Cry Silent Tears: The heartbreaking survival story of a small mute boy who overcame unbearable suffering and found his voice again

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Joe knew his mother was cruel and violent, but he trusted his beloved father to protect him from her. When a freak accident saw his father burn to death in front of him, Joe was left at the mercy of his mother. Without the love of his friend and brother, he wouldn't have survived. With them, he went on to spend his life fighting child abuse.

Joe was just five years old and the horrific scene literally struck him dumb. He didn't speak for four and a half years, which meant he was unable to ask anyone for help as his life turned into a living hell.

His schizophrenic mother and two of his older brothers spent the following years beating him, raping him and locking him in the cellar at the family home. Fed on scraps that he was forced to lick from the floor, he was sometimes left naked in the dark for three days without human contact.

Unable to read or write, all Joe could do to communicate his suffering was draw pictures.

The violence and sexual abuse grew in severity as more people, including his stepfather, were invited to use him in any way they chose.

The only thing that saved Joe was the kindness of his elder brother and his only school friend, both of whom showed him that love was possible even in the darkest of situations.

At fourteen he finally found the courage to run away, hiding in a hut by a railway line, fed on scraps by some local children who found him.

Joe's is the ultimate insider's story, casting light into the darkest of hidden worlds, and a truly inspirational account of how one small boy found the strength to overcome almost impossible odds and become a remarkable man. Now that he has found his voice again, Joe speaks out against child abuse and helps support and protect other children whose lives have been blighted by it.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins UK
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Published on
Jan 26, 2009
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780007283828
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Family & Relationships / Abuse / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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John Peel's programme Home Truths first brought Judy's moving childhood story to light – Abducted by her psychotic spiritualist father and kept like a dog in the backyard, brutalised at the hands of nuns in a Manchester orphanage, and left to live wild on the streets. But Judy survived and today has founded 7 children's centres in South Africa.

John Peel first brought Judy's moving childhood story to light on ‘Home Truths’. Abducted by her psychotic spiritualist father and kept like a dog in the backyard, she went on to suffer at the brutal hands of nuns in a Manchester orphanage, before living wild on the streets. An incredible, heart-wrenching story of a child who refused to give up.

After a childhood lived in terror, in 1994 Judy was presented with an Unsung Heroes Award for her charity work with street children in South Africa. Her moving story came to light after Judy was interviewed by John Peel on BBC’s ‘Home Truths’. ‘Street Kid’ is the inspirational and heartwrenching story of her early years.

At age two, in postwar Manchester, Judy was snatched from her mother and sisters by her psychotic father – a spiritualist preacher. He kept her in his backyard, leaving her to scavenge from bins to beat off starvation. At four, she was sent to an inhumanely strict catholic orphanage, before being put back in her father’s cruel care. For the next three years she was treated as a virtual slave.

After being taken by her father to South Africa, Judy ran away to join the circus where she found her first taste of freedom and friendship – before her father tracked her down. Weeks later Judy was alone again and living on the streets, too terrified to turn to her circus friends. For 9 months 12-year-old Judy made her home in a shed behind a bottle store before collapsing in a shop doorway from near-starvation.

Finally, aged 17, Judy managed to pay her way back to England to find her mother and sisters. But her return to Manchester cruelly shattered any dreams of a happy reunion.

Determined that her childhood experiences should in some way give meaning to her life, Judy has worked tirelessly to help children in need back in South Africa in the very place she had been treated to such abuse herself. She has opened 7 centres to date.

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