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What others say about the book

"So often in my practice I am faced with distraught teachers who have been told something in secret and don't know what to promise the child; or who to tell when the parents don't respond; or even what the legal impact will be on themselves. Then there are the worried mothers, who know it can happen, because it happened to them, but have no practical information with which to tell if they are being paranoid or complicit. Most sad of all are the children themselves; who I invariably meet through a peer they have told: so often stuck in a situation where they don't want to lose their family; unsure whether it is something they are doing that is making it happen; and without the life experience to know what else to do to make it stop.

Plain speaking, and without pretensions, Bruna's writing has the immediacy of first-hand experience: as a victim, as a survivor, and as someone who changed things for herself and for other people's children. It says that there is something horrible happening under our noses, far more often than we allow ourselves to believe. It tells you what to look for; how to avoid putting your own children at risk; and what steps to take to stop it if it has already happened.

In a world where Nursery School children can have porn videos sent to them on their cell phones; where teenagers can send explicit images of themselves or their friends around the school in a matter of hours; and where mxit and Facebook can provide predators with the perfect front to engage with uninformed teenagers, there is an urgent need for easily readable information to reach parents, teachers and teenagers. This book is it!"

Sharon Doubell, Clinical Psychologist, Upward Spiral Psychology Consulting, Gauteng


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"I have just finished reading the book and can honestly say that it mirrors the no-nonsense and easy to understand lectures that Bruna gives on the subject ... and complements the lecture perfectly. This is not to say that the book on its own is not useful – in fact I think it will be essential in arming those faced with these realities to better understand the subject.

I found the book both moving and informative: written passionately where necessary and dispassionately when appropriate – like when providing the facts; this being done in a manner that informs the reader without invoking unnecessary emotion that so often messes up the process of dealing with abuse."

Darren van Zyl, Co-founder of the Medicare Academy of Emergency Care Training and AEA co-ordinator of COJEMS Training Academy, Johannesburg


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"Every Parent's Nightmare is very informative and easy to read. The personal touch makes the reading easier and drives home the importance of the topic.

I recommend that anyone involved in the care of a child should read this book. The more informed we are, the better the chances of preventing the abuse.

This should be readily available reading in all schools and other venues where people may need to know about child abuse, both with regards to recognition and actions that should be taken.

I commend Bruna on this excellent contribution to the ongoing struggle against child abuse."

David Stanton, Course Co-ordinator Netcare 911 School of Emergency and Critical Care


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Bruna Dessena is a paramedic who has seen child abuse. She has served as a Childline Counsellor and is an activist on the subject.

I trained as a Salvation Army officer and then went to my first appointment in Sidwell in Port Elizabeth, a very socially depressed area which had been working class before Ford closed their factory but which teemed with unemployment, poverty and social evils when I was there in the late 80s and early 90s. In my first year one of the little boys in the Sunday school told me about his 'bad dreams' where a bogeyman stood at his bed every night and hurt his bum. His mother had recently remarried. I wish I had had this book back then, for my feeble attempts to report the matter to Child Welfare brought about only the report that “The child has clean clothes and enough to eat. There is no problem.” I failed that child. This book will help others not to fail the children who turn to them for help.

Written sensitively for parents of children who have been abused, as well as other adults such as medical people, ministers of religion and teachers, all of whom sometimes come across the problem, it outlines clearly the steps needed in order to properly remedy the situation as best one can.

It is a highly readable volume, written matter of factly without any form of sensationalism. It takes only an hour or so to go through the text which covers the signs of abuse, the grooming process used by abusers, how to deal with the problem, how to support the child, and what the legal process involves, although the emotional stuff will linger for a lot longer. This book should be owned and read by every teacher, medical person, and worker with people's social, physical and spiritual needs as well as every parent.

Moira de Swardt, Freelance Journalist



© 2010 Quickfox Publishing