ABC’s Four Corners has a history of uncovering dirt. And if dirt’s dirty, Monday night’s episode was probably the scummiest, filthiest, stomach churning dirt I’ve seen upturned since that terrified bovine waiting in line at the abattoir.
I’m not going to go into the Catholic church and my opinion on the way they handle paedophiles. They have incredibly large sums of money and no qualms suing people over something so trivial as a single tweet. You can make your own assumptions based on the episode or you can read a summary here.
Calls for a Royal Commission have been spoken about here and here. Judy Courtin, a Melbourne based lawyer, states “We have far, far too many deaths through suicide and premature deaths in relation to clergy sexual assaults, and why is this issue not deserving of a royal commission? And the other thing is that the deaths and the suicides and the suffering are ongoing. The only bit that’s hard really is that the Government is being beholden to the church.”
You cannot measure the devastation on a community with this kind of systematic abuse so why our government continues to drag its heels on the issue bewilders me.
Ireland and the United States both have commissions under way so why don’t we? Yes Victoria referred the issue onto the Community Development Committee of Parliament but you can read why that hasn’t worked here.
I don’t know what it is about the Australian psyche that makes a story about animal cruelty (as terrible as that was) resonate more than sexual abuse on our children but with statistics like the one below, something needs to be done.
So what can we do to help? Write a letter to our local MP? Support the Bravehearts organisation? Use our voices or blogs to talk about the issue? Don’t vote for Tony Abbott?
If you have any ideas about keeping this discussion going I would love to hear from you. Maybe you can join me in writing about the impact of child abuse, if you already have let me know and I’d be happy to link it up here.
Disclaimer: this is not an attack on people’s faith, just something I feel rather passionate about.
You can read Trying Not to Disappear’s post on child abuse in South Africa here