Child Abuse


Extracts from No Fourth River:

“Fear was the first emotion any of us ever learned.”

 “Every night was a game, a lucky dip of punishments and hell my father might inflict on one of us next.”

From her early years, Christine was a victim of (non-sexual) child abuse. The horrors she went through continue to shock readers of No Fourth River. Christine’s story raises awareness and gives hope to others who are or have been in a similar situation. Christine suffered abuse at the hands of the adults responsible for her well-being: her father and the authoritarian nuns at the boarding school.

“It is not enough that she shared her story; she endeavours to empower the reader. It is quite a refreshing approach that is entirely selfless.” Review from CarolineS on

 Some of the abuse Christine was subject to:

At the hands of her father:

  • Physical beating and being forced to hold stress positions for a long period of time.
  • He punished his children with days of isolation by forcing them to live in the cellar.
  • He made his children trim the grass or hedges with a blunt knife or another inadequate tool.
  • Electroshock therapy in an attempt to cure her bedwetting problem.
  • Forcing her to eat 25 extra salty TUC biscuits every evening at 6 pm and she wasn’t allowed any drink until the next day.
  • He constantly told Christine she was useless, worthless and would never make anything of her life.
  • The household lived in constant fear. Extract from No Fourth River: “We were all extremely scared of our father, especially when he was drunk.”

In boarding school at the hands of the authoritarian nuns:  

  • They slapped her several times.
  • The nuns told her numerous times she was unwanted, unloved, worthless and shameful.
  • The nuns made her walk through all the dormitories carrying her wet bed sheets whilst a nun repeated on the loudspeaker: “Attention. The girl in bed 49, has wet her bed. Make way for the bed-wetter.” A scene quite like Cersei’s walk of shame in the TV show Games of Thrones. The nuns encouraged the other children to laugh and spit at Christine and calling her dirty names.
  • The many years Christine suffered in boarding schools left her deeply wounded and scarred although in later life she found ways to deal with this.
  • Christine lived, for many years, in a constant atmosphere of fear, hate, humiliation and worthlessness. She suffered alone, in silence.