Hiding in plain sight
I have attended a few safeguarding courses in the last couple of years – face-to-face and online – then, last December and January, I was helping to teach safeguarding to taxi-drivers. I wrote some of the teaching materials and helped write the test they had to take after the training. As time went on I became more and more uneasy about what we were achieving. Yes, a lot of caring people learnt what to look for and how to report but at the same time the abusers in the room – and of course there were some because abusers don’t just go for jobs in childcare and teaching – were finding out more about what to hide. I was especially concerned about our test as I realised that the abusers would be the ones who made sure they knew enough to pass.
When I was receiving my latest lot of safeguarding training (the trainers had no idea what work I’d previously been doing for their own college: all that mattered was that my signature was on a register to ‘prove’ I was safe) I wondered again how you spot that someone is a risk before they harm. So I chose to write yesterday’s text from the perspective of an abuser.
You can see that, now I’ve bolted, can’t you?
These thoughts dominated my seeing during the day – one photograph in Extras but there were others – then my mind was utterly taken over in the evening:
I was at the National Theatre for Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs. A very powerful play that presents many different nuances of racism, some of them initially imperceptible (to some!), and probes them in a drama that keeps the narrative flowing at the same time as challenging the audience’s thinking. It was astonishingly well staged and acted. Director Yaël Farber deserves huge credit. I do hope it tours after this run.