The Most Appropriate Punishment For Anyone Who Abuses Children —
The realistic solution to the epidemic of child abuse
Calgary, AB May 18, 2009
How we can stop child abuse seems elusive but the solution is simple – if one really wants to stop it! We as a society cannot seem to get past talking about the issue moving into the take action phase – but it’s past time to take action. Talking about the problem will do nothing to end the violence against children and education will not stop criminals or help children to protect themselves. We need to accept that we have the responsibility as adults to protect ALL children. The solution is simple and it does not involve castration or torture and it does not involve imprisonment.
By now, everyone in today’s civilized society has heard about the prevalence and after-effects of child abuse and sadly, probably more than 75% of today’s adults are living painful, challenging and problematic lives after being abused as children.
Unfortunately, there has never been an appropriate punishment to deter anyone from committing the crime and the victim has been forgotten about – if the victims somehow manage to overcome their early Machiavellian training and become able to talk and reveal the identities of the abusers.
Abusers have been, for the most part, protected by their victims, by society, and by the legal system. Children are programmed to keep the abuser’s secrets by threats and intimidation, society labels victims who try to expose abusers as attention-seekers or worse, and the legal system has not evolved much from the days when ‘a man’s home was his castle’ or a victim was further victimized in court.
Children are convinced that they ‘caused’ the abuse, are bad and will cause further damage if they tell! Abusers intimidate children by their size difference, their position of power in the child’s life, or the child is dependant on those who abuse them for their survival. Children are vulnerable with no power and no voice in their lives and when those who should be protecting the child chooses to abuse them or refuses to protect them, the child is more than vulnerable and helpless, he/she becomes enslaved.
Victims who talk about child abuse, especially about things that they’ve endured first-hand are met with accusations of being attention-seekers and are labeled as less-than-as-intelligent as someone who has never been abused (or, most probably, still keeping their abuser’s secrets and protecting another abuser). Society seems to also be less likely to respect a victim of child abuse if they know that person was abused – yet it will deny this vehemently and blame the victim for any negative treatment.
Victims learn early that they are alone and must keep the secret – and the secret generally kills them. Many commit suicide and most indulge in dangerous lifestyles – drugs, prostitution or promiscuity, self-cutting, eating disorders, etc – which makes it easy for society to dismiss them as sub-human.
The victim is assigned a prosecutor, who may or may not meet with him/her before the court date, and has little hope of getting the facts straight before a judge. If the victim hopes to triumph in court, they need to be strong enough to be their own investigator and be vigilant presenting facts and information to the prosecutor so that he has something to present to the judge.
Children are abused by someone – it’s not just one boogie man who lives in the neighborhood who abuses as many neighborhood children as he can get his hands on. The truth is that there are too many adults who abuse children in one form or another and they are being protected! These abusers, and victims who are protecting abusers, have professions and employment and there’s little doubt that they are not involved as judges, lawyers, police, child protection services and any number of positions that determine how child abuse is handled. It’s no wonder why, in this millennium, we still can’t seem to protect innocent children from predators and harm. Society can draw up an 11-point instruction sheet on how to wash your hands correctly (including rolling up your sleeves and not get them wet!) for the adult workplace but it can’t seem to think of a way to protect children from being tortured. If Society were not so damaged, perhaps priorities would not be so distorted.
Children who are abused face a lifetime of medical, psychological and societal problems – there’s no debating the facts – yet society doesn’t address the problem. It’s leaving it to the victims to deal with the problem – but it first removes all the required tools and support that the survivor will need. Much like children are being taught to protect themselves from unwanted sexual touching or bullying and safe sex practices. They’ll have to wait until they enter the workforce before being taught the proper procedure for hand washing!
Adults need to take responsibility, deal with the issue and protect children! They should never be permitted to pass the responsibility on to the child! That is only perpetuating child abuse! “If you tell anyone…” “This only happened because you…”
Any adult who abuses a child (or children) whether privately in the home or by abduction or any dirty facet of the sex industry – and despite the relationship to the child or lack of relationship to the child – should be held accountable for their degrading, destructive deeds.
Going to court or jailing the abuser does little to help the victim. Flogging or fining the abuser only leaves the victim feeling more guilty because the victim isn’t usually prone to hurting other people – which is part of what makes them ideal victims. Victims are left to endure their lives alone, filled with anxiety, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, unable to trust or feel safe or any of the thousands of negative after-effects of child abuse – like discarded trash tossed out to fight the wind in the gutters and alleys.
There are an abundant number of young people out on the streets, choosing to become addicted to drugs rather than to endure the pain of their secrets and have acknowledged and accepted the worthlessness of their lives – and the number grows rapidly!
So what’s the solution? How do we force parents to care for their children or pedophiles to leave children alone or society to protect children? What is the most appropriate punishment, or deterrent, that keeps the victim’s rights to be protected as a child in sight?
First – we must stop protecting child abusers. Their identities need to be exposed prominently in society. This is easily accomplished by not exposing details about the child(ren) abused – the relationship, ages or other possible identifying information. When the media spreads the news, it should not focus on the sexual details in attempts to titillate the reader/viewer/listener but should focus on the destruction of the child’s life, the ugliness of the crime and the disturbing truth about the abuser – and warn others to protect themselves from the abuser. This includes animal abusers because those who would abuse helpless animals will also abuse helpless children – it’s the nature of these beasts). Arguments such as vigilantism and abuser’s rights are arguments in favor of protecting abusers and against protecting children – nothing more.
Second – we must hold the abusers accountable for their crimes to their victims. This is perhaps the only way a victim can feel vindicated and valued in society. The crime is not a crime against society – although it does define a society – it is a crime against the child(ren) and the punishment should not be jail time or fines paid to the court. Who is paying for the survivor’s medication or therapy? Who pays for the child’s inability to support him/herself because the child was too preoccupied with his/her personal safety to concentrate in school? Who pays for the child’s unshared living expenses because they cannot trust enough to have a life partner? The child endures a lifetime of pain and torment because of actions he/she had no control over while the abuser is left free to abuse others. A tiny percent are sent to prison for awhile and their expenses are paid for by the taxpayers – including those they abused – and that does nothing to help the victim.
All abusers must be held accountable to any life he/she has destroyed.
All parents must be forced to protect their children until they reach the age of adulthood – which is not 14 or 16. A child is not an adult until they have completed their education and is able to have a home and family of their own. A child cannot become emancipated until he/she can look after themselves financially, mentally, physically and emotionally, because it was due to the sex act of the parents that the child was conceived and children should not be conceived to be shamelessly disposed of unless we are to say that life is worthless.
Whoever is responsible for sending a child to live on the street must be forced to protect and provide for that child for life. Sometimes a child runs away to escape torture in the home and whoever is responsible for the destruction of a life should become responsible for the happiness of that life for the rest of that life – in every way! Because the effects of child abuse last a lifetime, the abuser must be responsible to try to correct their damage for a lifetime as well.
Whoever uses a child for pornography or sex in any manner, enslaves a child, uses for cheap labor, beats or tortures a child in any manner, provides a child with drugs, alcohol or any other addictive substances, must become responsible to try to help that child for the rest of the child’s life – to the detriment of the abuser’s own life. They must provide financially for that child forever.
The responsibility of enforcement should not be put in the child’s hand, nor a lawyer’s – and any lawyer who assists in the protection of an abuser beyond his/her right to a fair trial should be held accountable for causing additional harm and damage to the child as well!
A group of dedicated child protectors, funded by the government, should be created to be the liaison between the child and the abuser – much like the idea behind those who collect child support payments from deadbeat parents. The child should never have to be afraid of seeing the person(s) who abused them again and the child should not have to struggle through life because of circumstances created by an adult.
The solution is simple to implement and those who would consider abusing children would re-consider if they knew their crimes would not only hurt the child but hurt themselves as well. Abusers would reconsider once society puts it foot down and says, “No More!”
This is written and submitted by the founder of Catharsis Foundation. After being beaten, bullied and sexually abused by my father for 16 years, (detailed in the book, Cathartic Chronicles, Rikki’s Story which is available at http://www.catharsisfoundation.org/Books/Rikkis_Story.html) the criminal court sentenced him to 4 years in prison but he was allowed out after serving 2/3rds of his sentence and the civil court awarded me with a judgment that would be in excess of $1M today because my father left me unable to have children or to have a relationship – as well as many, many other problems that I need to hide from society for my own protection.
However, this judgment is not collectable. I have contacted almost 3,000 lawyers and none would help unless I gave them $15,000 minimum or others refused to work on a judgment “of this type” – that is until one law firm agreed to take the file on a contingency basis. They then held the file for years, seldom contacting me and avoiding my attempts to contact them until finally, two months before the judgment lapsed, they dropped me and refused to return my file, saying I owed them money despite that nothing was done by them. I suspect very strongly that Merchant Law Group DID collect on my judgment and have withheld the money.
All victims of crime are entitled to restitution! It is obvious that lawyers and prosecutors are not the solution to the problem of child abuse – victims and survivors are! Do we want to protect children or perpetuate abuse and protect abusers – or are we too damaged as a society to help anyone, even ourselves, anymore?
ABOUT CATHARSIS FOUNDATION:
Catharsis Foundation was founded in 2004 and is dedicated to helping survivors of child abuse to help one another.
It’s Time To Tell!