Childhood neglect: 'Kruella' and the fight to raise awareness of child trauma

14 May 2019

Kruella: A Daughter’s Tale is the story of the childhood of Sharron Spice. The mother of one took the advice of her therapist, who encouraged her to find a medium which would allow her to express her emotions and past experience. Now, Spice is inspiring young people with her autobiography.


‘Where do I even start in my house: there was no routine, my siblings and I used to get our own breakfast, not out of choice, but because we had to, and sometimes we would be left locked in the house alone for a week at a time,’ Spice says.


‘And then there was the pressure of trying to fit in at school, having the latest shoes and clothes. I didn’t want a criminal record but stealing felt like the last resort and only option,’ she said.


The book, which has received glowing reviews since its release in July 2018, also focuses on the importance of the community being actively involved in helping those who are most vulnerable. 


After Spice’s siblings were put into care, she was left with her mother, who was already known to social services as an alcoholic.


The 30-year-old believes more could have been done to keep her family safe and properly cared for.


When asked why she decided to be open with this book, Spice said ‘I was diagnosed with PTSD and it was actually my counsellor who had said it would be a good idea to write down my experience, so writing this book was therapy.’


She added that she has received mixed reactions following its publication. For instance, not every family member is pleased she aired her ‘dirty laundry,’ whilst strangers have applauded and praised her for her resilience.


‘I have no shame for what I went through,’ Spice said. ‘I want to raise awareness on the neglect children are enduring from their own parents and from services which are meant to care for them.’


Spice’s eldest sister and her step dad have contributed in writing the book. Each have their own chapter in which they talk more about their mother.


‘I wanted to represent my mother in the most non-biased way possible and my step dad and sister were the best people to help do this,’ Spice said.


‘They were able to talk more about what she was like. I felt it was right to not simply paint her as this bad mother because she had her own struggles too.’


Since the release of the book, Spice has been working to ensure young children are able to access her story and understand that they are never alone.


She hopes the book will be read by many young people in secondary schools and hopes its lack of jargon and clear narrative makes it as accessible a work as possible.


Above all, Spice describes Kruella: A Daughter’s Tale as a form of healing and hopes it can help those children who are enduring similar experiences of cruelty and neglect. 



Click here to watch an interview with Spice, conducted by author Abbianca Makoni


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