Predictably, given the case of the abduction of Kienan Heber in Sparwood, the Province’s e-street question was:
“ What should be done to protect children from pedophiles?“
To which I replied:
The first true step in beginning to protect children from sexual abuse is to stop lying to ourselves and face the truth, the reality, about child sexual abuse.
It is not the boogieman in the bush that children need fear the most. It is the members of their own family – fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends considered family – that are the predators children need be primarily frightened of in terms of sexual abuse.
Even if you had a magic wand and wiped out the sexual abuse of children by boogiemen in the bush, 80% of child sexual abuse would remain.
And sexual abuse is a behaviour that is passed along by victims, creating the next generation of victims – and abusers.
If we, as a society, want to pay more than lip service to addressing child sexual abuse we will have to face the ugly truth that 80% of sexual abusers are known to the child.
An ugly, uncomfortable truth that must be faced if we seek to end the cycle of sexual abuse of children.