Monday, 19 April 2010

The Truth about Child Abuse: an Open Letter to the Media

The truth is that child abuse and cover-up are not primarily about religion or sex. They are about power

This is a crucial distinction to make.

Abuse, of any kind, is ALWAYS about POWER.

Sexual Abuse is but one part of a spectrum of behaviours that are based upon a desire to use others, to coerce children and people, for some perceived benefit.

And the facts are that those behaviours are learned, they are not innate.

What is being missed by almost all in this matter is that learned behaviours are learned  through experience - and that begs the question : what kinds of experience teach these lessons and what kind of adult rationalises the use of Power in such ways?

For sure, The Pope, and The Irish Government, The Canadian Government and other similar Institutions must be rationalising every decision they are making. That means, with regard to the abuse of children within Institutions of 'care',  they are sitting together around tables and saying "How can we manage this and retain our Power?" rather than saying "This is a dreadful situation for those who have suffered so much, and what can we do to help those people to recover, to feel safe again, and what can we do to ensure that all children are protected from abuse, whatever the situation they find themselves in?"

Those questions can best be answered by those who have survived, and by those who can act as Alice Miller writes, as 'enlightened witnesses'.

There is so much now known about brain development in infancy, early childhood and adolescence; about empathetic parenting; about working through the distress caused by abuse; about how learned behaviours are transmitted across generations that no Government nor any other Institution has any excuses not to implement these learnings.

Therefore it must be the case that those with Power are refusing this knowledge, that they are actively obstructing the processes of revelation and healing, and thus are themselves complicit, often unwittingly, yet in many cases knowingly.

It is time that clarity reigns.

There is so much at stake here, for all parents, all children and indeed our entire community.

Kindest regards


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1 comment:

corneilius said...

More and more people need to recognise this fact, and understand the dynamic processes that lead to this kind of learned behaviour because it is endemic in our society, and unless we deal with it, none of the various 'movements' for change will ever have any chance of real success as that will leave the children in an ever worsening situation. Part of the work required is for each of us to examine again our childhoods, not from the adult rationalised viewpoint, but from what it really felt like to have power of any kind exercised over us.