Archive for May 23rd, 2013

23
May
13

day off

wtf 1

Yesterday I took the day off to think. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what I’ve come up with.

And it is this: I think that childhood sexual abuse is a more significant and more central problem than most of us have any idea.

The experts say that there are 300 parricides a year. This makes it sound like a bigger–and more fundable–problem than it is. What the experts don’t tell you is that most of these parricides are committed by the adult children of the people who are killed. Juvenile parricides–murders committed by children under the age of 18–number about 30 a year. This is the finite demographic “slice” that I have chosen to focus on.

Just because I have chosen to not to get involved in the roughly 270 adult parricides a year, does not mean that I have chosen to ignore them. I have observed that adults who have been sexually abused as children carry this baggage with them into adulthood. It is significant to me that this is held by most victims as “secret baggage” which is only rarely disclosed, and as in the cases of the prosecution of abusive priests, usually only far into adulthood. And I emphasize this again–such disclosure happens in only a minority of total cases.

It seems to me that the central issue with all parricides is extreme anger and rage. The main difference between individuals–all individuals–is how this rage comes out. We focus on children, after-the-fact, who see murder of an abuser as the only way to prevent further abuse.victims who shoot back

You can see their point. Even though you and I would be able to devise better solutions (they are kids, after all), you can almost justify their actions. In my personal opinion, the world is better off without such “caregivers”–such abusive scum–in it.

Now here is the point which you may not want me to acknowledge. It is an uncomfortable point. Statistics on the incidence of childhood sexual abuse are lacking, unreliable, and greatly under-reported. The most reliable (but not most conservative) research on childhood sexual abuse suggests that 30-40% of girls and 13% of boys experience sexual abuse during childhood. But I think that even these numbers are too low.

What the real numbers are, I do not know. What I do know that our entire society has been over-sexualized, and that relations between children and adults are not excepted. Too many “normal” adults somehow justify sexual relations with children. Too many adults sow lifelong anger and rage in their children. And I happen to deal with the slice of victims who are arguably the youngest, bravest, or most desperate survivors among them.

When victimized kids try to find another way out besides murder, the system almost inevitably fails them. Cops return runaways to their abusers. Teachers and school officials fail to report warning signs. Kids are put into foster care by social services, where they are raped or sexually abused at rates that are just as high (if not higher) than if they were to remain with their abusers. And almost no one wants to talk about it.

That’s what I know based on the evidence. What I don’t know is this.

How do we avoid sexual abuse, and its outcome, parricide? Our mission should be prevention; we should move beyond after-the-fact solutions.

But I don’t know how. Maybe you do. Or maybe a good idea will strike you. If it does, please let me know.

۞

Groove of the Day 

Listen to Rod Stewart performing “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

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