30 April 2008

Maxwell's silver hammer

I have been seriously restraining myself from writing about Josef Fritzl, who has already received more publicity than he deserved. Of course, my restraint is working wonderfully, and, instead, I have been reading the articles with absolute horror like an addict. Which led me to read, yet again, about Fred and Rose West.
I really simply cannot understand how one can do this to another human being. Much less a child. And to your own child goes beyond my ability to comprehend. I am absolutely speechless.
While restraining myself from writing about this (notice how well it worked), I kept trying to think of happy topics I could cover instead. There is just nothing happy I can even contemplate with all this anguish swimming around in my head.
One of Fred West's statement has stuck with me.

Fred was surprisingly uncooperative and didn't see that there was anything wrong with molesting little girls. "Well, doesn't every one do it?"
Fred also claimed that his father had sex with Frank's sisters, apparently using the logic, "I made you so I'm entitled to have you."
I have to wonder how many actually believe this. I wonder if this was the motivation for Josef Fritzl, and the countless other fathers who have done this in the past. And the mothers who have abused their own children, their own flesh and blood, for many, many years.
I remember when I was still a very young girl, one of the local magazines printed an article on abusive parents, with pictures of burn marks, etc. on the victims' bodies. The horror those images evoked in me has stayed with me all these years.
And now, as a parent myself, I look at my child - and other children - and wonder how someone could even consider bringing them harm. I simply have no other words.
So why did I write about it in the end? Mostly because I felt like I was going to explode.
And, while I believe Josef Fritzl has received far too much publicity, I can only hope that, the more we reel from the stories, the more awareness it brings to the plight of our children, and the less the horrors will happen. Unfortunately, however, I think the public in general has become desensitised to the horrors of the world, and these stories are forgotten as soon as something new makes the headlines.
We need our governments to start taking the safety of our children seriously. Which means we need to put people in government that actually have hearts.
I recently wrote the following letter to our current ruling party:

And again, we are preparing for an election (it is only a year away), and our country is in crisis.
Our children are not safe, and being abused and killed on the playgrounds, in their homes and every where else. Poverty has reached critical levels, and will continue to get worse. The people are depressed, and worried about their futures in this beautiful country of ours.
And yet, it seems that the ANC has forgotten the spirit of Ubuntu, and cares more for the size of their pockets than the people of the country.
So, my questions to you are:
1. What are you going to do to keep our children safe?
2. Will you stop wasting our precious money on frivolities, and start allocating the funds where they are required, like security and combating poverty.
Before the previous elections, I asked you the same questions, and you ignored me - so I didn't vote for you. I am hoping that, this time round, you would choose to answer my questions and restore my faith in your ability to lead this country and restore it back to the strong leader we once were.
Predictably, I have not received an answer (again). The other political parties responded to my previous round of questions, but I do not think they have much of a chance to make a difference in the greater scheme of things. I will continue writing letters, and blog entries, and anything else I possibly can, to try and effect change in our country. And, maybe one day, the world.

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