Innocence Lost

30 05 2008

Mr President is baffled by the way parental outrage is on the increase. They seem hellbent on pretending they live in 1950’s suburbia. The irony is that the rosy vision they seem to have is false.

Kids were not safer back then, far from it, and this is something he’s touched on already before. Yet parents seem determined to undermine the very thing that makes their kids safer now.

Knowing all about the dangers they might face out there is the very thing that makes our children safer now than they were 30 or 40 years ago.

The old phrase “knowledge is power” comes to mind when Mr President sees the parental outrage over the latest attempt to equip their kids with the information they need to know. The obvious criticism of this sort of move is that it’s for parents to raise with their kids, yet the fact parents are outraged by the booklet suggests they weren’t planning to raise it until it was too late. What good is the information at age 11?

There’s a comment at the bottom of that piece that bears reading. Parents are worried that kids of eight are too young for this information. Well Mr President’s got news for those parents; paedophiles don’t think it’s too young. In fact if you leave it until 11 or 12 to raise it with them, the chances are they’re now too old for most predators.

What good is it telling someone about child abuse when they’re either too old to suffer it or have already fallen victim and been keeping a horrible secret for years? There’s a parent in the article who says that the booklet would harm their family. They don’t want kids to look at their uncles and think they might abuse them. How clueless are these people? Do they not realise how much damage to their family child abuse does?

Kids should be on the lookout for any behaviour by any adult, especially family members, that might be inappropriate. Child abuse is most commonly perpetrated by trusted family members, yet parents would rather brush it under the carpet than face the truth. They are the very sort of people whose lives will come crashing down when the brothers and sisters they trusted with their kids turn out to be their abusers.

Parents seem, however, to be more focussed on the idea that this is something that should be up to them to raise with their children. Mr President agrees, and wonders why, then, they choose to oppose a move that makes it easier for them to do so. If they don’t think their eight year old is ready they may be right. The problem is it’s the kids who aren’t ready that won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late to stop it.

The problem is that parents will always see their children as darling little angels, too innocent for this sort of thing, and who can blame them? They love them, they want to hang onto the memory of their cherubic offspring because the day when they’re all grown up comes quicker than anyone would like. It’s entirely understandable for them to do so. The problem is that it’s this innocence that predators are attracted to.

Worse yet, parents who are keen to preserve the innocence of childhood lose sight of the fact that it’s the very thing that child abuse robs them of forever. Once a victim of abuse a child’s innocence is lost, and can’t be returned to them. Their childhood will always remain scarred by the memories. Prevention, sadly, does necessitate that we deprive our children of some of their innocence, preserving as much as we can.

Please, let’s not bury our heads in the sand. The dangers are too great if we do.


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6 06 2008
Judging A Book By Its Cover « Textual Relations

[…] of ruining future generations forever with our approach to so many things. From teaching them about sexual issues to letting them go down to the […]

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