The claim by Karen Danczuk that she was abused by her brother “hundreds of times” from the age of six years old was treated with incredulity by the media. The first Mail article six days ago mostly concentrated on the indignation of Karen’s brother, Michael Burke, and the awful time he was having because of her accusations. He called her story “an outrageous falsehood.”Karen Danczuk, was described by the Mail as “the selfie-obsessed, publicity-hungry wife of Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk. Over the past fortnight, the 31-year-old’s claim that she was sexually abused as a child has been splashed across national newspapers — along with her argument that her predilection for posing in risque selfies is her way of coping with the trauma of her ordeal.”
Her brother Michael in an exclusive interview, said Karen was lying and made much of the fact that most of the family sided with him. The Mail quoted Karen’s mother as saying “many of her daughter’s memories are ‘a figment of her imagination’; an exercise in ‘attention-seeking’ by a woman enjoying her moment in the limelight.” Karen’s father at first supported her story, but then did an about-face.
The Mail made much also of the way Karen has kept in touch with her family, attending weddings and family occasions, as though nothing bad had ever happened at all.
Unfortunately for the Mail, the only thing the article proved was that they know absolutely nothing of the issues of child abuse. The stupidity of the newspaper is further revealed because two more women have now come forward with tales of child abuse involving Karen’s brother and he has been rearrested. I’m no psychiatrist. If I can read between the lines before the second arrest, why can’t they?
The Mail should have known these basic facts:
1) In cases of rape, sexual abuse or violence involving children, it is textbook that most or all family members deny it ever took place. Some are genuinely unaware, but often they are denial. They deal with the horror by telling themselves the child is a liar, the black sheep or a troublemaker. The mother can be silent for fear of losing her husband. or upsetting a favourite son. The kids are silent because they fear losing their parents’ love, don’t want the argument, or are terrified it will happen to them.
In all these instances, blaming the child is the easy option, The child cannot bear the weight of family disapproval. Deep inside searing pain is buried, as the child struggles for acceptance, in the family and in the world. The family, if they really do know, are of course despicable cowards.
2) Abused kids, when growing into adolescence, will often exhibit sexy and provocative behaviour, this is also textbook. They don’t want sex. It is a pitiful way of trying to gain love in the only way they knows how, by flaunting the one thing the poor kid thinks they have to offer.
3) So traumatised are most children by abuse, their whole focus is to regain the acceptance of their families. It is therefore entirely credible that Karen would attend family occasions. The classic response is to try to placate the abuser and family.
I was disgusted by the bias of the Mail article and the approach of most of the media. Two sentences right at the end of the Mail article mentioned that she could have been abused. The entire article was an overblown defence of the brother and criticism of her as a person.
It takes tremendous courage to go public in these situations. The Mail should adopt a balanced approach until the truth is known, and if/when Karen is totally vindicated, (as I believe she will be,) there should be some major grovelling. If proven right, they ignorantly sneered at someone who has suffered horribly for years, making her ordeal so much harder. They made it so much more painful for her to tell to truth. They should think about that and then get out the chequebook.
UPDATE. 16th December 2016. The brother of Karen Danczuk is convicted and sentenced to 15 years.