Photo by Carolyn McKeone
Mike Lew On Father's Touch
Father's Touch is an extraordinary
book. I have read many impressive memoirs by survivors of sexual child abuse; many features
set this one above the pack.
In addition to his fearless self examination, Donald D'Haene presents excerpts from his father's writings
that offer a chilling first person portrait of an abuser's denial, distortions,
justifications and rationalizations of his crimes. D'Haene details the
response (ranging from ignoring the problem through outright resistence
to re-victimization) by many segments of the community - religious, educational,
police, and the legal system.
That Donald D'Haene persisted in his quest
for understanding and justice in the face of these obstacles, is testimony
to his strength, courage and resilience.
This is a book that will stay with you long after you close its covers.
In addition to his fearless self examination, Donald D'Haene presents excerpts from his father's writings that offer a chilling first person portrait of an abuser's denial, distortions, justifications and rationalizations of his crimes. D'Haene details the response (ranging from ignoring the problem through outright resistence to re-victimization) by many segments of the community - religious, educational, police, and the legal system.
That Donald D'Haene persisted in his quest for understanding and justice in the face of these obstacles, is testimony to his strength, courage and resilience.
This is a book that will stay with you long after you close its covers.
Mike Lew, Author
Victims No Longer
and Leaping upon the Mountains
A Story of Transcendence
Review by Nissa
Father's Touch is a courageous autobiography of incest, healing, and discovering
self-love and acceptance. A unique aspect of Donald's book is that in addition
to telling his story he also tells the story of his mother and siblings.
For survivors of abuse whom also deeply love their family Donald offers a story of a family's journey to survival, escape and triumph. His mother was also a victim to his father, in her innocence and isolation. While Donald tells his own story he also reaches out compassionately to other survivors. In reading his book I felt I had found a friend.
Father's Touch is written like a novel, and I immediately became absorbed into
the book . . .
Powerful, Well-Written, Painful Memoir with a Touch of Joy
Chris McCallister, Ph.D.
The Story: Donald D'Haene tells the story of how he and his siblings were raised by a
father who seduced them into escalating sexual abuse, and a naive mother who was
controlled by her deceptive and manipulative husband. This book relates the subtle, and not-so-subtle, horrors of the abuse; the damage done to the
family; the eventual legal process against the abuser; and, Donald D'Haene's inspiring
journey to a healthier identity, sense of self, and . . .
A Moving Account
Chairman, Study and Advice Groups Sects
A new book has just been published on a subject which is very topical. It’s the
autobiography of a boy that was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. The religious ideas of
his father could not prevent the fact that he was sexually abusing his . . .
A Powerful Read
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 . . .
This is no Ordinary Memoir . . .
Kathryn Lively, author of Little Flowers
Reviewing Father's Touch, Donald D'Haene's memoir of growing up as a first generation Canadian to Belgian immigrants, has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do. It is not because I disliked the story; as you might suspect, my delay concerns mainly the actual subject matter of the story. This is no ordinary memoir . . .
This is not the type of book I would ordinarily read. Books on child abuse tend to be either too depressing, self-exploitative, or resort to too much pop psychology without managing to give any real insight. However, these are all things which "Father's Touch" has managed to avoid. Despite the horrible subject matter of this book, Donald D'Haene manages to draw you into his story with his very cinematic writing style and manages to illustrate how horrible child abuse is without ever resorting to lurid details. And, most importantly, Donald uses his story in a very constructive . . .
Simply and powerfully told
Donald D'Haene's "Father's Touch" has been compared to Elie Wiesel's starkly written "Night". Both are tales of horror, courage and survival, presented in simple, strong prose which seems almost matter-of-fact at times, yet has a powerful effect on the reader. The topic is timely, as daily more victims come forward to charge those who sexually abused them as children . . .
Pedophilia, betrayal, and cowardice - not just another story
If the title alone doesn't run a cold shiver down your spine then certainly once you hit the first few chapters of this astoundingly disturbing book the story will more than catch the readers immediate attention.
No, it's not just another whining 'survivor' or 'I overcame it all' type of book
but rather an in your face account of a four year old boy, victimized, by his
pervert father. With superb writing skills, the author takes us back into the mind
of that boy as he must, with his mother, brothers and sister, live,
unprotected and vulnerable . . .
Victoria Douglas reviews Father's Touch
Reviewer for The Compulsive Reader
The black text on the pages of Father's Touch by Donald D'Haene poignantly lays bare the heart of darkness that is child sexual abuse. This first-person narrative captivates the reader through its honesty and its careful, yet authentic, use of flashbacks. The story itself is framed within the physical and emotional return home of the primary character, Donald.
Home for Donald is not just a town set against a pastoral landscape - it is also a past. His history is rooted in the repugnance of . . .
A powerful tale to tell
J. Michael Showalter
I recently had a chance to read this book by D'Haene; setting aside for
a minute the merits of the book to the people to whom it might be of the
most help (i.e. victims / people close to those who have experienced sexual violence)
it is a book that for the sheer force of the words alone deserves a much broader
audience. As a tale of faith tested, setting aside literary merit, it ranks with
Elie Weisel's Night as one of the most powerful books that I have ever come across . . .
'The Game' is over
Craig Chalquist, M.S.
Very often, when sexual abuse survivors tell their tale, they have been made to feel
so much like objects that even as adults their earlier thoughts and feelings remain
hidden. In this case, however, the author has given us glimpses of the inner life of a
child terrorized by a man given permission by a patriarchal religious background to
be “head of the household”: that is, a darth vader, the head domestic terrorist . . .
A survivor sets himself free
Father's Touch has it all: ebullience, sex, anger, fear, poverty, survival, insightfulness,
frustration and perhaps the most important, the love of telling a story. This author
skillfully carries you along . . . It leaves you gasping with outrage, empathy and
the sheer joy of reading . . .
Kalpana Kannabiran reviews Father's Touch
Reviewer for Biblio: A Review of Books
Co-author De-eroticing Sexual Assault: Essays on Modesty, Honour and Power
New Delhi, India
"An amazing and deeply moving testimony of survival, faith and courage, Father's Touch
reinscribes in positive, empowering ways, the meaning of human relationships and social responsibility . . .
Surviving the worst kind of treachery
Dione M. Combe
Author, Dathan Charles: Beloved Obsession
Director of bookpublicity.co.uk
Anyone who has regard for the future can only view the destruction of a child’s innocence
as one of the most heinous crimes in the human lexicon of brutality.
When this occurs in the family home and is perpetrated by a parent with an obvious
duty of care, the betrayal and it’s consequences are immeasurable . . .
Denise M. Clark reviews Father's Touch
Author, Cross The line
The autobiographical account of one man’s journey to spiritual, emotional and physical
freedom is at the heart of Father’s Touch, a tragic tale of abuse, incest and helplessness.
But this book is also about hope, courage and . . .
Donald D'Haene's Father's Touch is not only a cry from the heart of boyhood itself, but the outraged testimony of an adult survivor bearing witness. His voice is direct, powerful, and important
Richard Hoffman, Author
Half the House: a Memoir
An important story, honestly and inspiringly told. It will open many eyes, and touch many hearts.
Dan Woog, Author
School's Out: The Impact of Gay and Lesbian Issues on America's Schools
It couldn't have been easy for Donald D'Haene to write this personal history of sexual abuse in a seemingly traditional and strongly religious family in rural southwestern Ontario. And it doesn't make easy reading. But the story is told with unusual candor and its message of survival -- spiritual and psychological -- under almost impossible conditions is one of hope for all of us.
Peter Desbarats, Author
Why did the government kill the Somalia inquiry?
Somalia Cover-Up: A Commissioner's Journal
Journalist and Educator, London, Canada