The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162491   Message #3867385
Posted By: Joe Offer
20-Jul-17 - 05:53 PM
Thread Name: BS: Clerical Abuse of Children
Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Abuse of Children
In the U.S., the term molestation is often used to describe the sexual abuse of children; and I think that the simple term "abuse" is often understood to be physical or verbal, usually without sexual connotations. Most of us who have children or have worked with children, have at times been guilty of such abuse - the kid gets out of control, and we respond with a slap or a cruel word. Sometimes, we're convinced that such abuse is the right thing to do, although we'd never dream of doing something sexual to a child. Whatever the case, sexual abuse is almost always separated from physical and verbal abuse in the U.S.

There doesn't seem to be that separation in stories that come from Europe. When I see an article from Europe that says that 547 children were abused, my first thought is that they were all sexually abused. I felt relieved when I saw that 67 were victims of sexual abuse, and the others of varying levels of physical abuse. And we don't know what those levels are, or their frequency. Maybe some were just a slap on the face or the fingers. Maybe some required medical treatment. We don't know.

When I was a camp counselor in the 1960s, I would sometimes calm down unruly boys by forcing them to sit on my lap while I held htem tight around the waist and talked to the calmly. That never hurt anyone, and it prevented the kid from hurting anyone - but I understand that practice is now unacceptable.

One time, when a kid was completely out of control, I grabbed him by the wrist and squeezed until he settled down. I was appalled to see a bit of a bruise on his wrist. Was I abusive?

This abuse happens everywhere - not only in institutions that we don't like. Sometimes, it's done by people we know and love. In fact, the people we love most probably do it just as often as the people we hate. Isn't that right, Greg?