What’s enough when it comes to details of abuse?

This author wrote a memoir about her abuse as a child and is now being picked apart by a media mining for salacious detail. Read the fucking book. That’s all you get. She said what she was willing to say. You don’t get, or deserve, more than that. When you buy a book or pay to see a film or enter a gallery, you’re paying for the chance to experience story/image/sound the artist intended — not buying rights to demand something more/different. When audiences start to think of themselves as investors who are “buying” art rather than merely visiting it? She told the story she wanted to tell. The rest is none of your fucking business.

n the weeks since the launch of my memoir on grief and abuse, No Matter Our Wreckage, I have been asking myself a lot of questions. Questions such as, how much can I complain about people overstepping my boundaries when they want more information? What rights to privacy have I given up? To what extent is my consent being ignored, re-enacting the very abuse I wrote about when I am interviewed about the book?

I wrote a memoir about child sexual abuse, so I asked for this. Or did I?

Some of these questions have been prompted by readers, but mostly they have been prompted by the media. In particular, an interview at a radio station which asked for intimate details about the abuse that I found uninformed and uncomfortable, and who gave my mobile number to at least one listener who called in after it aired. The station has since apologised, but my mobile kept me awake through the night as it vibrated with messages from people who had heard the broadcast, reinvoking the anxiety that comes with feeling violated.

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