Saturday, December 3, 2011

Video - Speakers Forum: At Least Harper Got One Thing Right, Locking Up Sex Offenders?....

For those of you who may have been unable to make it to the anti-bill C10 speakers forum, "Thrown Under the omniBUS" in November a video has been put together of the entire speaking portion of the eventThere were a range of viewpoints from 6 panelists who are mostly against the Bill.  Remember the omnibus crime Bill contains 9 individual portions with suggested changes to many areas of law.  
As with many Canadians at least one of our panelists could not say he was opposed to tougher sentences for child sex offenders.  I get where he was coming from, however as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of multiple male assailents, I have to disagree with the "lock em up approach" even to this most heinous of abuses.
Proponents of the Bill often focus on the portion which increases the time child sex offenders and other violent people will spend in jail.  The claim is that our kids will be safer with predators locked up longer.  Lets take a closer look at the facts!  Right now as the law stands, a first time sexual abuser of children receives 15 days in jail.  Bill C10 will extend that time to 45 days.  Is this really going to increase our children's safety?  
Its not.  If anything the time spent in jail may connect this person with other predators, and at the very least he or she is likely to experience the same sense of anger, resentment and disgust with the system that the rest of us do when subjected to the total uselessness that is prison.  Will this make him/her less dangerous?  I don't think so.
What will make our kids safer is prevention strategies which take a broad look at what it is in society that allows child sexual abuse to be so prevalent.  We can begin by looking at whether children are truly valued or not socially.  Some measures of this might be how may children are living in poverty, how mush assistance is provided to low income families, existence of a national childcare program, and how or whether we encourage kids who have suffered abuse to come forward.  
As a child I was certainly told about "stranger danger" and what to do if someone "touched" me - to tell another adult like my mom or dad.  Unfortunately the men who began abusing me at age 6 were not strangers and I was too frightened and humiliated to tell my mom or dad.
These are the issues we need to look at if the safety and long term mental health of our children are really what our conservative government seeks to address.  Not a crime bill which really equates to nothing more than empty words.

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