Louise Panton and Ruth Caleb

The producers of the BBC1 drama 'Care' respond to an article by Natasha Walter, who asked if the programme merely fed our hunger for horrifying spectacle
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The Independent Online

There's no doubt that all of us connected with the BBC1 drama Care wanted everyone who saw the film to be shocked and rise up and do something. We felt deeply that something must be done for children in care. Their voices must be heard; they must not be condemned to silence.

There's no doubt that all of us connected with the BBC1 drama Care wanted everyone who saw the film to be shocked and rise up and do something. We felt deeply that something must be done for children in care. Their voices must be heard; they must not be condemned to silence.

The tradition of campaigning dramas in recent years - including those about Hillsborough, Stephen Lawrence, and peace-keeping in Bosnia - has been important in shaping public perceptions and raising awareness. Television can dull the senses, but it can also turn a powerful searchlight on parts of society that, once seen, must be changed. Care had a dual purpose - to inform those unaware of the issues, and to give a voice to those all to painfully aware of the legacy of abuse.

Natasha Walter is mistaken in saying that the response to Care has been a momentary one. The many thousands of people who continue to inundate the BBC Actionline with calls have proved her wrong. Many of these people were victims of abuse, calling because they have no one to turn to. Their calls demonstrate the huge lack of life-long support for victims, and show that there's still a great need for those who have been abused in our care system to be believed and to come to terms with what happened.

Child abuse in care homes may have been and gone in the newspaper headlines, but Care reminded us that it hasn't disappeared; 42 out of 52 police forces across the country are currently investigating allegations of sexual abuse in children's homes.

For many, Care will have been their first real insight into the world of the victim, stirring emotions that they would not get from a newspaper article. The millions who watched this compelling film will know that, at the very least, it opens the debate and could lead to real action.

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