Saturday, 28 June 2008

Your rights to have children?

Increasing cases of child abuse of the most horrendous are coming to light in Australia, with one such case of 14 children found to be living in absolute squalor and 7 being sent to hospital. Only two weeks ago, twin 18 month old babies were found dead inside their cots, allegedly malnourished and they had been dead for near on a week before they were discovered by their 11 year old sibling.
After reading this story , the comments are varied. The woman was jailed for 4 years after her 18 month old daughter died when she was hog at night to teach her a lesson to stay in bed. This young woman, 27, is now pregnant again and says she fears what the authorities will do when the baby is born. One comment in particular caught my attention and I think is valid:

If pedifiles are being castrated for there crimes i think mothers that also harm there child/ren should also be made to have there tubes tied before they leave jail , this is a disgrace
Posted by: mel of brisbane 12:13am today
Yes, pedophiles are to be chemically castrated before release from prison here in Queensland on a voluntary basis. Anna Bligh, Queensland's premier says, that it will be for pedophiles and other sex offenders classed as dangerous only if they consented and was agreed to by a psychiatrist.
She ruled out mandating chemical castration – where prisoners take medication to reduce sexual urges – saying research showed mandatory measures did not work.

Fifteen dangerous sex offenders have been jailed indefinitely since the laws were introduced in 2003, while 38 have been released under supervision orders.

Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence said the number living in the community was expected to rise to 100 by 2010.

Under the changes, corrective services officers would have extra powers to decide where sex offenders were housed and if they should be banned from drinking alcohol. And prisoners kept in jail would have their cases reviewed every two years, rather than annually.

Judges would also be forced to consider indefinite sentences when an offender first came before the court, rather than when they were due to be released, and there would be a five-year limit on supervision orders to encourage more judges to keep them in jail.,23739,23914065-3102,00.html

Now to the question asked by the previous commenter, what about sterilisation for women who are jailed for the serious abuse/neglect of their children and those who contribute directly or indirectly to the deaths of their children . Does this woman deserve to have another child, many say the baby will be at risk. Maybe this woman has reformed, which brings the forth another question, what price a child's life? If we are to have voluntary castration of serious male sex offenders, then perhaps women who carelessly neglect/abuse/kill their children should have the same type intervention made to them. Voluntary or mandatory for both males and females? Children are a gift and it is with great shame that they are treated as a dispensable. So many grey areas, civil liberties, second chances, reformed prisoners. Each case would be different and where do governments draw the line?


Lord James Bigglesworth said...

It's still treatment the symptoms and not the cause. The cause is the malaise of the society which moved away from accepted values.

People don't like the truth.

CherryPie said...

James has a point there!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A very difficult one, this. I do not think having a child is a "Right". The interests and welfare of the children should be paramount in every case.

Megan Bayliss said...

Yes, a very interesting and reflective debate.

I find the chemical castration interesting. Sexual assault is not about sex - it is about power. Taking away the ability to use a penis as a weapon, does not take away the ability to use anything else as a weapon. But, what do we do instead???

I would like to see tougher laws on child abuse and zero tolerance of sexual assault. We cannot get those changed laws though until there is informed and objective greater public and community discussions though.

Nunyaa, it is just fantastic that you continue to raise questions around child abuse. Thank you and thank you to each of your commenters. Reflective posts like this do make people think through the issues - public comments about such reflection is then a bonus :)

Nunyaa said...

I try to involve all the areas and one part of me will always ask 'what if', and then the other says no way.
There is no excuse for sexual abuse and you are right, you do not need a penis to rape or sexually abuse someone so therefore chemical castration would be useless.
As I said, each case in the abuse of children would be different, and many bring up circumstances but with all the help available there is no reason that a mother or father should feel helpless in dealing with children. Which brings another area, not all the decisions made by those in power, ie: Docs, are always the right ones, and although many cases fall through the cracks, many also suffer via vindictive, false allegations.
People need to accept responsibility and ask for help when they need it.
The governments wont bring in tougher laws for sexual abuse because the civil libertarians will be there to back up those perpetrators, it's in the too hard basket for them.