A Powerful Read . . .
Review by Cindy L. Penn
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.