Sawdust lifts veil
IPSWICH grandmother Deborah Kay hopes her confronting story can help lift the veil from the subject of childhood sex abuse. From the age of four to her mid-teens, Deborah said she suffered abuse at the hands of her father (now deceased), as well as friends and another family member.
After enduring many years of guilt over her tainted childhood in rural Queensland, Deborah said she only came to grips with what happened when she went through a lengthy counselling process in her late 20s.
It was with a positive frame of mind that she recounted her story to former journalist Barry Levy and the pair co-wrote the recently released book, Sawdust.
In often vivid detail, Sawdust traces the years of insidious abuse Deborah endured at the hands of a man widely respected within his community - a man who hated seeing other people's children mistreated yet, all the while, was destroying his own daughter's childhood.
"The strange thing is that I don't feel any hatred towards the people who did this, and I don't know how to explain that," Deborah said. "A lot of people who hear what happened will take a step back - they don't know whether to say sorry to me.
"I don't want sorry. I want children to be able to enjoy being a child."
Sawdust was Barry Levy's second non-fiction work and the process of interviewing Deborah began about 18 months ago.
"Her story is one that is shocking but represents thousands of other cases around Australia and the world," Mr Levy said.
"What is so good about Deborah's story is that, on the face of it, her family was not dysfunctional at all - and I think that is often the case."
Mr Levy said the book aimed to get people talking about the issue of child sexual abuse - even if it was a difficult subject.
Australian Institute of Criminology data shows one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused in some way before the age of 18.
Sawdust can be bought through Kindle at http://www.amazon.com.
Orders can also be made directly from IP Sales at http://ipoz.biz/Store/orders.htm in your preferred format.