellectual response.
Her mother, on the other hand? How could she not save her? How could she beat her? At one point, she all but walks in on it. She was mentally, emotionally incapable and inadequate and I think she was broken in her own way.
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I think she always thought she was having him over, when all along he was having her over. He spotted her a mile off. He took one look at her and thought "easy target". It was only after becoming a mother herself, Shy reluctantly admits after gentle pressing 'I will not talk about them, I cannot talk about them. I have to keep that life separate' that her mother's failings truly came into focus: 'I had always believed up until then that it must have been too hard for her,' she says, 'but it is so very, very easy to love your children, easy peasy to nurture them, and protect them and care for them.
It was absolutely astonishing to me. Being a parent doesn't allow you to have a single issue. It was a massive lesson and it was also one of the most painful because I saw how natural it was to love them and cherish them and not hurt them. By , Shy had been institutionalised for violent behaviour and branded by social services as being sexually aggressive.
Once in care, the sexual abuse continued, perpetrated by various members of staff. In , Shy's mother died.
On the day of the funeral Claridge and an accomplice buggered her with a bottle, which shattered inside her. She was taken to hospital, almost bleeding to death. She told the medical staff that strangers had attacked her on a train. The same year, Claridge wrote to her in the care home.
The letter included a reference to her having performed oral sex on him.
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It was passed to the police and he was convicted of indecent assault. Her two sisters were allowed to return home with him, by now their sole carer, under a supervision order. I tell Shy that I find it incomprehensible that the system failed the girls so catastrophically. That could not happen now, could it? She shakes her head. But I know children are being let down still, not necessarily by the system but because they are too frightened to speak of it and there is nobody to tell.
For Shy, her emotional saviour even in the bleakest moments seems to have been an aunt and uncle who showed her kindness and love and who, unbeknown to her, were thwarted in their attempt to adopt her: 'Even back then I knew what Stan was doing was wrong. I knew the difference between that wrong person there and that person there,' she explains.
Uncle Ken gave me that, he let me understand what normal love was supposed to be about and he gave me this ability to know that there was good and bad and not just bad. Their tiny ray of light in my dark miserable childhood gave me hope, balance and a dream to cling to. In Broken, she expresses her amazement at how even just the tiniest bit of love was enough to save her: 'But it was and it did. So, if I'm ever asked how we can help children we don't know who are victims,' she writes, 'I would always say, do your best to be someone's Aunt Pat and Uncle Ken. It is difficult to reach any clear understanding of what happened to Shy Keenan between and , which is where her life comes back into focus.
Back when she was in her teens she had an epiphany that she would never be abused by Claridge and his friends again, and she wasn't.
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She ran away and lived rough on the streets of London. She fell in with a criminal crowd and was a whisker away from prostitution, but because she was what she calls a FROW Fuck Right Off Wanker , she got involved in cheque-book fraud instead and for a while cruised around London in a Porsche, lived in Kensington and checked into hotels like the Hilton under the name of Lady Ponsonby-Wootton.
I look at her in amazement. I was very, very stupid and I got caught. All those rules about what is not possible, well, I didn't have those rules. I didn't care. She was sent to a children's detention centre called Derwent House, where she was abused again. She ran away and attempted to commit suicide. After being talked down from the building she confessed to more crimes in London and was eventually jailed at Bullwood Hall in Essex for six months. It is hard to think of more inappropriate reading material for a woman subjected to years of paedophiliac abuse and violence. She becomes animated when I suggest this: 'Those awful books with their heroines!
They wouldn't let me write that in my book, but I still can't look at them without going back there in my mind. In trying to map a graph of Shy's life, her reluctance to talk about her adult years is frustrating. In Broken, she skates over some major events - presumably because her publisher asked her to - but not in any sufficient or satisfying depth and she will not elaborate now when questioned.
Whom did she marry at 18, I ask? She went to Germany with him. She shakes her head: 'Can't talk about it. I said to them I will not write my adult memoirs. I am not ready for that. She reveals she worked in the music business, loved motorbikes and made lots of biker friends. In her early thirties she had a late miscarriage, which tipped her into a deep depression. She eventually sought the help of the mental-health charity Mind, which, along with friends and her love of music, helped her get better. Another factor in favour of electronic publishing is the lack of a visible cover.
Cooper notes that "part of the appeal of digital reading is that nobody necessarily knows what you're reading. If you've got a Kindle then no one knows what you're reading. It's not about embarrassment, really—it's more that you don't want to be judged, and we are often judged by what we read.
The more sexually explicit Spice imprint sells particularly well in electronic format, compared to the Modern imprint which is the most successful in print. The company has been criticised for repeating plots, the inevitability of their happy endings, and a simple writing style, whereas fans cite predictability as a key reason for reading.
The publisher was falsely accused of providing authors with templates for their stories. There is no template or standard outline and authors are allowed full artistic freedom. There are, however, genre conventions that need to be met to be successful. One critic claimed that the genre promotes misogyny and the sexual submission of women to men. Julie Bindel writes "I would go so far as to say it is misogynistic hate speech. This was often true in older novels but changed over the years; modern novels feature more active protagonists.
Even later, when other aspects are influenced by feminism and the shifting attitudes outside the novel, the men are masterful and stern. It is a type I loathe and detest. I imagine in all women, deep down inside us, is a primitive desire to be arrogantly bullied. They must be the sort of men who are capable of rape". In modern novels, popular hero archetypes are Arab sheikhs, Italian billionaires, Greek tycoons, and princes.
He will be more outrageous to the heroine, and harder on her. He realises he is beginning to feel, he has to resolve that conflict. She made the claim in her paper "'He seized her in his manly arms and bent his lips to hers…'. She suggests that a romance reader may "not [use] protection with a new man because she wants to be swept up by the moment as a heroine would.
Relationships of romance readers are more likely to break down because they are likely to think that "rather than working at her relationship she should be hitching her star to a new romance. The books are highly branded and are often in a separate section of bookshops and libraries from the other paperback fiction and romance novels.
Common themes are rich, ennobled and initially unattainable males often of Mediterranean—especially Greek—origin , the desire of a character to have a baby with this being thwarted by infertility or an unsympathetic husband , and the breakup and mending of a relationship. Several titles are published monthly in most imprints.
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These are all identifiable by a series title and sometimes sub-series title as well as a colour border which differs depending on the country in which the title is published :. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it. Retrieved 29 March Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University Press.
Retrieved 8 June Retrieved 27 December Retrieved 1 October Classes and Cultures: England — Oxford: Oxford University Press, , p. The Guardian. British Broadcasting Corporation. Evening Standard.