The Abuse of Children is about Power and Social Dysfunction

One of my friends gave evidence in this inquiry.  She was so poor that she told me she had eaten grass. That is when you know the scourge of poverty. She was institutionalised because her mother had a mental illness and the father an alcoholic. Clearly our society has mental health issues that go deep.  When I thought of government institutions of abuse I thought of the indigenous people and the refugees.  Refer   I clowned in a detention centre and saw children in there.  They were incarcerated, jailed in a maximum security jail for what – fleeing persecution.  It is deeply concerning. It does not matter if we speak of abuse of children, women, men or refugees – people are people.  The issue is abuse and why?  I believe the abuse is a national problem and further investigation is required into the way we raise children, the way people are treated, bullying and the lip service given about caring about people.  The issue of the military is another factor of abuse but it is framed as nationalism, when 90% of casualties are civilian is this defence or abuse?  It is a behaviour that manifests when people are perceived as vulnerable.  I believe there is deep institutional apathy and attitudes of ‘I don’t care’ or ‘not my business’ that appears normalised.  It is the silence around abuse and the bystander apathy that is a key issue.  Why are we silent when abuse happens?  Why push it under the rug to make sure no-one knows?  Or why do we repackage it as somehow the other deserves it or encouraged it. I believe in openness and honesty, not just as a statement to appease but to be lived as who we are.

An apology may at least acknowledge what has happened (person exists) but why does it take so long for this to happen?  What about all the people involved who just allow negative things to happen to children or any person?  I think it reflects a deeply dysfunctional society. I have come to learn that all abuse is about power. It is bullying where there is a emotional disconnect from the target.  They are unable to feel empathy for the other.  That is why it happens.  Nature gave us conscience and feeling for others, this is what prevents harm.  When this feeling is not evident that is a sign the person has not received loving kindness in their life to model on, it is likely they were neglected.  I believe the socialisation of men and the idea that they don’t show their feelings is a real issue.  Children (particularly boys) must toughen up and to show kindness and real care for a child’s needs is somehow a weakness or not noticed.  This hardness, ignorance and the inability to be lovingly present is significant I believe.  Of course it is not just men, in the case of my friend her mother was incapable of showing love and had no empathy for her kids pain. In her way she tried to keep her kids but she was unwell.  I know of other women who bully and scream with no regard for their children’s mental health and wellbeing.  I find it deeply disturbing.  On a national level we have to assist in ensuring environments of mental wellbeing for children. Whilst childcare centres can fill gaps they are not parents.  It is concerning when kids that go there start to call educators who care for them ‘mum’.  I worked in a childcare centre and the girls (educators) were young.  It is not a community or family enviornment even the ages are segmented like primary school.  Whilst there has been some good curriculum I do not believe that provides for the natural order of familial love.  Early childhood years must be predominantly with parents as family bonds run very deep.

An apology is one aspect but healing and nurturing is the real deal.  Money is just money as we pay off problems yet again.  You can never compensate for he horrors of abuse whether they be psychological or physical (in truth it is both). Transformational change is what must happen and this is to evaluate the living conditions and psychological health of children and families.  These issues are getting more urgent as work is demanding, families break up, mental health issues increase, violence on television is heightened and normalised and children are increasingly plugged into computers.  It might be a way of keeping them quiet but it rewires their brain and disconnects them from what is around them as they escape into cyber world’s.  This I feel is a significant issue of our time and not understood. In my view it shuts down empathy as they become tunnel vision.  I had a early childhood educator with 20 years experience confirm this to me.  The children learn to tune out people and they become incapable of lateral thinking (it shuts down creativity as well) as it is primarily linear.  I regard this as a future issue and I believe abuse will increase if we do not focus on balanced childhood’s where children are put first, not last.  I know many people are worried about the future of children. 

The business world has to take a second seat to the needs of children, it is not as important as the future generation.  Jobs are not critical but balanced and healthy families and friendly suburbs to grow up in.  The nurturing side is the one neglected as it is taken for granted but I believe the issues have been seriously growing since the Howard years (former Australian Prime Minister).  I actually felt a strong intuitive feeling during this time about the failures for children. Politically they stipulated on the one hand mother’s staying home and then on the other ‘go to work’.  I witnessed the psychology shift. I found the Christian right influence in politics provided confused messages as they want to see women in traditional roles yet what happens when father’s leave? Children are plunged into poverty if the parent is not professional.  The philosophical and spiritual mindsets of politicians must be declared in a secular society so we can evaluate if there decisions are reflecting their own beliefs or representing society for the highest good of social policy and welfare.  We have to increase part-time wages (and full-time from 80% to 100% equivalent) so women do not have to work so hard to survive. If they are solo parents they must be supported in parity to a two parent family, the government subsidises to an equivalent.  We have to build community in suburbs so people know each other and kids play together safely.  Children and families must learn conflict resolution and inquiry into negative thinking so kids do not get abuse projected onto them and harmed psychologically.  It is extremely painful for children to witness the pain of their parents fighting.  They suffer tremendously.  It expresses later in life.

Anyway here is the statement by the government.  Given my own experience I am concerned about the ethics in governance and whether they care at all.  I hope they prove me wrong.

Child sexual abuse survivors will receive national apology this year, as WA to join redress scheme

By political correspondent Louise Yaxley


Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a national apology to victims of institutional child sexual abuse on October 22 this year.

Key points:

  • The Federal Government will adopt 104 of 122 recommendations from the royal commission, and is still considering 18
  • That includes forcing priests to report information revealed to them during confession
  • WA will sign on to the national redress scheme, clearing the way for compensation to begin on July 1


Mr Turnbull this morning outlined the Federal Government’s formal response to the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

The Prime Minister said 104 of the commission’s 122 recommendations relating to the Commonwealth would be adopted, including the establishment of a national office for child safety.

The Government will consider the other 18 recommendations but noted none had been rejected.

A recommendation to make it an offence to fail to report that a child is at substantial risk is still being considered because states have to all agree on the wording.

The royal commission recommended forcing priests to report information revealed to them by people making confession.

Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter has made it clear he supports the contentious recommendation.

But the Australian Catholic Bishops Office said there had been no compelling evidence to suggest that removing the protection for confession would improve child safety.

Hetty Johnston, who founded the child protection organisation Bravehearts, said it was “rubbish” for the Church to argue confession should be kept secret if that meant children were in danger of harm.

“There is nothing more important than the best interests and safety and protection of children,” Ms Johnston said.

“Any institution that would put its own culture or processes above the best interests of children is an organisation that no longer deserves any kind of support.”

WA to sign on to redress scheme

Mr Turnbull confirmed Western Australia would also be joining the national redress scheme for victims of abuse, becoming the last of the states and territories to sign on.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has said the state intends to join the national redress scheme in the coming weeks but the decision is yet to go before Cabinet.


Mr Turnbull paid tribute to survivors and their families for their bravery, honesty and strength in coming forward.

“For many of you, the royal commission was the first chance you had to be heard, to be have your pain acknowledged and most importantly to be believed,” Mr Turnbull said.

“You were believed and the wrongdoers have been brought to account.

“Your courage has helped expose the scale of institutional child sexual abuse in our country.”

A national office for child safety and a national redress scheme to provide payment to victims will both start on July 1.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said so far 93 per cent of victims were estimated to be covered by the scheme.

The maximum payment is $150,000, which is lower than the $200,000 recommended by the royal commission.

But Mr Tehan said the average payment to victims would be higher than the royal commission called for.

He said the federal and state governments had agreed that the average payment would be $76,000 when the commission recommended $60,000.


The Government said there would be a “relatively low threshold” for victims to apply for money under the redress scheme as it was not designed to be fought out in the courts.

The states and religious institutions are due to respond to the commission’s report this month.

A committee has been working on the wording of the apology that Mr Turnbull will deliver on October 22, which coincides with National Children’s Week.

Topics: government-and-politics, federal-government, royal-commissions, sexual-offences, law-crime-and-justice, charities-and-community-organisations, community-and-society, australia

Mohandas Gandhi

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”