This week has seen two reports of children being blamed for the abuse they received. First, in this case, a barrister accused a 13 year old girl of being “predatory” and “sexually experienced.” The man that she was apparently predatory with was 41 years of age.
In the second case we have Eddy Shah claiming that underage girls can be “to blame” for the abuse they experience. He makes a distinction between young girls who go out to have a good time and ‘throw themselves’ at celebrities and those who go out and ‘actually get ‘raped’ raped’. So is he suggesting that there are two forms of rape? One where girls get ”actually ‘raped’ raped” and another form of rape that they consent to, ask for, or can be blamed for??
How corrupt have we become as a society when men can say that children, aged 13, 14 etc are to blame for the abuse or the rape they receive? There is a law to protect children and it should be adhered to by all adults. Adults are supposedly the ones with the common sense and the responsibility to protect children. Even if as Mr Shah suggests, a child was to ‘throw herself’ at him or a celebrity, as the adults, who know the law, it is their responsibility to not break the law and to not take advantage of the child. Children do not have the maturity to be fully aware of the implications of their behaviour or the drivers behind their behaviour and hence why they are called children – it is the role of the adult to guide them, protect them, nurture them, care for them, set an example for them and direct them onto the right track should they veer off it.
It is highly irresponsible to suggest that because a child ‘throws herself’ at an older man, that it is then ok for that man to proceed to have sex with the child. A child who ‘throws herself’ at a man is most likely starved of true love, affection and tenderness and is looking for it in all the wrong places and does not have the awareness to realise this. The adult needs to be just that – an adult and recognise that it is not ok to abuse, rape, molest or have sex with a child whether he thinks she was ‘asking for it’ or ‘consented’ to it or not. It is ludicrous. It is against the law. A child by definition is not mature enough to ‘consent’ to sex.
Making such accusations, is just a way of men avoiding their responsibility as adults. All they have to do is say No. It is very simple. But instead, they think they can get away with it by blaming the child for being ‘predatory’, ‘throwing themselves’ at them, ‘consenting’ or some other version of that story. Next thing, they’ll be saying ‘I didn’t want to but she made me do it!’
Equally of course it is important that women/girls do not cry rape or abuse when it didn’t actually happen and at all times there is a responsibility for all parties to be honest and truthful regarding the facts of the case and not falsely embellish, diminish or deny them. Claiming rape or abuse when it hasn’t happened just makes it harder for those who have been abused to be heard and believed as people can then begin to question the validity of those with genuine claims.
Falsely making accusations of abuse is itself an act of abuse. People who make such claims are clearly deeply traumatised that they are prepared to go to such lengths to get some form of attention irrespective of the damage it brings to others. They too are often starved of love and affection and use whatever means they can to get some form of attention.
Rape is rape and it is a crime. Sexual abuse of any kind leads to all sorts of untold damage to those who experience it. It is beholden on us all as a society to ensure children are loved, cared for, nurtured and protected. We need to speak up and call out abuse of any kind when it occurs. Perhaps in that way, men might just think twice before touching, molesting, abusing, raping or even having what they call ‘consensual sex’ with a child.
A man who truly respects and loves himself would never dream of interfering with a child in a sexual way. Likewise, a woman who truly respects and loves herself would never make false accusations against a man regarding sexual abuse. The ability to abuse another in any way arises from the lack of love within oneself, as a consequence of not having been met, seen and held in that love since childhood. Eradicating abuse is not going to happen overnight, but it is beholden on us all to live our lives responsibly and lovingly and to call out that which is not. The more we are able to live love and express it in all our ways of living and relating, then others may by reflection, get to know they are that too and choose it for themselves and be it with their children.
How do you feel about the comments made by the barrister and the Mr Shah?
Do you agree or disagree?
Feel free to comment