Friday, December 14, 2007

10 year old Aboriginal girl rape victim

Australia has huge problems with its aborigines. The latest news story to hit the headlines is about a young girl, raped at the age of 7 and again at the age of 10. The 9 accused walk out of court without a conviction. The people involved are all from a remote aboriginal community in Aurakun. Like all aboriginal stories, it is upsetting,appalling and beyond comprehension to the average person like myself.

This story has managed to circulate around the world as the judges verdict relating to the circumstances regarding this girl has shocked everybody who has read the details.

I will not pass judgment on this particular case. Let others ponder on the failings of the legal system. Let others debate the apparent failures of the government welfare agency and its social workers. Let others discuss the policy agenda as only politicians can discuss.The issue is that rapists of a 10 year old girl escape prosecution because in the words of the judge "she (the victim) probably agreed to have sex". The fact that all the main players in this episode are aboriginals speaks volumes. There will be an inquiry into the decision by the judge. The social workers involved have become the scapegoats in this episode.

My reflection is on the pervasive influence of Politically Correctness and its influence on thinking that seems to underly all the failing in the welfare system and the legal system of Australia when dealing with aborigines.

The government Department of Child Safety, that is supposed to look after the welfare of children is guided by an ideology that puts the rights of children (read wants) at the top of their priority list. That is, what the children want the children get and this means that if the child chooses to leave the family then it's OK and if the child prefers to stay with the family even in circumstance of proven abuse, then that is what the child gets.
Behind the actions and policies of the Department of Child Safety is the belief that the Human Rights of children is paramount. (This is where I smell the foul odor of Political correctness)

The second important factor that influences the social workers' decision is a reluctance to repeat the so called fiasco of the "Stolen Generation" where attempts to remove aboriginal children in the past and give them a more wholesome family environment has backfired with recriminations by aboriginals who have benefited (read suffered) from the abandoned policy and guilt by the whole community that allowed this process to occur. The result being a paralysis amongst the social workers who are afraid to repeat the mistakes of the past. Better to consider the Human Rights of children (read wants) than to err on the side of welfare.

Our welfare system in reality has become a system paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision. In fact they are paralyzed into making any decision at all.

Of course when the "shit hits the fan" as it has now, there are all sorts of other revelations that surface such as the political cover up as to the extent of child abuse amongst aboriginal children. Stay tuned for further developments.

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