The Devil’s Advocate – Child abuse and the men in black

  • by Graham WIlmer MBE
  • £4.50 (inc. P&P)

A survivor’s account of the failings of Government, the Churches, Religious Orders and our Criminal Justice System, in understanding and responding to victims of sexual abuse in the UK. By Graham Wilmer MBE.

Author’s comments

I have written this book to help expose the catastrophic shortcomings of the United Kingdom’s government, the Churches, religious institutions and our criminal justice system, as they attempt to deal with the scale and consequences of sexual abuse in our country. The book is far from the full picture, but it should serve to remind those who hold power in our nation that, as a society, we are not dealing well with the enormity of the problem, which remains hidden in plain sight, despite the courage of the many victims who come forward, even though that usually means they face hostility, resentment and denial, rather than the compassion, understanding and acknowledgement they need and deserve. The cost of sexual abuse in our society, in whatever way one measures it, is on a scale that makes it both a national disgrace and a national health epidemic, neither being something that should be tolerated by any government, but tolerated it is.


“Shocking, disturbing and courageous.”

Peter Garsden – President – Association of Child Abuse Lawyers ACAL.

What follows is not just about me, although it tells my story. It is about the ongoing failure of society as a whole to respond to and support victims of sexual abuse. It is also about the many conflicting and deep routed myths and negative perceptions about sexual abuse: what it really is and the devastating consequences of its long- term impact. Some of you may find the repetition of facts a little tedious, but I ask you to bear with it and read on, as it will help those of you who have not suffered the blight of sexual abuse understand the seemingly never-ending nightmare that survivors struggle with on a daily basis. For us, the story never ends, but with the right kind of support you can reach a level of recovery that is sustainable, and from that point onwards you become the master of your history, rather than its slave. For those victims who still struggle in silence, despite what I say about the lack of effective support services, you have nothing to fear from speaking out, other than fear itself. So, if you want help to tell your story, but don’t know where to start or what to expect, contact me and I will help you. Graham Wilmer MBE

Media copyright credits BBC: page 226, page 300 / The Hendon Times: page 128 / The Surrey Herald: page 134 / The Guardian: page 149 / The Australian: page 193, page 318 / The Liverpool Echo: page 311, page 313 / The Age (Australia): page 317 / The Mercury (Australia): page 319 / The Catholic Herald: page 323

Photo copyright credits Front cover – Rory Wilmer / Rear cover – HM The Queen & BCA Ltd.

Publisher’s info Title: The Devil’s Advocate – Child abuse and the Men in Black – Author: Graham Wilmer MBE © Copyright 2014 Graham Wilmer MBE

First Edition Published 2014 by Devil’s Advocate Library

ISBN 978-0-9928651-0-8 – RRP £12.00 Typeset and design by Rory Wilmer Printed and Bound in Great Britain By Andrew Kilburn Print Services Ltd., Leeds.

About the Author

Graham Wilmer was born in Bedford, England in 1951. His primary education showed him to be a promising pupil with a bright future, but his enrolment at a Salesian Catholic Grammar school put paid to all of that. At the age of 16, he disclosed to his headmaster that one of his teachers had been sexually abusing him for the previous two years, and he needed help.

Instead of helping, the Salesian Order closed ranks, protected the teacher and swore Graham to silence. The psychological trauma and the lack of support after his disclosure resulted in him failing all of his GCE ‘O’ level exams, and he was thrown out of the school. His parents were not told of the abuse.

For many years afterwards, Graham suffered with mental health problems, but his natural talent as a writer enabled him to find work, and he went on to develop a successful career as an aerospace journalist. In 1998, Graham, suffered a serious mental breakdown, caused by the re-emergence of memories of the abuse he had suffered as a child. Several years of therapy followed, during which time Graham, with the aid and support of his wife Barbara, established the Lantern Project, a support service for other victims of child abuse. Graham developed his charity into a nationally recognised organisation, which is now funded by the NHS, and is a partner agency with many other statutory organisations, including the Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Command.

He has written numerous books on the subject of Child Abuse, and he was awarded an MBE in 2013 for ‘Services to Victims of Abuse’. He has recently been appointed to advise the newly formed National Safeguarding Board of the Church of England. Graham and Barbara have three grown up children and two foster children. They live in New Brighton in Wirral.

Devils Advocate Library is a new imprint established by author Graham Wilmer MBE, dedicated to publishing books about the impact of Psychosexual Trauma in Childhood and how such trauma impairs development into adulthood. ‘The Devil’s Advocate – Child abuse and the Men in Black’ is the first such title to be published by this new imprint. Other titles will follow, which will also be featured here.

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