Mum of 4 Implores the Catholic Church to take immediate action

With the results of the Royal Commission into the Catholic Church being released, Author and Mother to 4 young children, Michelle Derrig implores the Catholic Church to stand up and take immediate action to help protect children from further abuse.

In July last year, Derrig released Only For Me, a very gentle rhyming book which helps to empower and protect young children against sexual assault. Written in consultation with expert professionals and adult survivors of child abuse, Only For Me has received critical acclaim from educators, psychologists, teachers, parents and child protection experts. Since going to print Derrig has been inundated with orders from both Australia and overseas and has recently been asked to supply 300 copies to a US based child advocacy group.

Derrig who is a practising Catholic explains "whilst I want this book to be available to all Australian children, I also desperately want to see the leaders of my church standup and take a proactive approach to protecting the precious children under their care." Only For Me has not only received endorsements from the Apostolic Nuncio (Papal Representative) of Australia and Francis Sullivan, CEO of Truth Justice & Healing Council, but Derrig has also received a response from His Holiness Pope Francis, who thanks her for his copy and says "he appreciates the sentiments which prompted her to produce Only For Me".
Being cited as the most comprehensive picture book ever written on the subject, Only For Me teaches children that they can say no to anyone, no matter their age, relationship or status in the community. To help reinforce this message former Disney Artist and Illustrator Nicole Mackenzie created a beautiful double spread (above) with a range of personas from a cool looking surfer to a member of clergy.

By providing access to this book the Catholic Church would be helping to disarm predators of the tools they commonly use to seduce a child. These include showing them pornography, calling it a game and telling children that it is a secret that must be kept. The letter insert at the front of the book clarifies that Only For Me is not designed to replace conversations that carers need to have with their children, but instead aims to facilitate these conversation, prompt questions and sometimes even disclosure.

Given these endorsements and the fact that Derrig is prepared to personally subsidise part of the cost, she sees no obstacles to the Church providing a copy of Only For Me to every child as they commence kindy at a Catholic school."I am pleading to the Bishops of Australia to stand up and take action today, regardless of whether it's Only For Me or another resource – our children deserve to be educated and protected."

Anyone wanting further information on Only For Me or go to www.onlyforme.com.au


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