Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Madeleine McCann ... let's do something positive to help find her.

I stayed up, despite being ill, to watch Crimewatch last night. I wanted to know the latest in the Madeleine McCann case now that the Met have taken over. Like most people I know, I have followed the case over the years, followed it with the awareness of a mother and with the secret dread that it could happen to me and my children. What happened to Madeleine is every parent's worst nightmare.

When the programme finished I went onto my Facebook page and couldn't believe my eyes. Whereas I had come away from the programme feeling desperately sad for the McCanns and hopeful that the new leads would end in her discovery, other people had  different ideas. I read with dismay a timeline filled with vitriol and bitterness - people blaming the McCanns themselves and calling for them to be punished. Their anger shocked me.

The people making these judgements were filled with anger and yet they were basing their demands on hunches, supposition. I couldn't see that any of them had any firm evidence on which to base their allegations. It was a case of "Did you see their body language?" "I always thought they looked shifty" "Who leaves their kids on their own like that?"

I felt so sad, and a little angry myself, that the milk of human kindness seemed to have passed them by completely. Yes, the McCanns made a mistake. If you saw Crimewatch you would have seen Kate McCann admitting that she spent years blaming herself for leaving her children in that room. With hindsight she made a mistake. They made a mistake. But who expects there to be a stalker out there who will watch and break in and steal your child? It is the stuff of nightmare. Yes, in hindsight people will think of Madeleine McCann and will not leave their children in a room that they check every half hour. But at that time they thought they, she, was safe. They thought that in a nice, quiet holiday resort, with nice people, off season, they were ok to do what they did.They, more than anyone else in the world would go back to that night and change the way they did things, but they can't and that is the torture they live with every day.

So what good does it do to rage against them? How does it help Maddie? Do people really think that the Met would not have looked at every angle of this case and arrested them if they had been involved? So how can people with no knowledge of the real facts of that night make such sweeping accusations? Surely we all need to support and comfort and help the McCann family in their quest to find their daughter?

The ultimate aim of all of us should be to get Maddie back. That is what matters most, not cruel sniping and allegations.

I read a post by Actually Mummy tonight in which she raised these points and asked how many people had not lost sight of their children in a park, or left their back door unlocked by mistake overnight. Surely we have all, as parents, found ourselves thinking " Blimey, that was a close one" or thanking God that our child is safe after a lapse of concentration? We all do our best to keep our children safe and if someone is bent on harming or taking them (the very thought makes me shudder) they will do it. It is they we should revile.

So ... what now? Like Actually Mummy I really think we would be better spending our time and energy helping to find Madeleine.

Madeleine was taken on Thursday 3rd May 2007 from Praia da Luz, Portugal. She is now 9 and may well look like this.

If you see a girl you think might be Madeleine you need to:
  • Contact your local police
  • Contact Operation Grange on 0207 321 9251 (in the UK) +44 207 321 9251 (non-UK) or
  • Contact CrimeStoppers in confidence on 0800 555111 or
The official Find Madeleine website is and here you can read all the information you might need as well as see photofits of men the police want to find.

If you are a blogger you can help by tweeting or blogging and sharing with all the relevant information and the hashtag #blogging4madeleine

Someone out there knows what happened to this little girl.We need to try and find her so she can be back with her family where she belongs.The fundamentally important thing is that there is a little girl out there who has been taken away from her brother and sister, her mummy and daddy, and that is wrong.

Please share this post if you can, maybe write your own. Let's try to do something positive.


Lorna said...

Great post. I too watched the programme just hoping that there will be a breakthrough soon. And then checked Facebook to find the same rants that you did! So unnecessary! If people put their energy into saying something useful rather than slander the parents then it could encourage more involvement of the public to assist in getting somewhat closer to finding out what really happened on that evening in Portugal. I applaud the McCanns for their strength and I hope that by keeping the public informed and involved the case, it will be solved sometime soon..

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you Lorna.Well said! Let's hope that one day soon we will wake up to the news that Maddie is home safe and well.xx

Actually Mummy... said...

Thank you for linking to my post. It is unbelievable how much people want to bring them down when all that energy could be put to better use trying to help find Madeleine. I think people have such fear of such an incident that they have to level blame in order to feel like they are better parents so this will never happen to them. But life isn't that simple sadly :(

Pinkoddy said...

I have to say I know people still leave their kids now, people never think it will happen to them. Like has been said at the end of the day Maddie is missing and she never did anything wrong. I would hate to think how she felt when taken and how much she would want to be reunited with her family.

Laughing Owl said...

If lies hadn't been spread about the McCanns at the time then maybe Maddie could have been found by now. The new evidence shows that the original case was flawed. I too saw rants on facebook but luckily none by friends or people I know...

Peaceful Warrior said...

Sadly we live in a world where narrow minded people feast on tragedy and gossiping about other people. Thank you for reminding us and sharing what was said by actually mummy too. you're doing a good thing here. helping others to rethink the importance of kindness. Kate and Gerry may have made a mistake, but don't let's make them suffer more with vitriol and the blame game. No one is perfect and they are not murderers.

Let's all keep our eyes open for Maddie.
Love and light.

Urban Cynic said...

It's because most people are mean and spiteful Sarah. Even though this couple have clearly paid for what (everyone else judged & decided) was a terrible mistake, they probably still wouldn't be happy until they were dragged through the streets and publicly flogged.

I would be disgusted if any of my friends expressed any such sentiments of bile and vitriol so I'm lucky that none of them did. It infuriates me how we judge others like this - parent seem to do it to other parents all the time. And it's mostly women I'm afraid, we seems to have appointed ourselves judge and jury of how others (women) choose to live their lives and if they don't come up to our exacting standards then we destroy them.

I don't have any children yet I can imagine what it must be like for the McCanns. Every minute of every day must be a nightmare -all the 'what if's' and thoughts of what their daughter would be like if they even got her back. What kind of person would wish that on someone?


sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you Actually Mummy, Pink Oddy, Peaceful Warrior and Urban Cynic.

I agree with your comments - thanks for taking the time to write. Let's hope one day Maddie will be found. Until then I hope people can direct their energies in a more positive way!

Shortwife said...

Just found your blog and saw this post. I had the same reactions when I saw facebook after Crimewatch. I had a huge row chatising my own cousin for some of her comments. I even pointed out a recent family picnic where several of the children were out of our eyelines for up to 15 mins at a time when they were playing on the swings etc. How would she have felt if someone had blamed her for not keeping an eye on her son 24/7?
Those people have to live with their decision for the rest of their lives and ploughing efforts into having a go at them is pointless and cruel. It's good to know that I wasn't the only one appalled at some of my own friends views.

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thanks for commenting Shortwife. Its terrible how quick people are to criticise isn't it? I was really shocked by the vitriol shown by the person on my Facebook timeline. She is not a close friend, but I did think twice about keeping her on my friends list.Sarah x