The Silenced Child: Secrets and Lies

Dr. Tanya Robinson

Publisher: Partridge Pages: 153 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781482806649 Reviewed: June, 2015 Author Website: Visit »

Dr. Tanya Robinson has seen a lifetime of hurt from the inside. In this powerful and unsettling book, she shares the horrendous hidden lives of many children who lack the voice to cry out about their pain and suffering.

An expert in child mental health care in South Africa, Robinson is a specialist in children’s assessments and family functioning. The stories she shares reflect a compilation of her experiences with many families—rich and poor—whose children live lives of silent turmoil.

Some accounts delve into hidden sex abuse cases in wealthy demographic areas. She has dealt with children so scarred by an unhealthy upbringing that they play pretend “rape-rape” games in the schoolyard. Other family dysfunctions have led young girls to be lured into prostitution and boys into gangs and violence. Parents living “swinging” lifestyles unwittingly have raised offspring who exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviors.

As a young social worker, Robinson also witnessed a most disturbing abuse case involving an emotionally dead seven-year-old kept in a kennel like a dog for so long that she could neither speak, walk nor eat properly. With each story, the author details the months and years it took her to make breakthroughs such that just a tiny glimmer of trust from the child would give her chills. “Human nature wanted me to jump up and down and do a little victory dance, but my clinical experience taught me to approach with caution and to leave the little dance for somewhere private.”

This vivid, raw and haunting account of children caught in the crosshairs indeed gives voice to the voiceless, as Robinson intended. It’s a clear-eyed, intimate peek behind a disturbing curtain of abusive family behaviors that offers no easy answers.

Devastating in content, it should be read by all as a wake-up call toward prevention.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
South Africa
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