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Focal Point (for publishing-19/04/05)
Inter-church Comment

Face up to the Abuse

In 2004 I wrote an article entitled, 'Stop abusing the innocents' which hi-lighted the shocking nature of sexual abuse of children and it's prevalence in our society. Well it hasn't gone away. A top-level study from fifty sources has revealed that in Australia, a report of sexual abuse is made every three minutes and every thirteen minutes an abuse is proven. How can we get our heads around such figures? Last week the ABC looked into the bona - fides of this study and found that while there may be room for adjustment in the 'every three minutes' claim, there is no disputing the thirteen proven cases. Our media headlines scream 'Child sexual abuse of Australian children in Bali' and somehow we expect that it happens over there. But what kind of community do we live in? In this good and lucky country - we are Aussies - we are decent - we are not third world! But it is happening here, and big time. The added tragedy is that a great number of these abuses are known about by family members yet held secret. 'Stranger Danger' is no longer the essential message, its 'Family Member Danger'. How do you sell that message to kids when a close relative is the most likely to be the one who is abusing. Fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and stepfathers are the most recorded predators. How sick is a society when adults scar their young for life. I'm not on a witch hunt, look around you - the problem is you won't recognize them when you see them, but one in every thirty men you are looking at are abusing. So next time you are at the club or at work keep this in mind. Sadly you will need to keep a wary and watchful eye on your own family members too. Many mothers are reluctant to deal with what they see or know of the sexual abuse of their children because it is likely to bring up old pain for them as many of them were abused as children. Mothers, do yourself and your children a favour, don't let it continue. Guys, if you are currently offending and are willing to get help, talk to a counsellor because you are acting in a criminal manner. I know that this may inhibit the coming forward of some offenders, but if you are truly wanting to stop this sick behaviour, be a man and come out and deal with it. This might be a painful path in the meantime, but it will mean freedom from guilt for yourself and the freedom from the bondage of pain and secrecy for the children concerned. 

If you would like to talk about any of the issues raised please make the call.

Graeme Dawson Focal Point & Counsellor & Manager at Valley Care Counselling Service 
0409 517273 


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009