Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Steve Lyston | When the offended becomes the offender

Published:Monday | December 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Abuse can take many forms, including: emotional, sexual, physical, financial or social harm.

Lately, the airwaves have been abuzz worldwide with constant reports of sexual offence accusations. But does one realise that many of those who have been pinpointed as offenders were themselves abused? I have always said that hurting people hurt people, especially those within society who have money, power, and fame, and they hide behind these things. Those in such positions are protected.

We have been seeing a great deal about Harvey Weinstein, and since, then many persons have come out it is shaking Hollywood, with ripple effects throughout the media. We can use this as an opportunity to raise up local, clean industries to edify the family.

Many times, I have asked persons in the local theatre and movie industries what their aspirations are, and many of them have said, "to go to Hollywood". I hope that have changed their tune and have realised that their local industries are equally good, if not better.

We are seeing scandals within the political arena and in the media with the firing of Matt Lauer of NBC, on the basis of inappropriate sexual behaviour, and the $32 million settlement from former FOX News host Bill O'Reilly. This shows that great men and women are falling.




Family is the most important thing within society, and the family is broken and messed up. If we want the economy to be right, first, we have to deal with the family. So now, those who were the offended are becoming the offenders. Recognise that this cannot be dealt with by a US$2,500 per day rehab counselling session, or with theological or psychological ideologies; neither will registering them as sex offenders while the real offender is untouchable.

What we are dealing with is perversion, and perversion is not an illness. We cannot fix it while excluding God from our society. Likewise, when someone who is now a priest or a pastor, but who was abused growing up and the situation was left unresolved and without that person being healed. When that person is placed over a congregation without being healed, what do we expect? Every category within the society has something similar to deal with.

We need to get back to basics and start with proper parenting. Parents must create an environment in which their children will not be afraid to express themselves when family members or any professional service within society abuses, or tries to, abuse them. Most play naÔve and try to cover it up.

Many parents also try to push their children into certain sports or entertainment in an attempt at fame without realising the consequences and the dangers that the children are encountering. The parents must discern and know the background of the individuals that will be working with their children. Realise that the moment a child is abused, particularly in that way, then that child's life takes a downward turn, and we need to catch that as quickly as possible as it can seriously affect every relationship they have, including marriage.

Parents are the ones with the responsibility for ensuring the protection of their children at all levels. They have to police them and protect them from certain elements, including entertainment and social networks.

The prison system should be one that rehabilitates, not prepares them to be repeat offenders. Often, they are abused within the prison system. Any prison system that is anti-family and does not allow conjugal visits should not be supported.

It is critical for Government to ensure that when children are placed in homes of safety, or in the custody of the state, those who are in charge should be checked to see if they were themselves abused in the past. If that is found to be so, then that needs to be dealt with before they can deal with the children. Many of them have suffered in this way, and we also need to recognise that it is not only girls that are at risk, but the boys are even more vulnerable.

Schools need to make it part of their system that when there are field trips, parents are given the opportunity to accompany their children on the trips. It should also be mandatory that the heads of the physical education department be one male and one female. Furthermore, there should be vigilance at the daycare, and proper checks need to be done on those who are to be the helpers.

Parents also need to ask God's guidance in choosing where and to whom their children are sent because the effects of this kind of abuse are life-long if left unresolved.

Recognise that paedophilia and such behaviours are not psychotic issues to be medicated. They are spiritual.