For the past 18 months I’ve been working with Jayne Senior on her book, ‘Broken and Betrayed’, the account of her role in the Rotherham child abuse scandal. Jayne initially contacted me to see if I could help with her account of the role she played in the events that led to the shocking scandal.
I knew of the wider story, and so I met Jayne and realised she had a hugely valid and important story to tell. After some initial work we secured a deal with PanMacmillan Books via The Viney Agency. The book is now selling well. This is what Jayne has to say about our collaboration:
“In August 2014 my life turned completely upside down following numerous articles in the Times written by a journalist, Andrew Norfolk, a damning report by Prof Alexis Jay was published that uncovered the horrific failings and unthinkable abuse of at least 1400 children in Rotherham South Yorkshire. 6 months later Rotherham was hit again when Louise Casey uncovered further evidence and our council was taken over.
“I carried a secret, that secret was it was myself that had shared numerous document with Andrew Norfolk. I had managed the project that had worked with those 1400+ children. I was approached on numerous occasions to speak to the press and/or write a book, during this time I refused them all.
“That changed when in my new job role I recognised other children were once again been failed, services that should have been protecting our most vulnerable continued to fail them, other towns across the UK were breathing a sigh of relief that their town was not under the spotlight like ours.
“One Friday evening I made the decision to find a ghost writer and discuss the possibility of writing a book; not a book that was full of drama and scandal but a book that would be read and people would recognise risks to children, act on those gut instincts, scrutinise their own practice and ask the question ‘if it’s not good enough for my child it’s not good enough.’
“I met with Tom Henry and immediately realised he was the person I wanted to take my words and put onto paper some of those horrifying stories of abuse and failure and create a journey that others could follow. Tom spent hours listening to my story, the stories of some of those abused and failed, read hundreds of documents and took the readers on a journey of tears, laughter, shock and more importantly an awareness and knowledge that this could be any town and anybody’s child.
“When it became difficult for me to continue Tom recognised those feelings and helped me get through it, for that I thank Tom for not judging, rushing, but for walking back through those horrific 12 years by my side and one step at a time.”