The article below appeared in The Age newspaper today and tells us of an 11 year old girl who gave birth here in Victoria having been raped by a 30 year old man. Can you imagine the pain and despair this little girl had to go through during years of abuse? And, as a permanent reminder, she now has a baby…as innocent as her.
I could write about the failure of Child Protection, or perhaps the failure of community to notice this little girl's pain. I could write about the sex-crazed society that has probably always been with us, but seems to take on new and violent forms as each year passes. Or I could write about the value of human life and the confusion I feel knowing the depravity that exists in individuals.
But right now, I feel like all the writing is done. Now, I feel like we need to stand up and get righteously angry. No more will we accept little girls being used as objects of sexual desire for adults. No more will I accept the transformation of young girls into sexualised women. We must stand up and take back the innocence of childhood.
When we see an item of clothing in the children’s section that should only be worn by an adult, we need to make our disapproval clear. When we see music videos and magazines with very adult themes, complain. It’s time to raise our voices! Will this action stop the future rape of children? Possibly not. But at least let us show the generation of children growing up too quickly before us that they are free to be kids. Let’s stop the thinking that it is ‘cute’ to see children in high heels and short skirts and padded bras. Let us stop calling young children ‘sexy’ (I hear it too often!). Let’s stop giving our children dolls that are devoid of positive influence, or even gravitational reality!
There are so many complexities to this issue, and perhaps I sound naïve for suggesting we can reclaim childhood, but for what it’s worth, I am going to try.
The Age, 11th November, 2010.
AN 11-YEAR-OLD country Victorian girl who was abused for years has had a baby.
Police last night confirmed they charged a 30-year-old man in September with 18 offences relating to rape, sexual penetration of a child under 16 and assault with intent to rape.
The man was a family friend of the girl's grandparents, according to AAP. Police last night alleged the abuse had been going on for several years.
The girl gave birth to a healthy baby, believed to be a boy, last month. It is understood she and her family were not known to child protection services before she became pregnant. A medical professional is believed to have alerted the authorities after the girl presented for treatment. Police said they could not reveal the identity of the suspect, who was in police custody, because it could identify the victim. A Department of Human Services spokesman last night would not comment. The family was believed to be receiving government support.