Child abuse

I don’t know if many outside the UK have even heard of Jimmy Savile. A flamboyant DJ and television presenter with a fondness for jewellery and garish tracksuits, almost always seen puffing on a cigar, the eccentric do-gooder raised millions for charity (estimated to be in the region of £40 million). He died last year, a bachelor, aged 84.

I didn’t know him, never met him, just watched him on TV as a child and marvelled, not at Top of the Pops, but at how he always ‘Fixed It’ – on Jim’ll Fix It – for children who wrote to him – on paper, those were the days when children knew how to write letters on paper – asking if he’d make their dreams come true and arrange it for them to dance with Shakin’ Stevens or pick pockets with Mark Raffles. When I saw re-runs of Top of the Pops, sure, he came across as a bit slimy, but then, so do many other people. Not for me to dismiss someone just because I feel a man of a certain age shouldn’t accentuate his eccentricities by having long, straggly hair and large pieces of gold hanging around his neck.

At the height of his fame as a TV presenter, he is accused of grooming girls as young as 12. Up to 10 women claim they were sexually abused when they were teenagers, including one who says she was raped at 15 when on a work experience placement at the BBC.

People who knew him and worked with him are now coming out, unhelpfully and rather awkwardly, saying they heard him brag to friends that he was beyond reproach. Some even saw things they wish they hadn’t. They did nothing. How many heard his sleazy remarks? How many turned a blind eye? How many buttoned their lip for the sake of a quiet life and comfortable career progression? Shame on them all.

It makes me feel quite sick in the days after a schoolgirl who ran off with her married teacher is brought home, from France, distraught that their lengthy tryst is over. More so after an official report into the systematic abuse of vulnerable teenage girls, published last week, reveals that a mountain of evidence was dismissed because the children were from the wrong side of the tracks and therefore their predicament presumed to be more a matter of lifestyle choice than organised, repeated sexual exploitation by a gang of old perverts. Does being below the legal age of consent not matter if you’re a bit rough around the edges? (Or, in the case of some of those that Savile is claimed to have preyed on, girls from a boarding school labelled as being ‘for intelligent, emotionally disturbed’ girls. How nice.) It seems to matter a great deal if you’re well-heeled and leave the country, albeit willingly, using your mother’s stolen passport.

Savile’s former PA (who would have tried to stop it had she known about it, of course) believes his accusers are star-struck fantasists. I accept that many young girls did, and still do, hang around celebrities, and acknowledge that his accusers speak of a time when DJs were themselves celebrities, with “as many groupies throwing themselves at them as there were for the pop stars.” I have some sympathy for his family, having to deal with this now that Savile is dead and has no means of defending himself from hurtful allegations and cannot sue – again – for libel. His family must be distraught.

Likewise the family of Megan Stammers, the respectable middle class girl who ran off to France with her teacher. How very embarrassing for them.

And the parents of the Rochdale girls, those poor wretches, given fake names and an actress to speak their words on TV. How must they feel?

The parents who failed to report their daughters’ allegations of abuse at Savile’s hands to police at the time let these girls down, too.

We are entitled to criticise police and social services for failing children (again), just as we are Megan’s school for not acting on tip-offs from pupils. We curse the cowardice of Savile’s self-pitying colleagues for whom recent media speculation has not come as a surprise and shake our heads in disbelief that nobody thought it warranted intervention at some level. Yet speak out sometimes and you can often find yourself ostracised, your career stunted, your colleagues forever distrustful. Nobody takes too kindly to a whistleblower when everyone’s doing just fine as things are, thank you very much, and enjoying the spoils of their sacred cash cow. Not a huge shock, then, than people push things to the back of their minds and convince themselves that somebody else will come forward. A huge disappointment, but not exactly a surprise.

I can’t help but feel we are all partly at fault, as a society, for allowing children to dress, speak and act much older than their years. Some parents tart their little girls up and send them off to beauty pageants where they parade in next-to-nothing and they think nothing immoral of it. Is there a more distasteful sight than a baby in make-up? The sexualistion of children is disgusting and disgraceful. Another thing: how many reality TV shows are there now where the poor sods freely admit that they aspire to nothing, have no ambition and simply choose to go plodding, lemming-like, down a path of embarrassment and humiliation, on a producer’s whim, in order to get laughs from an audience watching in comfort and pity. But the vacuous, made-up bimbos teetering on the highest heels seem to be doing alright for themselves these days. They are the role models for young girls for whom being a doctor or a teacher is an implausible dream. They’d rather just marry a footballer and have a good time, then lots of babies to dress up inappropriately. And so the vulgarity continues. We made that happen. We also created the cult of celebrity which would make it easy for the likes of Savile to exploit his position and get away with multiple abuses.

BBC production staff now say his sleazy behaviour was something of an open secret. The BBC even launched a two-month investigation into allegations about his inappropriate behaviour mere days after his death, but executives pulled it from the TV schedules at the last minute, preferring to broadcast a nice programme about his charity work instead.

He was interviewed by police over child abuse allegations in 2007 but no charges were brought due to insufficient evidence. The accusers never took out private prosecutions.

Savile is, of course, innocent until proven guilty, but how we enjoy trial by media. It’s also our very nature now, it seems, to complain about everything, to hurry to the press and be rewarded for doing so, selling stories, no matter how tedious or tawdry, and pointing the finger of accusation at someone, anyone, in order to achieve five minutes of fame via the front pages.

Speaking out now that he’s dead does leave the women open to accusations of crawling out of the woodwork. Should it take 30-40 years to come forward? Ideally, no, but I’m not qualified to judge. I would hope that even the coldest hearts can understand girls doubting that anybody would believe them, fearing his reputation, opting instead for silence. Would you waive your right to anonymity if you were lying, knowing that the press and public will condemn you if it is found that you lied? I should hope not.

If the claims are true, even though they cannot lead to a conviction nor prevent further abuses, why shouldn’t they speak out? If they feel they can now that he’s dead, now that he won’t force them to experience courtroom humiliation, if they are sick of hearing about this saintly figure, repulsed to learn that he was buried in a gold coffin which crowds queued to pass at his wake, and this brings them closure after decades of silent shame and regret, let them shout about it from the rooftops. It takes great courage to speak up – but the same has to be true for Savile’s suspicious colleagues who said nothing.

Of course, the trouble is that everybody is all too quick to talk now, now that it’s too late; when all that can be achieved is the tarnishing of a reputation and the healthy generation of money (by media, mostly for lawyers).

As for Megan Stammers, there’s still much talking to be done. I don’t know the details, don’t want to know them, will probably soon know them and will feel uncomfortable about knowing. We’ve already seen her bucket list, for goodness sake, it’s only a matter of time before we know all that happened in France. But the age of consent in France is 15, not 16, as in the UK. Indeed, the French media has portrayed the case of the missing schoolgirl as a tragic love story. They had eloped. Her teacher’s only crime was to fall in love with his pupil. My first reaction to this was to reach for a bucket to throw up into, but now I find myself thinking they have a point, if only to drown out the noise that stops us from hearing much more important things.

I’m not of the view that the schoolgirl is ‘the victim’. The girl’s friends knew about the relationship, as did the school. Two other things annoy me: the first is that lots of taxpayers’ money has been spent finding the silly loved-up couple who spent eight days on the run, while back in the real world, the poorest are now dependent on food banks due to government cuts; the second is that we’d all be fed a quite different view had Megan been a ‘Suzie’, a poor, working class girl from a run-down estate, skipping a school that doesn’t take trips to Los Angeles.

He will lose his job – quite rightly – and face charges of child abduction, having publicly humiliated his wife and family; she will sell her story in a few years, most likely saying what a fool she was and how she’s now found real love so everything in the garden is rosy. Maybe we’ll be spared wedding photos in a glossy magazine before that, then the bitter divorce and custody battle. Or maybe they’ll just defy everybody and live their lives happily ever after. Now that she’s safe, I really don’t care. But I do care that Jimmy Savile might have been a child abuser and I certainly care that society is so skewed that what happened to ‘Suzie’ could happen again – on a night when a five-year old girl, abducted from outside her home in a quiet rural community, is still missing after more than 48 hours and everyone is now seriously starting to fear what a real child abuser might have done to her.

It truly is a messed-up world. And the self-righteous still wail, ‘Where were the parents?’ as if it’s going to fix it.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

97 thoughts on “Child abuse”

  1. Americans are going through something similar with Jerry Sandusky. The only real differences are that a) Sandusky was caught while still alive and b) he targeted boys, not girls. The rest of the story sounds sadly familiar.

    1. Wow. I’ve just been reading about Jerry Sandusky. How sickeningly awful. Under-privileged children, wealthy and powerful men, witnesses to the abuse saying nothing for fear of losing their jobs, dismissals, riots, book deals… It’s claimed he even abused his adopted son.

      I swing between favouring the death penalty and strongly opposing it. Right now, I think it’s a great idea.

      I’ll look out for news of his sentencing next week, but surely he will die behind bars. (He faces a maximum of 442 years in prison.)

    2. Jerry Sandusky has just been sentenced to what is effectively the rest of his life in jail.

      I have taught in a jail, and they are nasty places. Guards have to place sex offenders in a separate wing of the prison, to protect them from the rest of the inmates. Because even among hardened criminals, sex offenses are considered especially heinous and street justice is brutal. So if Sandusky gets a guard especially mad, a “mistake” could put him in the wrong part of the prison and a brutal, painful death would certainly follow. The guards don’t ever let the inmates forget this, either.

  2. Another intriguing blog, as ever FEd.

    As you summarised so succinctly in your final sentence, “It truly is a messed-up world”.

    Despite all these miscreants and their defiling behaviour, I’d like to offer you an A to Z birthday characterization, if I may be so bold…

    Accurate
    Balanced
    Concise
    Deliberation
    Encompassing
    Feature
    Generous
    Honest
    Impeccable
    Juxtaposed
    Knowledgeable
    Loyal
    Masterful
    Neutral
    Observant
    Purposeful
    Quintessential
    Resolute
    Sociable
    Thorough
    Unfettered
    Vehement
    Wise
    eXpert
    Yearner
    Zeal

    Hoping you enjoy an angst free day.

    Cheers.

  3. As a teacher and now a parent, the subject of child abuse is never far from my mind. My first and foremost responsibility in both of those roles is to protect children, to be aware of the signs and symptoms of any possible abuse, to know what to do if I suspect that abuse has occurred. Knock on wood, but I have never known a child who actually showed any of these signs and symptoms. But that doesn’t stop me from being ever vigillant. These days, one must be.

    As a teacher, one occasionally wonders what happens when one sends the class off to a colleague’s classroom for art or gym. As a parent, one wonders about the day care provider. We trust our teachers and doctors to behave with professionalism and decency. It is sometimes hard to do so, with so many stories in our collective conciousness about abused children. Sometimes I wish it were fifty years ago and that we didn’t have to worry like this. That children were not so sexualized. That abuse was still unthinkable. That innocence was still the promise of the young. But that was a long time ago, and our world is a very different place.

    A few years ago, I caught one of my third-grade boys passing a note to a second-grade girl in the hallway. It said, “I wanna f**k you and make your babies.” It made me cringe then, but it haunts me now. Children abusing one another. What if I had not seen this note passing hands? I once sent a young girl home for wearing sweatpants that said “BOOTYLICIOUS” across her backside. I sent another girl home because she was wearing a low-cut top with spaghetti straps and material so thin that you could see right through it. Not in my classroom, not on my watch. In both cases I wondered if I were overreacting, and concluded that I HAD to overreact. It is my job to protect these children, even if their parents do not. It is my job to set limits. My daughter is going to be eleven months old in a few days, but that is not too young to be careful. A father worries about the message being sent. Clothes ALWAYS cover the waist, shoulder and collarbone. This is for the image one presents to the world, as well as for her emerging self-image. (Developmentally, she doesn’t yet have a self-image as such. But it is never too early to instil self-respect and self-worth.) We will never allow her to wear sweats with “BOOTYLICIOUS” written across the backside, not until she is twenty and it’s no longer our call. And the biggest hope that I have for her is that she gets to be that age and never has any firsthand knowledge of what “child abuse” is all about.

    1. Not in my classroom, not on my watch. In both cases I wondered if I were overreacting, and concluded that I HAD to overreact. It is my job to protect these children, even if their parents do not. It is my job to set limits.

      Good for you, Dan. I hoped you’d contribute to this one and give a teacher’s perspective. The way some older girls dress for school now simply beggars belief. Even with a strict uniform, they manage to incorporate short skirt and tight-fitting shirt. Not strict enough, obviously.

      As for the younger ones, they are not buying their clothes and are probably not even choosing them. I think it’s terrible.

    2. Re-reading this, I need to define “third grade” for an international audience. A third-grader is about 8 years-old. So these are 8 year-olds whose life experience is such that they are propositioning 7 year-olds. A very tough and oversexualized life. Both as a teacher and as a parent, this is appalling. Children that young are not developmentally ready for sex, let alone for sex as a form of aggression. What is the long-term effect? I cringe to even ask the question. Hence, the need to question and protect and defend.

  4. Off Topic

    Each year brings unseen opportunities just waiting to be found. Happy Birthday, dear F.Ed.!

    By the way, I’d like to remember that today is St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Italy, and this day is the World Animal Day, celebrated in honour of his love for the nature and all creatures.

    May God bless you with successful life.
    Elisabetta

    1. Thank you very much, Elisabetta. I’ve always been happy that my birthday is a recognised day to celebrate and do something for all the animals that make the world such an amazing place.

  5. I feel so sorry for April’s family but for her Mum in particular. She did well to even be at the press conference yesterday. I feel like I would die of heartbreak if it was my child. I can just about imagine wanting to be dead to escape the anguish, being torn by my conscience at having such thoughts, but still finding life impossible, a deep pain and screaming inside. It must be considerably worse than that for her.

    The poor soul, my heart goes out to her.

    Fed, this is a deeply thought provoking subject, your post excellently written as usual, I have lots more thoughts some of which could not be published. I might comment more later but wanted to say something about April and her Mum.

    ash

  6. Hi FEd,

    as a father of three, one being my now 18 year old daughter, I can only wonder, how selfish some parents are. Of course there will be the random child who was raised up well but got on the wrong rails (as we say here in Germany), but in my opinion the parents have enormous influence on their children.

    It makes me very uncomfortable to see and read about UK’s teenage mothers, as you wrote “the sexualisation of children is disgusting and disgraceful”. Still, the parents are the ones that are responsible for that, and of course, the public who won’t stop consuming all those shallow shows on TV and buying the yellow press…

    On the other hand, the many chances have made it easy for perverts to find their victims, and shame on all who knew/know but turned/turn their eyes away. Hell, there is only a bit of courage needed to wistleblow…

    Taki

  7. … almost forgot it: Happy Birthday, FEd! No FIAT 500 from me, though, but in case you’ll be near Munich sometime, I’ll see that you get the German beer. 😉

    Best regards

    Taki

  8. Here in Ireland the Catholic Church showed the world what way not to deal with child abuse… let’s simply move the abuser about to do the same to other children.

    A very good and close friend of mine investigated and reported on this very matter bringing down the Irish government at the same time – Brendan Smyth.

  9. FEd, I thought you would find this interesting reading from a clinical, psychological and sociological perspective.

  10. Hiya FED,

    Have a Happy Birthday!

    Oh and on trying one or two French beers … umm … I guess everyone’s entitled a mistake or two. 😉

    Have a great day!

    Cheers
    Ralph

    1. – You are no longer my favourite blogger, Ralph. :/

      – You are no longer my favourite Features Editor, FEd. :/

      😛

  11. Savile’s former PA (who would have tried to stop it had she known about it, of course) believes his accusers are star-struck fantasists.

    Bull shit, they are not star-struck fantasists. They were young and vulnerable and kept that locked inside themselves for years to come.

    Oh this subject makes me very, very angry. I will take out chunks and respond individually. Thank God I have let my little girl be a little girl and not push her to grow up. That is what I fucking hate about this country, parents and teachers always saying: ‘Oh how grown up you are’ to the children. Let kids be kids …..

    Grrrrrrrrrrr……

  12. Speaking out now that he’s dead does leave the women open to accusations of crawling out of the woodwork. Should it take 30-40 years to come forward? Ideally, no, but I’m not qualified to judge. I would hope that even the coldest hearts can understand girls doubting that anybody would believe them, fearing his reputation, opting instead for silence. Would you waive your right to anonymity if you were lying, knowing that the press and public will condemn you if it is found that you lied? I should hope not.

    It took a lot of courage for the women to speak out. It was locked in their memory for a lifetime. They are not lying. Why should they?

    I found out recently a friend of mine at high school was subject to this horrific abuse when she was 14. I feel guilty because when I too was 14 and she used to come in school in a Porsche and wore fur coats I thought she was lucky. Little did I know that a man much older than her was using her for his plaything. She was vulnerable as she only lived with her dad and he didn’t care for her very well. It is only now that she is trying to exorcise this horrific ghost.

    Ohh, I am seething with rage at the moment…

    1. The figure has risen following the broadcast of ITV’s Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile documentary: it’s now 40 women (and one man), with the new allegations made to the documentary’s producer, former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, as well as to ITV. A fact that can serve to support both defence and prosecution…

      Did you see Janet Street-Porter on Question Time last night?

    2. It took a lot of courage for the women to speak out. It was locked in their memory for a lifetime. They are not lying. Why should they?

      Something happened to me when I was 12. I used to go to the shop along the road to buy comics or sweets, all the local kids did, this was about 1966, we played outdoors rode our bikes to the park, all that stuff. Anyway, I was looking at the stand where the comics were and the shopkeeper came over, put his hand over my shoulder and talked to me about which comic, then his hand moved to my breast, which wasn’t big, I had only just started to grow anything. There were other people in the shop too!!! How sly.

      I knew it was wrong. I don’t know how I knew it was wrong because Mum hadn’t given me that talk yet. I never went in the shop again. I never told anyone because I didn’t know what exactly had happened until a good few years later. When I did discover what it was, I was full of disgust at him. I didn’t tell because I was naive, didn’t know if I’d be believed, what might happen if I told.

      I was very much later as an adult I knew exactly what it was and that he was an abuser and he probably did it to a lot of his young customers. I haven’t been scarred by it, don’t worry. He’d died by the time I realised so there was no point in telling anyone then anyway. I’m just glad I somehow knew it was wrong and never went back.

      When your parents tell you not to talk to strangers, or get in a car, or accept sweets from strangers, it doesn’t really cover the bloke in the sweet shop where your friends go and where the grown ups buy newspapers or cigarettes.

      How do you keep your kids safe? I think when you mentioned hanging Fed, that was a good idea.

      Rose.

      1. How do you keep your kids safe? I think when you mentioned hanging Fed, that was a good idea.

        Well, the argument for chemical castration is an interesting one. Evidence from Scandinavia suggests that chemical castration (mandatory for the most perverted in some US states, as well as across Moldova, Poland and Russia), can cut rates of re-offending from 40 per cent down to five. Expensive, though. I think I’d sooner keep them in prison for life and make prison considerably less comfortable for them, as well as cheaper for us all, so as to shorten their miserable, worthless, twisted lives. I sure as hell wouldn’t waste time or money reviving them, should they fall ill, as they did the elderly Ian Brady recently.

        A rope or bullet would be cheaper still, of course, but I’m only able to support the death penalty fleetingly. There is something to be said about death being too good for these evil people, particularly when the families of their victims are the ones who are saying it; keeping the sickest of society locked up indefinitely should hurt them much more than a quick, dignified (both of these are debatable, I know) death so often denied to their victims.

    3. Well, there seem to be issues with chemical castration. The article says there is a risk to the long term health of the “treated”. I expect they would probably go on to sue the doctors because they were under “duress” and “mentally ill” when they agreed to the treatment. I expect the same would be true for real castration.

      I was simply thinking the death penalty would perhaps be a deterrent and save us all time and money in these days when cuts to services would not be as severe if we were not spending millions/billions (?) on prisons and “treatments”. I wonder if the government are going to be deciding that prisoners have to give things up during these austerity measures and for the good of the country that’s looking after them!

      I was rather shocked to discover in the article you linked to, that the prison has 7 to 800 inmates, all sex offenders!!! I thought these offenders were placed in ordinary prisons where the other prisoners beat them up, so they were placed in solitary confinement.

      A life in solitary confinement sounds like it should be a good punishment but I expect prisoners would again cite human rights so they could have TVs, books, telephone calls, keep fit, etc. Huh! There are people who never offended in their lives and don’t have it so good.

      It’s enough to enrage anyone. I have to admit, venom aside, I too think death is too good for them.

      Rose.

      1. I was simply thinking the death penalty would perhaps be a deterrent and save us all time and money in these days when cuts to services would not be as severe if we were not spending millions/billions (?) on prisons and “treatments”.

        We do spend more on food for prisoners than we do for school children in Britain – thirty per cent more. It costs the taxpayer an estimated £60 million per year to feed those detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, apparently.

    4. Ian Brady died? I’m pleased he was furious to be brought back. The more frustration he feels the better, must be like hell always wanting what you can’t have just like Keith’s family wanted Keith back home. Look at all those lives blighted, never a day going by that they don’t think of their beloved relative.

      We’ve wasted this much money on him Fed, might as well waste a bit more, probably won’t be for much longer, it’s worth it if he’s suffering.

      The man just does not comprehend what is wrong about himself does he? He really doesn’t feel any remorse or any real sorrow for what he did. The cheeky bastard says he wants to mix with people of a “similar intellect”. How dare he think he deserves anything other than what he has. And that is much more than he deserves.

      Then this evil person has the cheek to say if they give him what he wants, he’ll take them to the Moors to find Keith’s body, but only if Manchester police are not involved!!!! I can’t believe he thinks this is a reasonable and achievable request. He doesn’t give a damn about Keith’s family or poor Winnie.

      Doesn’t it just show how evil and controlling and manipulative he is?

      As for Jackie Powell, she’s obviously afraid and someone is seeking to make her “look” cleaner than she is. The damage is done though, the public will remember the letter to Winnie that disappeared.

      I would say bring back the death penalty to save society the costs, let there be an end to the taunting from behind bars too, spare society the rage every time there is news about them, let the families of their victims rest. But yes, I agree that death is too good for them too.

      ash

  13. Knowing how vile it is out there in the big bad world for children these days, I worry, worry, worry about the safety of my daughter. I worry that the taxi driver might make a pass at her, I worry that the caretaker might make a pass at her. It is bad. I said to my husband the other night, ‘If anyone touches my little girl, then I will gladly find a gun, put the gun up to the man’s head and watch his brains come out the other side after I pulled the trigger.’ But my husband said I would have to get by him first as he would be tearing the man limb from limb.

    This has really upset me. Really, really upset me. I hate this world when I think of all the suffering that children go through…

  14. I’ve been trying for hours to comment about the Rochdale girls. I can’t do it.

    ash 🙁

  15. I really hope they find that child but here we are again in a situation of letting the kids play outside vs over protecting them.

    As for Jimmy Savile – I am a bit surprised by the recent allegations in as much that I seem to remember this kind of thing being connected with him going right back to the early 70s… or maybe the memory is not as good nowadays and I am mistaking him with someone else.

    Can any other of the not so young on here remember those rumours… or is it me?

    Finally, a happy birthday Fed.

    And of course happy 50th Love Me Do!

    1. Thanks, Pete.

      50 years… Hard to believe. Interesting comment (by johnny5eyes), I thought, at the Guardian‘s music blog:

      Sounds like a sub-standard Herman’s Hermits?!

    2. I think I remember something Pete, I certainly remember disliking Jimmy Savile intensely. I never liked his patter or his mannerisms or his persona, consequently, I avoided having to see him on TV or listen to his radio shows. Seeing clips of him again on TV is making me want to change the channel.

      I always felt there was something “wrong” about him, I would have felt creeped out or that he was a slimy character if I’d ever been in his presence. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that women are now telling what happened.

      Rose.

  16. Child abuse… an important topic and also something of a mine-field. I shall cross it gingerly, preferably behind one of those big tanks with the flailing chains at the front.

    As I write it looks like the April Jones case has taken a turn for the worse with the arrest for suspected murder of a local man who attended the same parents’ evening … a fellow parent … innocent until proven of course, but oh my goodness…

    As for Jimmy Savile, I think it is worth remembering that this was a man who had a distinctly non-conformist approach, a large ego and, as I recall, seemed lacking in any sort of sentiment. Doing charitable deeds for Stoke Mandeville hospital has very little to do with sexual proclivities of one sort or another. I don’t imagine he would ever have described himself as a Saint. I remember briefly flicking through an autobiography years ago that showed he considered pretty girls to be a perk of the job (though no hint of under-age girls) and the famous Louis Theroux ‘show’ made it pretty clear he had a detached and even antipathetic attitude to women (apart from his Mother …)

    It’s a big step from eccentricity to child abuse of course and the episode of him “fixing it” for someone to meet Gary Glitter now looks very unfortunate. It reminds us that we can rarely rely on individual ethics to safeguard against abuses of power … which this effectively was… and that all organisations which provide opportunities for sexual or other abuse need to have clear practices which minimise the opportunities for adults and children to be put in compromising positions. This is very sad of course but I’m sure it was always so and that a lot happened in the past that was never reported through fear, intimidation or undue respect for authority. Think Catholic Priests for example.

    The BBC seems to have been rather quick to adopt a defensive position although I suspect that current protocols are different from those that were in place at the time. Turning a blind eye did use to be the norm I’m afraid. I think it is also the case that the difficulties of raising matters such as this are greater than an urge for a quiet life and career progression. I’m not sure Savile was ever that powerful. Difficulties over proof, possibly the fear of face-to-face encounters or even a reluctance to believe could be stronger factors.

    Taking aside the ‘Lolita’ implications of the Megan Stammers case, we have another abuse of position. The fact that France (and other countries less like ours) have different ages of consent introduces a degree of relativism, as does a fairly clear lack of coercion, but it remains a basic tenet for any adult in a position of responsibility that “minors” cannot be judged to make consensual decisions and that, as teachers act in ‘loco parentis’ such relationships however sincerely felt are always wrong. Remember abstinence anybody? Personally I never felt any sense that the girl was unsafe. This just looks like a cock-eyed plan that was never going to work. There will be a lot of relationship building to be done in that home and of course the teacher will need to find a more appropriate career. Isn’t it also true that had the genders been reversed, a lot of men’s attitudes would be closer to “get on in there, son”?

    The whole sorry episode of grooming and abusing vulnerable teenage girls for sex as in the Rochdale and other similar cases hints at a greater break-down in family relationships. Often these girls are emotionally abandoned, with low self-esteem in a sexually-charged environment of peer pressure, media and internet imagery. They seem to crave any show of attention or affection. It’s very difficult to police at this stage, the damage being progressively done before then. Education as to the risks and motivation of older men would appear to the only measure although of course some young people will reject such attempts to educate. As to this authority attitude (I hope and believe an exception) that these girls bring it on themselves, I agree with one commentator that the phrase “Child prostitution” should be abandoned … there is no child prostitution, only child abuse.

    What can we do? I don’t know. Look out for each other, brush away barriers of class, celebrity and status, encourage open and full discussion of issues, fight ignorance, end taboos … and let’s hope we’re not really created in God’s image.

    1. Isn’t it also true that had the genders been reversed, a lot of men’s attitudes would be closer to “get on in there, son”?

      Ain’t that the truth?

  17. I am full of conflict.

    One hears of or reads about individual cases of child abuse, perhaps once or twice a year, thinks of it for some weeks (depending on the amount of media coverage it gets which sadly is not much when there are far more important matters such as Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s cat fight, the ‘low-down’ on what happened on “16 and Pregnant” or Honey Boo Boo [just another form of child abuse in my opinion]) and then another newsworthy item or just life in general takes up mental space. Reading a blog on the topic necessitates further inquiry, leads me to research, and I spent last evening trying to remember off the top of my head some of the cases from over the years. One too many, I’m afraid:

    The sad, sad story of little Lisa Steinberg who was abused by her ‘adoptive parents’ Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum; little Genie, unspeakable abuse by both parents and the story was inspiration for the 2001 movie Mockingbird Don’t Sing; the Austrian, Joseph Fritzel’s demented imprisonment and abuse of his daughter, Elizabeth, in the family basement for 24 years and fathering her children; another Austrian, Natascha Kampusch, abducted when she was 10 and held ‘hostage’ for years; the horrific story of Silvia Likens, teenage torture and murder; daycare center abuses all over the United States with one at Wee Care Nursery School in well-heeled Maplewood, New Jersey coming to mind; the monster Michael Devlin; the Elizabeth Smart story; abuse in the Catholic and Methodist Churches; the crisis of infant rape in South Africa – the list (and only what we know of) goes on and on. Then there are links upon links of atrocities perpetrated on innocent children, unable to defend themselves and too scared to tell (some unable to even speak [yet]).

    There are no consequences for these actions — NONE! These deviants get to spend anywhere from 5 years to life in prison (at the taxpayer’s expense); get 3-square meals a day; have access to books, media (print, television and digital), get exercise, can get an f’ing degree with the taxpayer’s money, have their ‘rights’ protected and legal counsel at the State’s expense (read: taxpayer again).

    Faced with it all at once, I am spitting mad and too angry (and scared) to actually click on the links embedded in this but the headlines are frightening.

    I did, however, read some of the comments and right there, before my eyes, is part of the problem — 13- and 11-year olds should not be permitted to post their comments and names online. I don’t doubt for a minute that predators ‘troll’ these sites.

    I am just a fraction of a percentage point away from 100% support of the death penalty! In fact, “Get them up against the wall. [‘Gainst the wall]”.

    There was some choice dialogue going on in my head for what prison life ought be like for these b*stards (Bubba comes to mind).

    Isn’t life supposed to be beautiful? Aren’t people innately good? Where is the sanitizer? I want out of this Petri dish …

  18. I live on a council/social housing estate, there are a few owner occupier roads, there are a few parks with play equipment and lighting, junior schools, a high school with leisure facilities open in the evenings and weekend, shops, walking distance for even more shops. A community centre. I’ve lived here more than ten years. There has never been any trouble for any of the children and there are loads of them out playing all the time. There are large green areas besides the parks, just outside their houses.

    The children are very street wise and stick together. 🙂 I’ve heard them retort to an adult that has approached them, “go away you paedo”.
    There was a kid in my front garden hiding, I was about to tell him to clear off (trampling my flowers etc.) when I heard him speak to my neighbour’s kid at the bedroom window, “I’m hiding from a pedo that’s after me.” :))

    I’m glad to know the kids look out for each other, this seems to be a safe estate for them to play. The older ones seem to be teaching the younger ones street wisdom. I have laughed at their description of adults as paedophiles when probably it was someone irate at the kid for throwing stones at his car. :))

    However, I too am seething with rage at various examples you have quoted Fed, and the issue of child abuse in general. I know there are other areas of my city where it’s not safe, I fear for the young people there. Maybe councils should carry out some kind of audit of what the good estates have that makes them good and look at making new estates like them.

    Rose.

  19. Very well written Tim and you’re right, turning a blind eye was indeed the norm. In fact, I’d risk saying it was rather acceptable …

    I have imagery of a certain Scorpions album cover (subsequently banned) for their album Virgin Killer (the title alone while not questionable then is questionable now). And who gave Houses of the Holy’s album cover a second glance? Now they do …

    Listen to the lyrics of Young Blood – Bad Company sure weren’t singing about an 18-year old or above!

    Another song called Young Girl (who wrote/sang it escapes me right now) had suggestive lyrics as well although somewhere in there, the protagonist has the fortitude to tell her “you’d better run girl” or some such thing (although I doubt she did).

    There are lyrics running through my head right now that I never gave a second thought back then … 🙁

    1. Another song called Young Girl (who wrote/sang it escapes me right now) had suggestive lyrics as well although somewhere in there, the protagonist has the fortitude to tell her “you’d better run girl” or some such thing (although I doubt she did).

      That classic tune is by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap (Gary Puckett did a good version of ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’, actually; still thinking of Hal David songs here, as you can tell).

      Whilst on the topic of tasteless record sleeves, what about Blind Faith’s debut album? I can’t believe that was ever considered even borderline acceptable, but then, I did find myself agreeing with David Hepworth, writing in the Independent: ‘Young girls were just another victim of the rock’n’roll years’, says the headline. ‘Teens were easy prey in an era with different morals.’ Sad, but true.

      This is going to run and run, I feel.

    2. Thanks for that link FEd — I remember really liking that song but must say that in the video, the imagery of a teddy bear and doll specifically, freaked me out a bit. 😉

      Um, yes indeed, how about that Blind Faith cover?

      I am not entirely ‘sold’ on the ‘victim of the rock ‘n’ roll years’ narrative … it happens in the fashion industry, in the art world, in academia and in the corporate sector — I don’t know who emulates who and I think it’s even more prevalent in this era or perhaps there is more media exposure. Case in point would be the glamorizing of the “strung out junkie look” of young runaways and the next thing you know there are prepubescent girls with “the look” strutting their stuff on the runway.

      Our so-called ‘quest’ leads us to push the envelope as much as we can – provocative lyrics, visuals, behaviour and then we scowl at the outcome.

      Does anyone remember the movie Cinema Paradiso? There’s a brilliant (and hilarious) scene where the town priest comes in to the local movie house to give some ‘moral scrutiny’ ahead of the public screenings.

      I’m in stitches every time I see that yet, I now find myself in a somewhat parallel situation defining for myself what is acceptable versus the ‘norm’.

      For ‘punishment’ this morning, my commute to work started with Johnny Lang’s Good Morning Little School Girl and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s What’s You Name [little girl] – back-to-back. Fellow passengers must have thought I was nuts I laughed so much, 🙂

    3. Both in the case of the Blind Faith album and with “Houses of the Holy,” the models were adult women who looked young. Still, these covers would never ever fly today. It makes me cringe, right now, that both of these were in my record collection and I played them many times (especially “Houses”). At 12, these images seemed acceptable because I knew that the models were adults (and because I was still a kid myself). But at 46, that doesn’t nullify the sexualization-of-children theme.

      I sold all my LPs years ago and do not have the CD versions of these titles. That’s a good thing.

  20. I think sincerely who abuse the children is really a sick and malefic creature who had the merit of the purgatory without excuse. The thing more heavy and more painful of this atrocity is the amused and the silence of those near to these abnormal idiot men.

    Also Jesus has told an important thing about it: if you touch the children it is better if you (and really this is the less painful) kill yourself.

    Cheers and for the sickness, end.

  21. Well, there’s really no need to throw a bucket at me, but I have to say that I can’t help feeling some sympathy for Megan and her teacher – and no, it’s not because he is a Maths teacher. 😉 I wonder if she loves Maths as much as her teacher, though. 😉 I understand there has been no violence, no sex assault, Megan Stammers left with Jeremy Forrest of her own accord. They (he) may have been stupid but all is well that ends well, it’s not the end of the world. I wouldn’t call that ‘child abuse’, not even ‘child abduction’.

    How funny to realise the differences in point of view on both sides of the Channel and how the British perceive the French. I found this article interesting, as well as some comments.

    Now, about real child abuse, I think everyone here expressed themselves very well and said it all. Wanted to add that children can also be very easy preys for perverts on the internet. Be careful, parents.

    Will maybe just play the devil’s advocate and say that believing EVERYTHING that children claim can be very dangerous. It’s common here to say “La vérité sort de la bouche des enfants” (= “Truth comes out of children’s mouth” ?), it’s not true, not at all. Children are often ‘affabulateurs’ (=?) and at least very ‘influençables’ (=?)

    There’s a movie I would like to watch when it comes out in France (End of the year, I think). It has been shown at the Cannes Film Festival this year in May, shocking, disturbing, I think. It’s ‘The Hunt’ in English, a Danish film , about a kindergarten teacher, falsely accused of sexual abuse by a little five (I think) year old girl, and whose life quickly turns into a nightmare. Anyone have seen it?

    (Sorry for the approximate English.)

    1. They (he) may have been stupid but all is well that ends well, it’s not the end of the world. I wouldn’t call that ‘child abuse’, not even ‘child abduction’.

      I agree.

      I also expect that some of the older women alleging less serious counts of abuse by Jimmy Savile (the last I read, the figure had risen to nearly 100) were probably deeply ashamed of their own behaviour at the time, wanting to be grown up, wanting to show off to their friends, thinking themselves more mature than they really were. Just like Megan Stammers, in fact.

    2. I also think that the Megan Stammers story is much less worrying, but even if we accept the validity of the emotions involved, wouldn’t the right thing to do have been for him to resign his post as a teacher and then wait a year or two so that there was no danger of either breach of duty or statutory rape?

      True love will last more than a couple of years won’t it? And the sincerity of his actions would have helped with future relations? Maybe I’m just a quaint old fool with a sense of self-control.

    3. For me, the deeper issue is one of trust between teacher and student. The adult student is there to learn, and so that’s what the teacher should help with. One must be overly careful in any situation when one holds power over another, as teachers do. The woman who falls in love with her teacher may very well have that feeling because of his power and influence. Also, remember that a teacher’s job is to build his student’s self-confidence; some young women have never had that kind of attention from a man before, especially from a man with power and influence. She may think that she is in love with the man, when actually she is in love with the attention/power.

      Tim is absolutely right that if Megan’s teacher was going to enter a sexual relationship with her, that he should have resigned first and waited a few years, but not just to remove the illusion of abuse of power. It actually removes the power imbalance and places both players on an even field. It’s also a test of the validity of the love: if it actually is love, that love should withstand a few years of waiting.

    4. You both are so wise… and right, of course.

      But, well, who said “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point” (=something like “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of”)?

      Blaise Pascal … French Mathematician. 😉

      Also inventor, writer, philosopher, moralist, theologian…

      BTW, I just read that Jeremy Forrest had been charged with child abduction in England.

      In the meantime, somewhere else in the world, a drunken father who killed her 6 month-old daughter in 2011 because she was crying got sentenced to only three months in jail.

      Justice?

      1. Ridiculous and, frankly, utterly disgusting.

        Here’s another. Worse than what Jeremy Forrest did? I think so. The father of the two boys said what many of us are probably thinking, I expect: “If it had been a man having sex with a 15-year-old girl, he would have been locked up.”

  22. My nephew has been with us for 2 years now because of child abuse. I think his mom should be in prison for what she did to her kids…

    Thomas

  23. I said before nothing in this world shocks me anymore, but it’s still sickening that someone in such a high profile and a trusted position preyed on the then young innocent and trusting nature of these children. And I’m sure it will soon come too light that certain people in the BBC knew this was going on and they are just as guilty. Abusing someone’s daughters and children, just gross, and not forgetting the little girl in Wales. My thoughts are with her family right now and my prayers.

    On a lighter note, never forget for every evil person out there, there are thousands of good people.

    Regards
    Damian

    1. Damien said,

      On a lighter note, never forget for every evil person out there, there are thousands of good people.

      Hear, hear Damien!

      ash 🙂

  24. Spot on column today Fed… and happy belated birthday to you. What is the name and address I send the card to? 😉

    Cheers, Howard

    PS. Feel a bit miserable, I broke my ankle Friday but on the bright side I should be a regular on chat again.

    1. Ouch! Wishing you a speedy recovery, Howard. Looking forward to catching up with you soon.

    1. “I would cherish the opportunity to be a little candle for others as my life goes on as they have been a huge light to me.”

      Is he on drugs already?

  25. Thanks Ash …. These are tasty and no calories!

    Thanks also Fed …. Although you seem to have inadvertently left the chat room door locked so I have this huge virtual cake and nobody to share it with….

  26. i’ve always thought that banishment is better than having to execute a convicted paedo/killer, banish them to a sealed room – no food, no water, and offer them a gun and one bullet, let them decide how long they want to live. would that be too cruel?

    1. … sorry guys, but as disgusting those creatures are, what would we be if we do as you suggest? Not to think about if someone points to the wrong person.

      I think the discussion is going wrong and I must confess I’m rather disappointed. 🙁

      Taki

    2. I tend to agree with Taki.

      Justice is not synonymous with sadism, not even with revenge. Just my opinion.

    3. Taki,

      🙂 I’m sure the more angry, vengeful sounding comments, and I’ve made some too, are mainly people letting off steam. I smiled at Tony’s comment.

      I think everyone would hate to see an innocent person jailed or sentenced to death (if we had the death penalty).

      I think if the death penalty were introduced there would have to be very strictly adhered to procedures. Beyond a shadow of doubt evidence. Modern techniques for gathering evidence should be employed to their fullest extent and re-tested.

      I feel very much that there should be a national referendum to ask the country, before a re-introduction should be considered. I also feel that we need much harder deterrents and prison ought not to be an easy ride.

      All that said, if it was one of my children that was raped or abused, I’d want to kill the person responsible. I bet every parent here would say the same thing.

      ash

    4. Taki,

      It is not my intent to be an apologist and I certainly do not write on behalf of anyone else on the blog. For me this is a venue where I am able to ‘sound off’ on a variety of different topics that I may not ordinarily have an opportunity to discuss passionately at length with most people. Some not so savory thoughts cross my mind – mostly fleetingly. As part of our socialization process I think it has become human ‘nurture’ to want to right wrongs and we often get over-zealous in those efforts and verbally lash out what we deem could be an ‘appropriate’ or ‘suitable’ form of retribution for those who have harmed the ones unable to fend for themselves. These thoughts are perhaps not ‘right’ and for me, in a twisted sort of way, it sort of levels the playing field and allows me to ‘digest’ the topic/s. It would never occur to me (and I venture a wager none on the blog either) to act out on those thoughts. I think it’s really important to make that distinction . As our dear ‘friend’ Hamlet opined, “… nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” As thinkers, we sometimes long for placid ignorance but cannot have it.

    5. … I’m of course aware that words are not deeds and although I can understand h that many things are said to let steam off, I’m still not comfortable when reading it.

      My point is that we should not leave our level to get down to the gutter where such creatures are at home. Even with words we should not disqualify ourselves.

      As I wrote somewhere, I’m a father of three and I sure can’t tell what I’d really do in case of … I like to think that I would not overreact and destroy more than was already destroyed.

      Regarding the death penalty: I’m against it and I do not want to live in a country that kills people to punish them. I won’t discuss the many, many issues that arise when people are judging other people, just think about what all those proven mental ill men killed in the name of justice. What is that good for? It seems to me like punishing someone that has the flu, in order to keep the others healthy. Death penalty seems most idiotic to me!

      Enough said and let me repeat: I understood the motions but I do not approve them.

      Taki

  27. I’m pondering the imponderables — is there a genetic proclivity toward aberrant behaviour?

  28. Here’s one for the history books!

    Samantha Geimer is writing a memoir: “The Girl: Emerging from the Shadow of Roman Polanski.” Atria, a Simon & Schuster imprint, announced Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 that the book will come out next fall.”

    I think she was 13 at the time.

  29. With respect to Sandusky it is not only sick what he is convicted of doing but his comments at his sentencing were so twisted. No remorse, no admission and he makes himself out as the victim. This is a person who should rot in hell. HereHere is an article from the sentencing. And unfortunately since Joe Paterno has died, we will never really know how much he knew about Sandusky’s actions. But I guess there was some justice with the league stripping Paterno of wins and Penn State removing his statue. Joe’s legacy is now rightfully tarnished for not doing the right thing years ago.

    The other recent news on the topic is regarding the Boy Scouts of America and how the organization apparently would also cover up alleged abuses. I guess in some ways it was no different with the Vatican and the Catholic church.

    I never could get my head around the concept of taking advantage of children in a sexual way. And the other amazing trend is how many teachers are engaging in sexual acts with students. I guess the stereotype is that male teachers would solicit female students. But the reality seems like it is female teachers who are soliciting male students. It seems that every week we are reading about another female teacher who had sex with a student. The majority of the teachers are married as well. Sorry but I have to say it. WTF?

    The stories are unbelievable check these out:

    Former Texas high school teacher gets 5 years after group sex with students

    California teacher resigns after leaving family for student

    There are so many more. What kind of society are we living in? Why can’t a married teacher who needs just a little more bedroom attention just have a fling with another teacher? Maybe she should just buy an electric toy?

    Actually on the topic of a fling with another teacher. There was a story in NY of two female teachers that were having an affair. They were also let go from the school. I guess it really would not be a problem but they decided to show their love for each other after school hours in the classroom. A janitor caught them and so goes their career.

    I guess they just should have used some better judgment. Just like the teacher this week who was dismissed because the administration found images on the web of her modeling partially clothed and in suggestive poses. The pics were taken when she was about 18, which was well over 10 years ago.

    Which actually can lead to your next post rant. How social media has ruined people’s lives. Is it just or not?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. I guess they just should have used some better judgment. Just like the teacher this week who was dismissed because the administration found images on the web of her modeling partially clothed and in suggestive poses. The pics were taken when she was about 18, which was well over 10 years ago.

      Which actually can lead to your next post rant. How social media has ruined people’s lives. Is it just or not?

      That would be an interesting one, Andrew. It makes you wonder what else would be a sackable (is that even a word?) offence in the teaching profession if incriminating evidence was dredged up many years later. What if it turned out that she’d been a man a decade previously? In an extreme right-wing movement?

      It’s too late, I really shouldn’t be thinking these things after midnight.

    2. And the other amazing trend is how many teachers are engaging in sexual acts with students

      Well, don’t exaggerate, don’t generalise or extrapolate, please…

      Quite amused (or not) to see that teacher bashing has become a national sport/pastime everywhere in the world…

    3. Ahh Michèle, I didn’t say all teachers, just amazing how many. There are plenty of good teachers out there who have strong morals/judgment and are making a difference in educating our children.

      I apologize if you think I was teacher bashing.

      My own daughter is actually studying right now to be a teacher. And I am very proud of her. Her choice in subject is actually math/algebra. 😉

      Thanks.
      Andrew

    4. That’s OK, Andrew, no worries. Sorry, I probably overreacted. Your comment just sounded to me as “la goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase”. Have fun trying to translate, I couldn’t. A quick research online gave me this translation: “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” :)) Not sure if if it’s what I meant. 😉

      The best of luck to your daughter with her studies. She sure has chosen the most interesting subject to study. (Shh… FEd. 😛 )

  30. Tim and everyone else,

    I’m sorry I couldn’t come to chat today. So looking forward to cake too. 🙁

    I hate work, it interrupts my play time!

    ash 🙂

    1. No worries Ash. Pavlov scoffed all the cake anyway. I also took the liberty of buying myself a birthday present from the stack of bank notes under my bed …

    2. I sure did — had to douse it in lots of liquor though Ash … stale, dry … almost choked on it. 😉

    3. Scratching head and wondering what wonderful investment Tim has made for me this time.

      Sorry I missed the liquor. Mmmmmm…

    4. Well Ash, if you must know, my mankini was getting a bit threadbare so I figured that if you were going to get me a birthday present it would probably be a new one. As that stack of cash is so large I treated myself to a (rabbit) fur-lined one ….

  31. Fed, a heavy topic. And complicated. Perhaps worst of all is children being abused by those who should protect them (family).

    We’ve had some horrible cases explored by the media in recent years… families moving from place to place as soon as local authorities (schoolteachers, nurses etc.) found that something could be wrong in the family. As soon as they felt being watched, they moved to another municipality, different schools and so on. How can this be helped? Not by executing the parents of course, though criminal actions must be punished. Free hotlines, where children can get help, and people can warn authorities, maybe anonymously. Teaching children at school, what is right and wrong – in case conditions at home are not normal. Educate teachers and others who deal with children about “warning-signs”. Teach kids to avoid predators on the internet. Break the silence in general about this topic.

    ?

  32. Hello… this is totally unrelated but I have to ask.

    I was in Cancun Mexico in 2005 drinking with my friend at a beach bar and thought I saw you (David). I walked up and said “Anyone ever tell you you look like David Gilmour?” The guy who could have been your stunt double said with an English accent, “I wish I was.” Haha… So now, years later I have to ask again, especially since you’ve been blogging since 2005 and still not David Gilmour… Was that you?

    Cheers!

  33. Thanks for clearing that up. 😉 …It was wonderful and that whole ‘thinking we saw you’ scenario made it even more memorable. They served Corona Familiar which isn’t as smooth as Corona Extra or Sol even with a lime, haha…

    You rock! Your guitar playing and music is an inspiration, cheers to you.

  34. Now having read all the comments and horrible stories about students and teachers sleeping with each other I feel utterly disgusted and horrified with the reality we live in.

    Being 15 years old this really makes my skin crawl. Everyday I see girls my age wearing so much makeup that you barely recognise them and dressing in so slutty clothes that you start thinking “where are their parents?” I don’t understand how their parents let them leave the house in the morning.

    I think that a reason for these girls acting the way they do is the modern media. The stuff your see on TV these days is insane. Family Guy and South Park are just two examples of TV shows that successfully influence kids everywhere, including me. Every single teenager watches these shows that seems to be made by maniacs. I do not doubt that this effects people like me. And definitely for the worse. It’s basically impossible for teens to keep their childlike innocence living with this TV culture.

    The teachers at my school don’t say anything about this matter and they definitely don’t send students home because of the way they dress. Basically every girl in my school has a pair of leather trousers or a “see-through” top. It’s just the way it is. And another, perhaps the biggest reason for young girls and boys acting and dressing in inappropriate ways is our desire to grow up. I too long to become an adult, but that is mostly me wanting to be respected by other adults and my ambition to become someone important. It doesn’t really have anything to do with sex. Maybe it has something to do with love. And that is why I can relate and understand Megan Stammers and her teacher. It is very easy to fall in love when you’re a young girl and I am sure that it was true love between them and not only sexual attraction.

    When you see all these crazy TV-shows that justifies child abuse and likewise and of course hear about real events where kids have been sexually abused by their teachers, it’s easy to get a bit paranoid. But sometimes you start to wonder if it is paranoia or if your teacher actually was eyeballing you in a creepy way. It’s a strange world we live in. I’m just gonna keep my knees together and try to make sure that my fellow girls in school do the same! 🙂

    Ps. I’m Swedish so my English isn’t perfect, excuse me for any misspellings and such. David, keep on rocking!

    Ds./ Elsa

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