Child abuse is the worst plague to befall humanity !
Prove me wrong.
I recently read the book “Matthew Flinders’ Cat” by Bryce Courtenay. It’s an absorbing tale of child abuse, addiction and homelessness but I’m not here to plug a book as such. Rather, I wanted to share with you a quote from pages 578-579 of that book. The tale itself is fiction, though many parts of it are certainly true – such as this speech from the character Chief Justice Marcus Eisenstein;
“Imagine a society, any society, with one-quarter of its daughters and one-seventh of its sons struck down by a plague, a virus that isn’t immediately fatal but which has an incipient result that leads to suicide, persistent lifelong nightmares, intractable psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, anorexia and depression, all of which requires lifelong treatment.
What do you suppose that society’s response should be? Yet that’s what we have here and nothing is done about it.”
He then goes on to say “Sexual abuse of children probably accounts for more misery and suffering than any of the great plagues of history, if for no other reason than that it lasts a lifetime. That, my dear old friend is what we are up against. That is truly why the law is an ass! A massive public-health problem like child sexual abuse demands a massive social response, yet there is no shout or even a whimper of indignation.
There is no National AIDS Council equivalent, no National Heart Foundation, no National Quit Smoking program, no Anti-Cancer Council! Despite the glaringly obvious evidence in front of us, we do nothing! And evil men are allowed to trample the young seedlings of our nation underfoot!” (Courtenay, Bryce Matthew Flinders’ Cat pp 578-579. Penguin Books 2002).
Charities and other groups such as ours are committed to bringing about an end to this “plague” – we will not stop fighting until all Australian children can be safe from all forms of abuse. Yes, we recognise that that commitment means a very long fight but the children of yesterday, today and all of our tomorrows are worth the battle. We need politicians and others to be made aware that society will not tolerate their indifference any longer, that this issue reaches into every part of our societies and indeed our economy.
Help us to be the change.