To think that giving children access to communication alone is a solution to abuse, is wrong. I have listened to many of you now. One speller has reached out to me privately, and I will continue to engage with him on solutions. Thank you to the few parents who are prepared to stand up against the abuse of children other than their own.
Many of my autistic friends were abused by their parents and suffer cPTSD and dissociative disorders to this day. One of them said that better mental healthcare and support to his parents could have made a difference to how they treated him and his siblings. For the rest: even now, there are some parents who persist in bad beliefs and bad behaviour. Their now-adult children have not experienced increased understanding from their parents or the change in heart that they dreamed of. No, communication and even speech did not help them when they were children. Some parents just do bad things and we can’t always wait until the parents see the light.
So I have chosen my path. I am taking the advice of my friends who are survivors of abuse. I will speak publicly about the abuse which JB Handley enables through his network, and I will name him. I will continue to name him until he relents, which he will do if he is a good man. I will encourage other activists to do the same. I will draw attention to it. To anyone who believes that we should be quiet about abuse and not talk about this because JB has a lovely story to share, I will say this: Yesterday I was ready to withdraw from activism because of you. Today, survivors have urged me to speak out. I am on their side, not yours. I won’t be quiet. It is still possible that this man with all his good intentions has no idea of the cascade of harm he has done. I prefer to let him know.
You can choose to remain silent if it suits your job. You won’t be the first to choose this path.