The massacre of 20 elementary school children and six teachers at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut on December 14, 2012 continues to mystify psychologists and social workers. They and most people cannot explain what drove the killer to such wanton violence. He killed his mother some hours earlier that day and as police closed in on him he shot himself dead inside the school. His father said recently in an interview he wished his son had never been born.
What is it that brings out such horrific violence against innocent children? Perhaps anger at the injustice of being rejected unwanted and unloved. Was 20- year-old Adam Lanza sexually abused as a child by unknown pedophiles.? Who can say? But one thing is certain. Rejected and abused children that suffer injustice can easily have a grudge and an abiding anger that can burst out in acts of violence as they grow to adulthood. The pain lingers and festers through childhood and can turn to hate and acts of revenge against perceived tormentors.
The lingering pain is the the reality for the Filipino children that seek shelter, peace and therapy at Preda center in Olongapo City. They want to be healed of the hurt and pain of being abused and raped. The effect of the traumatic experience of rape and abuse they carry with them is deep anger and resentment at the grave injustice done to them. They being young, some 3 to 16 years old, are weak, powerless and needing protection from their abuser who in most cases is their own father, brother. relatives, or the livein partner of their mother, a pedophile. The child victims are distressed, depressed and even suicidal.
Some are abused in child care centers like that in the recent expose and arrest of an American donor and his three managers of the Sankey Samaritan orphanage home in Lucena City. Sankey
Samaritan was a fake orphanage, the DSWD discovered, and the testimonies of the victims to the NBI revealed that it was a house of sexual abuse. What is more shocking is the fact that the accused foreigner went off free and the alleged rapists got bail and can intimidate the victims.
Victims of sexual abuse so betrayed by rapists and the justice system can carry a deep sense of distrust and buried anger and even hatred of adults. It is a challenging task for the Preda therapists and social workers to befriend and reassure them that they can trust a human being again. They have suffered the worst betrayal possible to a human person. They bury the memory of that terrible crime committed against them in their hearts and souls, in their bodies and their minds.
They live in fear of the adult world. Some victims and survivors carry the pain and fear all their lives. Their abuser has threatened them and the members of their family.
They cannot speak, silence is the only world they know. This fear and sense of abandonment by the adults who should be there to protect and help them have told them that they are worthless human beings and even blames them for seducing their abuser.
They are told that they had it coming. Their destruction as a person is complete, none but a few can ever live a normal life again and we should not be surprised that some might grow into disoriented adults.
What is even worse is that few people believe them and listen to them about their plight. There is no justice for them. This is the worst pain they can suffer. This can drive some victims to acts of violent revenge. Others are so damaged that a loving relationship and marriage is almost impossible. Violence and abuse and a broken family can be the likely outcome for many. When they seek justice their complaint is frequently left for months even years without action by the prosecutor. Then it is dismissed and the sex abusers or traffickers go free to repeat their crimes with impunity.
In 2010 two Australians, Peter Nemes and Frances George Wood were brought before the
Regional Trail court, Branch 26 in Laguna, charged with the rape of a 7year old child. The evidence was strong and no bail should have been allowed. Yet the prosecutors recommended it and the judge complied. It was deemed legal but was it morally right? Of course the accused disappeared back to Australia and arrest warrants were issued but never served despite the appeals and requests of the parents. For the damaged and abused child justice was defeated, denied to her.
It was a betrayal.
There are most likely thousands of betrayals of justice for children and women in recent decades.
Judgments that favor the child rapists and deny justice to the rape victims blacken the name of Philippine justice. The injustice has to be opposed, protested against, spoken and written about and broadcast. The cries of the victims and the truth of their betrayal must be spread around the social media and the public must demand that the prosecutors and judges be brought to justice themselves. Only when we break down the wall fear and silence will the truth be revealed. Don’t be afraid, speak out.
[email protected], www.preda.org