Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | Time to break the culture of silence

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM


"Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul" Dave Pelzer

The abuse of children is most vile and despicable, especially when those in positions of trust and power are involved in committing such an act.

The sex scandal now rocking the Moravian church seems to be getting from bad to worse. While sex abuse and molestation of minors is not new regarding the church, this episode is close to home, and has served to turn the spotlight on an evil which has been taking place under the cloak of religiosity and plaguing the society for many years. Sadly, too many of us in the society choose to turn a blind eye to the evil around us, whether in our communities and/or the wider society. Ironically, it's not until the same wickedness confronts us or those close to us that we realise that evil is evil ,regardless of the perpetrator. The time to interrogate and break the culture of silence is now as our children continue to experience hurt, which will inevitably damage their sense of self and personhood.

The sexual exploitation of our children must be tackled with a sense of urgency and agency. It is disturbing and unacceptable that sexual grooming and harassment can and does take place in our churches and schools the very same institutions which should provide comfort, safety and security for our children. The wider church community has been rather lukewarm in its condemnation and rebuke of the scandal now impacting the church. The church is seemingly more vocal and forceful in their criticism of issues, such as casino gambling than the sexual abuse of children.


Preying on the vulnerable


In many instances, perpetrators of sexual abuse have a knack of identifying those youngsters with low self-esteem issues in order to prey upon them. The government needs to work in eradicating poverty in the society since this social condition is usually the trigger for many who prey on and exploit our children and those most vulnerable in the society. Additionally, the strengthening of state agencies, mandated to protect the rights of our children, need adequate funding in order to effectively carry out their core functions. A society which fails to protect its most vulnerable obviously needs to recalibrate its moral compass and reassess its value system.

Wayne Campbell