Wall of Silence: Exhibition Inspired by Leon Brittan Accuser Coming to Parliament

A news release:

We start 2018 with some fantastic news from our good friends at Southmead Project. Over the last couple of years, the charity has curated the Wall of Silence – a touring exhibition including images, poems and stories from victims and survivors of child abuse. The exhibition has travelled around the country – from City Hall London to the Avon and Somerset Police headquarters – and has played an vital role in raising awareness about child abuse and championing the services that organisations like Southmead Project provides in helping survivors.

The charity has confirmed that the exhibition will now spend a week in the Upper Waiting Hall at the Houses of Parliament, commencing on Monday 16 April…

Southmead’s Mike Pierce previously announced this in December, and he specifically thanked the Labour MP Sarah Champion for her assistance.

I noted the exhibition’s presence at the National Assembly of Wales during 2016. At that time, the exhibition blurb said that it was the inspiration of someone called Carl, who said that he had been “abused by some powerful people”. Although this was somewhat vague, anyone who looked at the Carl’s social media output (since deleted) would very quickly see that he was claiming to have been victimised by VIPs at Westminster, in particular the late Conservative former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

The Southmead Project’s webpage on the subject used to include a link to a specific “Wall of Silence” website, which explained that

Carl is in recovery from child sexual abuse: his story is one of extreme terror, mental turmoil, heartbreak, sadness and fear. Like many survivors and victims, he wishes to do something positive about the situation – both for himself and others and so he launched RAVSCA (Raising Awareness for Victims & Survivors of Child Abuse) an on-line space where survivors and victims of abuse could share their experiences through photographs, poems, stories and paintings.

This link has since been removed and the website is dead; a RAVSCA Facebook page is also now gone. Google results for RAVSCA bring up old results from 2015 and 2016, the most prominent of which are fundraising pages created by Carl himself (here and here), abandoned having achieved only a percentage of the requested funds. Carl’s original vision was for “a photographic exhibition for National Association for People Abused in Childhood” before Southmead took charge – however, although he raised money on this basis, RAVSCA was never itself registered as a charity and Carl was anonymous and therefore unaccountable.

Does the disappearance of RAVSCA mean that Carl’s story is no longer part of the Wall of Silence, despite the fact that he was the original inspiration for it? If so, there needs to be a proper explanation for this. Carl made shocking allegations against Leon Brittan, and now his project is to be set up in the very location where Brittan worked and made his name as a national public figure. One might have thought this would be a matter of some controversy, especially given that several allegations made against Brittan shortly before his death have failed to be substantiated.

But perhaps we ought not to ask too many questions – when the journalist Sean O’Neill of The Times asked Pierce for more information about it, a third party (Esther Baker, an associate of the Labour MP Jess Phillips) immediately intervened to denounce O’Neill as the “king paedo-protector” and to caution Pierce not to reply.