Ab­di­ca­tion of care

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Two sim­i­lar sto­ries, two very dif­fer­ent out­comes. In one, a teenager is bul­lied and hu­mil­i­ated by pupils at her school, and the bul­ly­ing is re­ported by fel­low stu­dents.

In the other, more hor­ri­fy­ing, ap­palling phys­i­cal, men­tal and psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse was per­pet­u­ated by a despotic ruler in her phys­i­cal home, with the col­lu­sion of her mother. No neigh­bours or teach­ers, who were well aware of the sit­u­a­tion, in­ter­vened.

‘‘So­ci­ety’’ of­ten den­i­grates the younger gen­er­a­tion for var­i­ous per­ceived neg­a­tive be­hav­iours or ac­tions, but in these cases, it was the younger gen­er­a­tion that saw a need to do some­thing, and did it.

Those in the sit­u­a­tion de­scribed in Teenage girl sur­vives five years of abuse ap­par­ently were all adults who could’ve and should’ve done some­thing, like maybe call po­lice or the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, and didn’t.

Then one of these adults had the cheek to get emo­tional about their child/ren’s distress at hear­ing it all hap­pen within earshot. What kind of ex­am­ple does this give those chil­dren?

The whole aw­ful ex­pe­ri­ence shows that de­spite all the gnash­ing of teeth and wring­ing of hands oc­ca­sioned by any of the dozen sim­i­lar cases that have oc­curred, peo­ple still want some­one else ‘‘to get in­volved’’ to ‘‘do some­thing’’. Come on, Ki­wis, where’s your sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity? CHRIS­TINE CONROY

Carter­ton [abridged]

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