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The Forum > Article Comments > Your child next? > Comments

Your child next? : Comments

By Barbara Biggs, published 10/7/2006

Child sex offences, largely, are preventable crimes waiting to happen.

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I donít have any answers only some observations.

I know:
* 7 women/girls who have been sexually abused
* 1 boy who has been sexaully abused
* 3 people whoís houses have been broken into
* 1 person killed in a car accident
* 1 person beaten up on a Sydney street for no apparent reason, and
* No-one who has been murdered

I donít go looking for these women. What I mean is I donít go to help groups etc. where Iím likely to meet people who have been abused, these are just people I know in my normal middle class life.

All of the seven were abused by family or friends of the family. Sofiaís situation in my experience is relatively unusual. Parents should be more concerned about who they bring home than who they meet on the street.

Here are a few things Iíve noticed about child abuse, this is completely my own experience I have no research or facts to back it up:

* Many of the victims of child abuse are extremely reluctant to face up to what has happened or to get help, they continue make self destructive decisions throughout their lives
* Society feels sympathy for the victims but when the victim grows up and commits the crime themselves thereís only disgust.

I have a four year old in my family who is in real danger of being abused because of the men her mother brings home. The only thing that I can do to stop this from happening is to educate her on how to react in certain circumstances (there are several books on this subject). Other than that it is not until she is actually abused that any legal intervention can occur.

Families can be your biggest source of support and encouragement, they can also do the most damage.
Posted by CG, Monday, 10 July 2006 12:18:50 PM
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I was abused by a family member,

My concept of how to go forward is based upon the extent of recidivism in this area. The unnutterable truth must be uttered, the individuals that commit these crimes genuinely & honestly are incapable of stopping themselves doing so. Therefore, why are they released?

I do believe that they are entitled to a fair and impartial trial, and to their guilt being established to beyond a reasonable doubt, that is a fundamental & inalienable right. But, once proven to be guilty, why are they released to do it again, and to destroy other lives, thereby promulgating the problem through another generation. I do not even view this detention as punitive, rather it is for the benefit of society as a whole, that those that are incapable of distinguishing between right & wrong (ie.criminally insane) are detained indefinately, and I think that those that abuse children are criminally insane & should be held at Her Majesties Pleasure without the possibility of parole on that basis.

perhaps then we will stop seeing the horror stories every single week.

Inshallah

2 bob
Posted by 2bob, Monday, 10 July 2006 12:40:03 PM
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I have been very interested in this subject for decades, I am a survivor of child molestation, and attemped rape, one of my lifelong friends of the opposite sex, was raped by her grandfather from the ages of 6-12. I'm not sure on statistics, however she grew to become bi-polar, and I to become chronic major depressed, we both have many other mental health problems.

I have always viewed these vial creatures as "pure evil" people, your article has opened up a new insight for me. The proposition that these people could be succesfully treated on a community based program opens up the obvious question why are such services not available Australia wide, the obvious answer of course federal funding for state health has been decreased instead of increased.

I will follow this thread with much interest, however needness to say I was absolutely disgusted last week in Townsville, where a Charters Towers man, touched on 6 occassions, and digitally penertrated on another 4 occassions as part of his daughter's "sexual education", was not jailed because the survivor plead for her father to be allowed to return to the family home.
Posted by SHONGA, Monday, 10 July 2006 3:53:45 PM
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Shonga,
I totally agree about the Charters Towers man. He should be jailed.
I think we have to stop hiding our heads in the sand and stop calling particular groups paedophiles where there is no proof of this.
Statistically, paedophiles are typically (but not always) male, respected members of the community, often family members or trusted friends, are popular with both adults and children, more often very religious and use their popularity and trusted position to gain access to vulnerable children
Posted by Marsketa, Monday, 10 July 2006 4:40:24 PM
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Barbara, I have been bringing the same message into women's clubs and organisations as well as talking in schools for some years now. As an actor I also brought the subject into my part in the Vagina Monologues and recieved a standing ovation. But even if one were to convince the population at large of the need for prevention rather than cure - how on earth does one go about convincing the lawgivers or parliamentarians?

In a recent response to a Parliamentary White Paper I strove to highlight the results of lack of self-esteem in our society, detailing its damaging effects on everything from childhood obesity, through chronic unemployment and into sexual abuse. I also pointed to the necessity for a cross-disciplinary approach in attacking these problems and posited programmes and policies.

So where to from here? There are disparate units of many people striving for the same objective all over the country and we are all striving, it appears, from lone platforms. In such cases there is no need to preach to the converted so what is the next step? If we present a coherent and united stance we may gain power and/or credibility, but currently we seem to be lone voices crying in the wilderness. Do you have further ideas?
Posted by Romany, Monday, 10 July 2006 4:53:05 PM
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Romany,
I have a suggestion on that subject, there is a Queensland organisation named Bravehearts run by a lady by the name of Hetty Johnstone. She has experienced peaodphilia first hand when her daughter was attacked by her father-in-law, and has made it her life's work to attack the subject.

She is well educated articulate and savy, I met her once when she visited Townsville. Perhaps she should be approached to admit associate members at a cost everyone could afford, to publisise this horrific community problem, she already lobbies State and Federal politicians on the subject, if she had a huge membership behind her to give her more clout, she may get better results.

Bravehearts has a website to check I don't know it offhand however it should be an easy find via any search engine. Unity is strength as the saying goes.
Posted by SHONGA, Monday, 10 July 2006 6:18:25 PM
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