Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Glenn Tucker | Child sex abuse - the real culprits

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

News of the dalliances of pastors and policemen have kept us entertained over the past weeks. It has been the subject of talk shows, TV programmes, bar and back veranda talk. So after weeks of this, how has any of these activities helped us with this problem?

Yes, it is disturbing that the offenders are those who should be part of the family's support system.  But it is not confined to pastors and police. It involves all colours, ages and professions.

May I start by asking where were the parents when these abuses were taking place? Did the police kick down a door, handcuff a child and just drag her away? Did the pastor snatch the child from the grasp of a pleading mother and take her into the vestry?

The best way for parents to demonstrate love for a child is through guidance and supervision. We cannot hope to find solutions if we refuse to be honest about the problem. There has to be a facilitator for this to happen. And the real facilitators are the parents. The mothers really, since the fathers have donated their sperm and are long gone to do the same to other gullible, irresponsible women.

As a group, the real perpetrators of this crime are the endless succession of 'stepfathers' unloaded on these helpless children by thoughtless mothers. First, the bonding is absent. That would have to have started well before even the diaper days. These men did not sign on to become fathers. And the children did not choose them.

Some of the 'stepdads' are in and out in a year. Then it's the next one. And the next.

Everyone has a 'pastor' story to tell, but why is it possible for them to do these things? I know a mother who dolls up her daughter in nice short, sexy little dresses twice each week and sends her off to pastor for 'driving lessons'. Four years later, when she became my friend at age 16 (do the math), she still did not know the difference between the stick and the ignition. This one is not likely to reach the courts, however, because she tells me gleefully that Pastor is “really, really good”. And her mother is quite happy with the slow pace of his 'driving' classes.

Everyone also knows of policemen who seek out couples parked in cars for the sole purpose of demanding sex in exchange for not 'arresting' them for doing all sorts of things some were not even doing, but weakening their resolve with this well-known recitation, "Do you think any judge is going to take your word over two officers of the law?"

But there are the mothers who deliberately use their daughters to befriend policemen because they have sons who are criminals and need protection.

No one should be fooled by the crocodile tears that are shed when these matters come to light. Are the cases of these 10-,11-, and 12-year-old pregnant children at clinics being properly investigated? Why are there no arrests? Do investigators really believe that no one, including the pregnant child, knows the father?

Any day the Government imposes the kind of harsh Samuda sanctions on both parents of these children, I predict this problem will stop. BRAPS!

The solution that will yield better results than running after abusers to lock them up is to give children the love and attention they need. Playing with them. Talking with them, not to them. And listening. Remembering and celebrating important moments in their lives. Showing them the potential pitfalls and the warning signs.

Children with positive role models are more equipped to make healthy life decisions. Many fathers are absent - some through choice and others through death. Family disorganisation sets in and contributes the collapse of the family. There is no family to impose order on its members.

Parents start to overburden their children, placing too much responsibility on them. So they start to make their 'contribution' by engaging in criminal activities also deceiving and devising strategies to part men from their belongings. Much of the tragedies we are now experiencing have their genesis in such activities.

And here is one more uncomfortable truth. Because of the extent of family disorganisation in this country, it is us dirty old men who are keeping the bodies and souls of these 'victims' together, making them graduate from school. And university, in some cases.

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