Saturday, 29 January 2011

Ireland, the World : Litany of Abuse, Litany of Shame : more to come

Ireland, the World : Litany of Abuse, Litany of Shame  

Here are links to on-line copies of the reports thus far from investigations of Institutional Abuse in Residential Schools, clergy abuse in parish's in Ireland.

There are  26 dioceses in Ireland, and reports for three have been completed, with two having been released to the public domain. A third has been completed, but has yet to be released. 
This is the tip of the iceberg, not just in Irish terms, but also in worldwide terms.. these patterns of abuses have occurred in Canada, United States of America, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Australia where there are ongoing investigations, and in many, many other countries, in particular those lands colonised by the European powers during the last 400 years.


These abuses also include the world-wide 'assimilation' processes of the 19th and 20th Centuries in Colonised lands, aimed at undermining the traditional cultures of the colonised, whereby Native Aboriginal children were taken by force under the juridstiction of Law and placed in Residential Schools, to be educated in the ways of the Colonist.  
There is clear evidence, well documented, of legislated processes whereby Aboriginal Children were taken from their families and forced into residential schools, evidence from the USA, Canada, Australia and many, many other places... 

What those children, so many, went through!

Here's a propaganda film from the 1950s in Canda concerning these Residential Schools 

Here's one of the foundational documents outlining the philosophy behind these programs.

What I am describing here amounts to a world wide, and long-term, intergenerational pattern of systemic Institutionalised abuse, with clear political and economic aims, and, subsequently as the facts have been revealed, a world wide pattern of cover-up - an a cover-up that is tactical, mediated, strategic; that reveals a clear intent, and worse a clear understanding of the vulnerabilities of Survivors, vulnerabilities which are exploited to protect the Institutions and individuals involved in abuse, neglect or denial.   

What trauma did those children suffer? What of their families and communities? Why? What of  the Poor, those people who have little, whom nobody wants to be,and  yet so many are, so many?


This exploitation of Survivors known vulnerabilities can often re-traumatise, and that in and of itself is a criminal act, in that the exploitation is intentional, mediated, known, understood in terms of it's potential effects. 

There are many cases where questioning by defendants adversarial legal teams and investigators is directed not at the issue, but at the person, in what are attempts to trigger the claimant.  

One example that occurs all too frequently is that survivors of pedophile priests are asked, during cross examination, whether or not the priest in question was circumcised! 

In most cases, this is difficult to determine in an erect penis, especially if the survivor is young, and considering that usually such an assault involves huge amounts of stress..... (a common response in situations like this is for the victim to shut of awareness, to look away, anything to not have to face the full impact of the situation.)

This of course is understood by the defendant legal team, and thus the questioning of this sort is a tactic to try to 'punch holes' in the witness testimony. Any hesitation on the wintesses part could then be used to undermine the reliability of the witness, in the court.

At the very least this is cruelty. It re-traumatises the Surivor. As this video shows clearly. 

It is certainly an utterly repugnant practice, though common in criminal and civil actions in courts all over the world. It is called 'destroying the witness'. 

This pattern of exploitation of claimants vulnerabilities is similar in nature to the approach and methods of errant Corporations and Banks. They use their resources to tie people up in courts, in order to drive the claimants towards 'out of court' settlements which usually demand secrecy or silence on the matter therefater, which block further civillitigation, and criminal prosecution and which the defendant can use to to deny the original charges.

There are examples of this kind of exploitative behaviour from Social Services as well. 


And it doesn't have to be this way. Empathy is not an airy-fairy hippy dippy concept. It certianly can and should be integrated into any process of restorative justice, and can be taught to those involved the the administration of restorative justice (which is the prime responsibility of The State, and should be the primary concern of The Vatican). And it certainly ought to be the bed-rock of ALL social services training. And school-teaching for that matter. Certainly the Police could also benefit from it.

There is NO excuse for the apparant lack of empathy on the part of State or Vatican in this matter. They certainly cannot claim that they are unaware of these dynamics as the professionals and researchers who have helped develope the understandings concerning empathy and restorative justice have communicated, in very clear terms, with the Vatican and most, if not all Justice and Health System Ministeries around the Earth.

Something inspiring to listen to :

Here's a revelatory radio show, from Why Radio at Radio Times : "As the worldwide call for accountability grows louder, we talk about what state and federal governments can do to protect children against sexual abuse by clergy. Our guests are law professor Marci Hamilton and Sister Maureen  Paul Turlish, an educator and victims advocate".

The discussion is amazingly clear, compassionate and honest. Utterly unflinching. Highly reccomended.

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

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