Father's Touch by Donald D'Haene
Reviewed by Dungbeetle, Oct 1, 2002
The dedication reads in part:
and silent victims past and present
Unable to find their way out of the darkness.
These words are ever so true. Donald D'Haene takes us into the mind of
an abuser, the family from which he came, and the family that he created.
The family which he reminded, upon occasion, when things did not go his
way, that he could also take that life away.
Like so many others whose reviews of this book I have read, I, too, could
not read the book all the way through at one sitting. It took me a few
days and a number of attempts.. And I am not the same person I was
before I read this book, nobody could be. The pain, the frustration, the
sense of loss; the anger, the rage, and trust betrayed---all of it is
there, brought alive by the power of words. I felt I was there, standing
beside Donald when his father killed his beloved animals; I felt I was
right there as the children struggled among themselves to offer
themselves up as living sacrifices to their father's rage to protect
their mother and youngest brother.
And Donald takes us to a world where persons practice medicine without a
license, and those with a license to practice medicine do NOT PRACTICE
it. There are reasons these things happen, and there are reasons why they
should NOT-and Donald takes us there and shows us why, in painful and
Was there ever a time when things MIGHT have turned out differently? Was
there a window of opportunity when JUST ONE act of kindness, at the right
moment, might have made a difference in the lives of these children?
Donald answers that question for us. Were there ANY signs, observable to
outsiders that, having been noticed, could have led to earlier
intervention? Would education and legislation have made a difference to
this family's history? Donald answers those questions for us.
This is not a book just to read and then put on the shelf and then go
merrily on our way. This is a book to read that educates, that grants
insight, that MOTIVATES the reader to say "No Donalds in my family!! No
Erics in my classroom!! No Marinas on my block!! Donald gives us, with
his words, EMPOWERMENT to not just wait untill a Donald, Ronny, Marina,
or Eric COME to us for help, but DETERMINATION to look around us
PROACTIVELY for children who are hurting and fragile and endangered.
Only then will persons determined to hurt children have fewer and fewer
victims untill molesters finally, hopefully, have gone the way of the
And in conclusion, if I had to pick one point that this book drove home
for me, it would be: If these children could survive, then maybe-just
maybe-so can I.
Peace to the D'Haene children.