Friday, 6 January 2017

Jill is now with her Dad with the saints triumphant

I remember Reverend Michael Saward, who became a canon, when he was an Anglican priest known for his controversial views on matters of sexuality. I appreciated his honest, humorous, open and refreshingly frank comments about faith, culture and contemporary morality. But there were some theological students of a fundamentalist, puritanical persuasion who despised his views. One of them wanted, as I recall, to put a hose pipe down his trousers.

It was sad to hear that in 1986, while he was a vicar in Ealing, that he was brutally beaten at the vicarage by vicious intruders. We now know that his daughter Jill was taken to a bedroom where she was subjected to humiliation, unpleasant sexual practices and rape.

Jill decided to let the general public know that her experience was not, in any way, an insignificant or minor incident but a truly traumatic and deeply psychologically wounding ordeal. A deep wound for life!
Jill was badly let down by Justice Leonard, Sir John Leonard, whose disgraceful comments at the trial of the perpetrators caused her more grief and pain. He added insult to injury, and finds a place in the hall of shame. It was not until 1993 that this judge publicly apologized for this "blemish".

Jill, in 1990, wrote Rape:My Story.

Jill was involved in restorative justice. She met her attacker and forgave him, but she believed in justice and appropriate punishment.

My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. Thank God for her courageous testimony.

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