Shy Keenan

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Shy Keenan (also known as Karen Wootton and Karen Claridge ) is a British author, child sexual abuse survivor, and founder of Phoenix Survivors, an advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse.[1] Keenan is known for her biography Broken, (which has been withdrawn from distribution after a court hearing)[2] in which she discusses the long-term and extreme sexual abuse she experienced from her stepfather, Stanley Claridge.[3] For her work with sexual abuse victims, Keenan received a Women Of The Year award in 2008.[4]

In 2013 Keenan's fourteen-year-old son Ayden Olson was discovered dead within his home, having committed suicide.[5] Keenan has maintained that her son was "bullied to death" and has started a campaign called "Ayden's Law" that requests that the Prime Minister create a new anti-bullying law.[6][7]

Sexual abuse

Keenan states that Claridge began sexually abusing and raping her when she was eight years old and continued the abuse until she was fourteen.[8][9] Claridge also ran a prostitution ring,[8] selling Keenan and other girls to various paedophiles.[1] One encounter at age 10 left her with a fractured skull and Claridge kept Keenan and others from escaping by telling them that he had murdered various people and buried them under the house.[1][1][9] Keenan later escaped Claridge and lived on the streets,[9] and at one point attempted suicide.[1]

Keenan later participated in an investigation into Claridge with journalist Sarah Macdonald. Macdonald stated that Keenan had "sent an explicit and disgusting tape recording of her father talking about abusing children to the police and social services - they did nothing."[10] For the investigation Keenan was sent into Claridge's house in an attempt to get him to talk about the sexual abuse.[10] The investigation was successful and Claridge and two other men were sent to jail for sexual abuse charges.[10] Keenan later asked for a public inquiry into Wirral Social Services for "failing to protect her".[11]


  • Broken (2008) ISBN 978-0-340-93744-0[12]
  • Children Betrayed (2010) ISBN 978-0-340-93747-1
  • The Stolen Ones (2011) ISBN 978-0-340-97866-5


  1. ^ a b c d e Carpenter, Louise (10 February 2008). "Interview: I will survive". London: Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  2. ^ Sarah Shaffi (January 21, 2014). "Hodder pulls back on Keenan memoir".
  3. ^ "Child sex victim seeks inquiry". BBC. 3 March 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Merseyside's brave paedophile victim wins top award". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  5. ^ ""Bullied to death": Leading child abuse campaigner's claims after son, 14, found dead". Mirror. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Bullying Suicides: Parents Call For New Law". Sky News. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Campaign launched in memory of Ayden". Gazette News. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The haunted turn hunters". London: Guardian. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "Monsters ruined my life ..." Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Reporter exposed abuse claims". BBC. 1 March 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Call to PM for public inquiry". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Shy Keenan: 'Broken' (review)". Retrieved 19 May 2013.