I am writing to Voice for Children as someone who in 2001 filed a police complaint about the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. The case was stayed in 2003 using a pretrial ‘abuse of process’ hearing grounded on the Selwyn Bell precedent which was established just a few months earlier. It says – ‘as a result of the passage of time the defendant cannot receive a fair trial’. This meant that the man I accused of abusing me did not have to answer the question in court, and no stayed criminal case has ever returned to court. Following the ruling I approached an independent television production company and four years later the BAFTA award-winning documentary Chosen was broadcast.
When in adulthood I finally managed to face the abuse I’d experienced as a child, even I referred to it as ‘historic abuse’. The police did the same and media reports on similar cases were and continue to be peppered with the adjective and just look at the