Over-Sexed UK – Problems of Morality
By Khalil Charles
The news that following a six-month covert police operation 660 people have been arrested and are accused of sexually abusing children and possessing lurid images of minors is the latest disturbing twist to the growing public outrage over pedophilia. This follows the candid admission by Pope Francis’s that one in every 50 Catholic Priests are pedophiles and the warning by the Archbishop of Canterbury that we can expect to hear about more and more cases of child abuse.
In the NSPCC latest research, published in April 2014, in which it interviewed over 6,000 young adults, adolescents and parents of younger children, the finding revealed that 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused. Over 90% of children who experienced sexual abuse, were abused by someone they knew and 18, 915 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2012/13. The research defined sexual abuse as any unwanted sexual activity, as well as criminal sexual activity with an adult, where physical contact took place. NSPCC says that a staging 40,345 individuals are registered as sexual offenders in the same year and abusers range between 18 to 76 years old.
In recent months, high profile prosecutions of celebrities and entertainers have drawn the issue sharply into focus. In some cases, 30 years after the abuse took place courts are more trusting of victims and custodial sentences have been issued for people like Stuart Hall, Max Clifford and Rolf Harris found guilty of repeated abuse on young under-aged women. No such justice could be given for the victims of entertainer Jimmy Saville, or politician Cyril Smith who went to their graves never having been bought to justice.
Nevertheless, the issue continues to hold the media headlines as it has now come to light that Members of Parliament back in the 70s and 80s are suspected to be involved in a massive pedophile ring. A child protection expert, Peter McKelvie told the BBC: "I would say we are looking at upwards of 20 [people] and a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it."
Now an enquiry has been set up by the Home Office to investigate the historic claims of wrong-doing and after one false start – the resignation of Baroness Butler-Sloss, the hunt for a new Chair of the enquiry continues.
However, the silent question that is often left unanswered is why does this happen in our society? Experts agree that the reasons for child sexual abuse are complex. However, whether children are victims of grooming, or abuse as part of a ring of pedophiles – there is an agreement that child sexual offences are a gross abuse of power. The hapless victims can do very little to defend themselves.
Ironically, it was Baroness Butler-Sloss who last year voiced her concern about the sexualisation of children, she suggested that adults are failing to take child abuse seriously because of the increasing sexualisation of young girls. She went to say that overexposure to inappropriate images is blunting attitudes towards sex attacks on under-16s and suggested there was a danger that under-age girls were no longer being seen as victims because of perceptions over the way some children act and dress.
Vice–President of the Muslim Association of Britain, Ameenah Blake said offenders must be dealt with firmly, ‘Children are amongst the most vulnerable people in society so it absolutely appalls me that such despicable acts can be perpetrated against them. It does not matter whether the crime is done by a Muslim or by an MP such behaviour is entirely unacceptable and should be punished.
She continued, “But I do hope that justice will prevail. I am concerned that files have gone missing and there is a danger of the abuses by people in power being covered up. This issue should not be brushed aside. Just punishment and the full force of the law should fall on those in power in the same it fell on those guilty of grooming.”
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