Social work, child phycology, and other tools currently utilised to help children stop being juvenile delinquents and become healthy contributing members of society for the most part do not work, because they do not address the root causes of the pain and suffering of the children in question. For the most part children who break the law, or resist authority are punished for their offenses first and their reasons for their acting out an after thought, if raised at all. Politicians, judges, lawyers, police, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, etc., all are part of a vicious circle of adult authority figures that hurt children.
There has been a lot of talk about the need for change in the way the system deals with all aspects of child abuse, but for the most nothing gets changed, because most adults believe that children:
- are their property to do with as they please;
- are born liars and will try to lie their way out of punishment even if it means falsely accusing an authority figure of abuse;
- have over zealous imaginations making their alleged abuse mere fantasy and not reality;
- should be seen and not heard;
- should be forced to obey their elders;
- will forget and get over in time the abuse they are subjected to;
- being protected from abuse is not worth the reputation of a politician, priest, teacher, coach, government, church, school, or even sports team.
Until those charged with ensuring the well-being of children start hearing, believing and doing more to make children safe from adults who physically, mentally and sexually abuse them, children will keep falling through the cracks. It is hard extremely turn a kid around in an hour a week session, who has been abused since they were old enough to remember, punished repeatedly for acting out by authority figures, and feels alone and betrayed by every adult in their life.
Betrayal: Children are often too embarrassed, or too afraid to tell anyone about the mental cruelty, beatings or daily sexual assaults, so when they do come forward and no one believes them, or fails to act, they feel betrayed, go deeper into their protective shell, and become angry.
The vicious cycle of child abuse: Angry children if not turned around become angry, anti social, young adults, most likely to get into trouble with the law and be punished for it. These young adults will rightfully blame society for their problems and become angry adults. Some will become child abusers, some rapists, some drug addicts, some career criminals. The sad truth is that very few will make it to become healthy contributing members of society. Pimps, drug addicts, alcoholics, pedophiles, rapists, homeless people, etc., are not born that way. They are the bi-product of a society that does not care about their children enough to take meaningful steps to protect them from those who would prey on them.
Children are not safe in Canada, because:
- Teachers, doctors and other such professional continue not to report suspected child abuse;
- the reluctance of police to arrest suspected child abusers;
- the almost impossible task of getting prosecutors to charge and aggressively seek conviction and real punishment for cases of suspected child abuse;
- judges failing to give maximum penalties to those convicted of child abuse.
- politicians refusing to protect children from child abuse under the law, choosing instead to write laws that see young offenders treated like adults for breaking the law.
If I had a dime for every teacher, parent, etc. told me that they either knew or suspected that children were being abused, by a co-worker, family member, or religious leader, and did nothing about it, I would be a rich man today.
A sitting Canadian Senator was suspected of inappropriate sexual relations with a minor girl and force to resign. The problem was and still is that he had broken no Canadian law. Apparently, their image and not what did or did not happen. Young girls will continue to be abused that do not make the front page of the news, because in most provinces girls are considered old enough to be pursued and consent to sexual activity at the age of fourteen.
A comparison: In the USA, former Penn State football coach and serial child molester – Jerry Sandusky, received a 30 to 60-year prison sentence. In Canada, Graham James, who coached the Swift Current Broncos, has now been convicted of sexually assaulting six boys received a seven-year sentence.
Canadian Cases and sentences:
- 1982, Clifford Olson, convicted of killing 11 children was eligible for parole.
- 1988, Maple Leaf Gardens equipment manager Gordon Stuckless admitted to molesting 24 boys he had lured into the storied arena – and was handed a sentence of only two years less a day.
- 2011, sixty-six-year-old Newfoundlander Cyril Keats received a two-year sentence for a string of child sexual assault cases stretching back to 1979.
- 2017, Justice Robert Maranger sentenced the father of an elven year-old boy, (his son), to fifteen years in prison for what he called a “horrific” case involving “the worst kind of abuse.” Problem is that after time already served, the 45-year-old faces 13 years and two months in prison. But he could be paroled sooner.
Sadly: There are still those who believe that the survivors of child abuse are not qualified to advise other victims, unless they have a degree. A young lady who had read a post about my surviving child abuse, told me about her abuse and her attempt to put it all behind her and try to live a life without the recurring nightmares. The young lady also asked if I had any advice. When in a discussion with a friend I mentioned the conversation and that I intended to respond to the young lady, the friend said, “You are not qualified to help her.” “The girl might think that you can save her, but you can’t.” “Do not write this post.” “Best leave her to seek help from those trained to save her.”
In Conclusion: Society seems incapable of protecting children simply because it is the right thing to do, so perhaps looking at the problem in another way, that adults can understand, is what is required? Consider the cost in terms of medical treatment, crime, financial support, legal support, and loss of life, every time a child slips through the cracks and becomes an angry adult: unwilling, or incapable, of conducting themselves as a responsible, contributing member of society. In other words, make it not about helping the child, but helping the adults in society protect what they seem to value the most! Their money!