Abuse now woven into our future

Abuse now woven into our future

Thursday, June 04, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Tan a yuh yaad! Tan a yuh yaad! Staying the recommended physical distance, sanitising hands and surfaces, shielding with face masks, and staying home are all healthy options minimising exposure to the novel coronavirus. But staying home for long periods is riskier for children, when there is no or poor supervision, and it's not just increased exposure to the coronavirus.

It's no secret, when children are home for extended periods, without proper supervision, especially during summer breaks, they become more exposed to all forms of abuse, including rape, carnal abuse, sexual molestation, or indecent assault; whatever the law calls the cruelty meted out to minors.

With children staying at home much longer this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we await the numbers in cases of sexual abuse. I have already been observing the predictable spike in sexual abuse of minors during summer breaks for more than two decades.

Is it only a question of supervision? Who will protect minors in situations when their guardians are the villains?

Victims of child sexual abuse are scarred for life. For many, their greatest and lingering pain stems from the deep hurt and feeling of betrayal, because this cruelty was inflicted by those who should have been protecting them. And multiplying the pain is the fact that most culprits go unpunished.

The home is foundational to create the society we desire. And the future is not disconnected from the present. The traditional abuse of children, with all its predictable, undesirable consequences, is creating the future with which we will have to contend. We will only create a more peaceful society by improving the home environment and seriously addressing the social malady of child sexual abuse.

Daive R Facey


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