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The Forum > Article Comments > Operation CSI on pedophilia > Comments

Operation CSI on pedophilia : Comments

By Stephen Hagan, published 5/6/2006

We need to enable state and federal police to co-operate and rid communities of child predators.

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Stephen, in reference to your statement:

"And the next time Treasurer Costello says “go forth and multiply” I hope all partners can proactively do so, if they desire, without the fear of worrying about the potential risk to their child, from predators, that arises from such an outcome."

I wholeheartingly agree. Dingoes and other predators of the C. lupus species pose a grave threat to my own kids, to the point where I will probably never risk impregnating my wife in order to starve these ruthless wild dogs of potential prey. The dingo is the single greatest threat to human kind since Slobodan Milosevic.

Continue posting Stephen, I enjoy reading your thoroughly well thought out arguments!
Posted by DFM, Monday, 5 June 2006 1:47:25 PM
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Noticed that high law officers defended one of their own at his funeral service. This man is an alleged paedophile and a, as I understand it,self confessed pederast. These same law officers decried so-called 'attacks' on this 'fine?' man by news reporters. So we have greater Police powers asked for to track paedophiles down but when these scum are in court what then? This is worrying in the extreme. numbat
Posted by numbat, Monday, 5 June 2006 2:06:55 PM
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I entirely agree that draconian measures are now called for to stem the atrocities that are practiced on our children daily. However I detect a certain amount of smugness in some members of the community at large who reserve the opinion that the worst atrocities in this regard are limited to the Aboriginal community. Although the oft-quoted figure of one in four Australian children who are sexually molested may be questionable, what figure are we willing to credit as being reasonable? Even if only 1 child in Australia were to be sexually molested would that make it acceptable to the child concerned?

I find it iniquitous that whenever the high statistics concerning childhood molestation in this country are mentioned the resultant debate develops into a gender squabble.Feminists are accused of getting hysterical and/or of manipulating statistics, right wingers are accused of being intolerant fascists...and children continue to be at risk.

I have had reason to be involved with quite a few families whose children have been violated and have seen the devastation that ensues. I myself have been sexually abused.

One afternoon recently I sat with an aquaintance who volunteered the information that not only they, but the two children next door had had the same experiences. We counted up that, between the four of us (both genders included) 17 different persons continue to walk the streets who have lost the right to do so. Some were prosecuted and given suspended or no sentences at all, and other were never reported for fear of reprisals. In the long run it makes no difference if they were reported or not: - not one of those 17 persons was stopped.

This is an issue that crosses all boundries of gender, social standing or ethnic background. It should not be left to disparate voices like Stephens to suggest strategies: we should be demanding them. Under the United Nations Children's charter our children have the right to expect protection. We are failing dismally and it is to our shame as a country that we continue to allow these things to happen.
Posted by Romany, Monday, 5 June 2006 2:40:59 PM
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I agree with you that the symbolism involved in the reconciliation movement is cold comfort to those faced with social dysfunction and social disintegration But I disagree on the solution.

You talked a lot about what the government should do and how taxpayers should spend more money (now there's a surprise!). But what about Aboriginals, what about them? What should they do?
Posted by eet, Monday, 5 June 2006 6:03:05 PM
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Stephen, thanks for a great and surprising article.

Romany, you make some good points and raise some issues I'd like to comment on as one of those who suspect that the issue of child sexual abuse may be being misrepresented in some quarters.

- Firstly any child sexual abuse is unacceptable and I am bothered by the number of children who do suffer abuse. My concerns about the manner that the issue is used by some do not make the real issue go away or lessen the harm to the victims.
- It is my understanding that child sexual abuse constitutes about 5% to 10% of all substantiated abuse and neglect of children.
- The specter of abduction/sexual abuse seems to have a significant impact on community attitudes which effects on how our kids get to grow up.
- Biological fathers commit a very small proportion of child sexual abuse against their own children.
- Women commit at least 10% of child sexual abuse (some commentators putting the figure much higher). From one of the following links - "Although males clearly constitute the majority of perpetrators, a review of the evidence for female sex abusers (Finkelhor & Russell, 1984) concluded that females do abuse in a small proportion of cases: approximately 5 per cent of female victims, and 20 per cent of males victims experience sexual abuse perpetrated by a female."
- There is a view that the specter of child sexual abuse is deliberately pushed by some to impact on community attitudes regarding child custody issues. Think how often the issue of protecting children is raised by womens groups when shared parenting is discussed then have a look at the proportion of all child abuse and neglect occuring in single parent female led households (around 42%).

Some links from the National Child Protection Clearinghouse that are worth a look at - Summary of child abuse stats - Who abuses Children factsheet. - Indigenous child abuse.

Posted by R0bert, Monday, 5 June 2006 9:34:00 PM
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See what I mean? As soon as the issue of child abuse is mentioned gender lines get drawn up. You will see that I neither referred to gender in respect of the victims nor the perpetrators. Yes, there are men who perpetrate abuse and yes there are women who do so. Just as both boys and girls are victims. The point, as you so rightly point out, is that it is happening at all.

I also acknowledged that current figures quoted may not be accurate. It depends, as with any statistics, on the agenda of the persons compiling the stats. and, most importantly, on the methodology employed. Sometimes stats. collated in a small sample are presented as representing the entire country, sometimes stats. are compiled using only one gender, and, most importantly, such statistice are compiled, naturally, from reported cases.

Unfortunately, as with the personal illustration I gave, most are never reported. Of the seventeen individuals I cited, only two were reported. That has been the case in the aboriginal community which impelled Stephen to write his article. My knowledge in this area is not based on figures - it comes from personal experience of far too many victims.

There is little hope for action or reform in this area when we all stand about casting stones. It would be wonderful if we could identify a certain sector of the community - whether it be men,women, aboriginal communities,lower socio-economic sectors or the clergy, as being solely culpable. But the point is that this behaviour is ubiquitous - it happens across all these artificial boundaries. We have to acknowledge this. We, as adults, have a duty of care towards the collective well-being of our children. Unless we stop trying to dodge the issue by pushing responsibility onto others we will never be able to tackle the problem. Collectively we must make it clear that we do not accept that anyone at all harms any child at all.
Posted by Romany, Tuesday, 6 June 2006 10:14:03 AM
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