A Powerful Read . . .  Five Stars

Review by Cindy L. Penn

Editor, www.wordweaving.com

A powerful read - Very highly recommended

Pedophilia survivor Donald D'Haene recounts the betrayal of a father in FATHER'S TOUCH. From the age of three and a half, his father engaged him in The Game, in which Donald was forced to masturbate his father. Over the years, the abuses of The Game escalated. Further, playing The Game was the only time which his aloof father would show interest in any of his four children.

Daniel and Jeannette D'Haene emigrated from Belgium in 1957 to Canada, settling in a rural area and having four children. Daniel left the Catholic Church to embrace the Jehovah Witnesses. He eventually converts his wife, who was not well educated and was forced to remain under his dominion in all things. He became a pillar of the church, immersing himself in bible study. With the church's backing, as head of the family Daniel dictated his family's life, ruling with an iron will.

In time, the children confided in one another, learning of their mutual abuse. When the children learned that their father's abuses were wrong, Daniel blurred their realities, making them feel responsible for the abuses that occurred. Even when the church intervened in 1973, The Game did not stop for long. Nor did the Jehovah Witness church elders report the abuses to local law enforcement. Instead, they told the children that they must continue to respect their father as the head of the house.

Indeed, it was a letter in a newspaper column that brought home reality to Donald as an adult, when he learned his father's actions were not only immoral but also illegal. By that time Daniel had remarried, joined a Baptist church and once again become a respected member of the community. Donald was eventually able to bring his father to trial, but the case became a sham as it was tainted by incompetence, ignorance and plea-bargaining. His light sentence seems to mock the horrifying ramifications of his abuse upon his children.

Donald D'Haene's bold revelations of abuse and survival cannot help but sear the reader's soul with his brutally honest account. FATHER'S TOUCH inevitably will provoke a strong emotional response in the reader, both outrage at the father's actions but also joy at Donald's ability to not just survive but to overcome. The classic methods Daniel used to dominate his family will strike a cord with all abuse survivors. However, FATHER'S TOUCH isn't just for incest survivors, but for all of us who might encounter victims in the court, in the day care, in the classroom, or across the street.

A powerfully rendered, thought provoking account, FATHER'S TOUCH comes very highly recommended.