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Behind The Iron Doors of Hell
by The Ovi Team
2008-03-17 09:24:44
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Behind The Iron Doors of Hell
Ivana Kelly
2008, AuthorHouse Inc.

Browsing through the beautiful memories of her Eastern European childhood and, later, the hardship of her life during the Balkan conflicts and as a non-EU immigrant in Britain, Ivana Kelly sifts through the personal recollections of “stable, happy” marriages all around her, both from the past and present, and wonders if, apart from very few exceptions, “happy” marriages may have always been and, will be, for most of us, just a fantasy concealed behind a mask of pretence.

Having had a marriage from hell and a chilling divorce in the notorious British secret family courts, the author stumbles across a hidden world of the most severe form of misogyny rampant throughout Europe and North America, the world in which good, devoted mothers, as a possible result of the fierce campaign of fathers’ rights groups, are seemingly massively losing custody of very young children, even babies, to extremely chauvinistic, manipulative, either abusive, or violent, irresponsible, obsessively selfish or even ,apparently, paedophilic husbands who commit "matricide" towards their own children so that they continue to control their mothers or get better financial deals.

While scores of academics and journalists have warned of the Narcissistic, dangerous nature of most of the custody fathers, their pleas have, for decades, fallen on deaf ears. Unsuspecting women are still being tricked into surrogating, young children are still being put through gruesome pangs to please their egocentric fathers, chauvinistic judges and sycophantic court child “experts”, seemingly, rub their hands with glee at this form of torture of the very people they are supposed to protect, and the world of, the author observes, sadism towards voiceless women and children, discrimination, xenophobia, racism and, maybe, widely talked about, corruption, seems to be gaining frightening strength. And daily, lives of thousands of “hostage” children are being irreversibly damaged…

* * * * * * *


As the founder of Innocence in Danger, an international movement for child protection against all forms of sexual abuse of children, I feel touched and honoured to have been asked to write the preface of this book written by Ivana Kelly whose courage, and commitment to her crusade of trying not only to expose serious breaches of children’s rights, but also of fighting for Justice, has moved me ever since I’ve known her.

What she narrates in most of her book are the facts, which are not under scrutiny of Television cameras, but that do happen in, so-called, “civilized” countries that preach lessons of morality and are self-proclaimed leaders of the whole world as far as Right and Wrong are concerned, yet in their back gardens, children and their protective mothers are denied basic human rights. Yes, in these countries children do have rights, but not the innocent little victims of this hidden world, the children whose voice no one seems to want to hear, and their numbers are huge.

It may feel awkward for some people to read the distressing lines about the world from Behind the Iron Doors of Hell, something that I know too well as, once, I couldn’t believe it existed myself.

When, in 1999, I was nominated by DG of UNESCO to carry out the action plan of Innocence in Danger, I accepted the offer with no hesitation. Not that I regret a bit of that decision. But, back then, I felt sure that there would be nothing easier than defending children and their rights, as I thought, the whole world would stand by us. How wrong was I!

Rather than going into numerous reasons that led me into changing my mind, I will tell you about only one true story that summarizes them all.

The poignant story took place in France:

The father of one little boy was a violent parent who regularly beat up the boy’s mother, and his abuse, eventually, destroyed the couple’s marriage. However, despite the courts of Justice knowing that the four-year-old boy’s father was a very violent man, the boy still had to go to his father’s every other weekend and spend half of his holidays with him. No one was there to see how, every night before the scheduled visits, the boy had stomach-ache and vomited, no one was there to see when, in the morning of the visit, the boy begged his mother not to take him to his father.

One day, upon his return from his father’s, the little boy screamed when his mother wanted to help him take a bath and told her that his “daddy was not nice to him”. He then told his mother that his daddy put “a hard stick” in his anus to take his temperature and it hurt, but daddy would not listen when the boy begged him to take the stick out. The distraught mother took his child to the doctor for an examination and the consequent diagnosis was – anal rape. But the doctor refused to go any further. Why?

Because nearly 100 doctors in France, who had to deal with cases of this nature, have been sued for defamation by the presumed rapists, some have lost their jobs and are almost homeless!

And now, no more doctors dare to take the risk of exposing this kind of act, as if the rape is not proven, they will themselves end up in the dock! So, the distraught mother of the raped boy consulted us and other NGOs, and we suggested that she did not wash the boy’s pants when he came back from another contact with his father, and to ask for DNA tests of possible sperm or any other elements to be done, which could prove outright the boy had been sodomized.

Despite all our requests, the requests made by the mother’s lawyers, by the mother herself and her family, no order was given by the judge for the tests to be done. Dozens of our pleading letters achieved nothing!

One day, after a weekend spent with his father, the little boy went to the toilet and cried for his mum as “his pee was red”. There was blood in his urine. The mother took the boy to hospital again. Sexual abuse was confirmed as a possible reason for bleeding, but the boy STILL had to go back to see his father! The mother, feeling constantly down knowing that her child was being repeatedly raped, lost her job. She then got very sick. Cancer was diagnosed. She passed away ten months ago.

The boy’s father was then given full custody of the traumatized child and the boy has remained with him ever since his mother died. None of us know where they live, not even any of the boy’s maternal family, let alone the NGOs.

This is only one example amongst many, many others of similar kind. This happens in France, Switzerland, in the UK, in the US... It is so hard to prove rape of a child. The perpetrators of sexual child abuse often take precautions, the child does not know that what is happening is wrong, or may be threatened by the abuser with death, or death of his mother, if he/she speaks out. The lives and innocence of thousands of children around us are shattered every day.

However, these children are our future, and therefore, a society who cannot protect its children has no future. Violence, hatred and delinquency are all we may deserve, because we are unable to acquire Justice for our children. As Saint Exupery said, “We all come from our childhoods the same as we come from our native countries."

To each one of you who are reading these lines and can help, I wish to tell this story:

"Starfish stranded on the shores of the world"

Strolling along the edge of the sea, a man catches sight of a young girl who appears to be engaged in some kind of an artistic dance. She stoops down, then slowly straightens to her full height, and casts her arm outward in a graceful arc.

Drawing closer, however, he sees that the beach around her is littered with little starfish and that she is throwing them gently one by one back into the sea. He laughs light-heartedly: “There are starfish stranded on the sands as far as the eye can see, for miles up the beach. What difference does it make to save just a few?”

Smiling, the girl bends down and tosses another starfish out over the water saying serenely, “It makes a difference to that one.”

Please, make yourselves heard! It only takes the indifference and inaction of good people to let the bad ones go on with their crimes, as your silence is your complicity with what is so bad.

Homayra Sellier
Founder of Innocence in Danger


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