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Women who abuse children

Mark Easton | 17:29 UK time, Thursday, 1 October 2009

The facts of the Plymouth case challenge our understanding of human nature. Not simply the idea that people can find pleasure in the sexual abuse of very young children. But the revelation that women were involved.

But, as I have reported here before, child abuse is far more commonplace than most people comprehend and there are an increasing number of studies suggesting the involvement of women is significantly under-reported.

According to research by the National Centre on Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States, the sexual abuse of children by women "constituted 25% (approximately 36,000 children) of the sexually abused victims" in their study. "This statistic is thought to be underestimated due to the tendency of non-disclosure by victims", the report goes on.

In the UK, Childline says that 11% of the calls received from children alleging sexual abuse suggest the perpetrator is a woman.

The NSPCC says that women are the abusers in 6% of cases highlighted in their study.

However, all these estimates - from the last few years - are far higher than had previously been acknowledged.

Michele Elliott, founder of the children's charity Kidscape and author of the book Female Sexual Abuse of Children: The Ultimate Taboo put it this way today:

"Women abuse children for the same reason men abuse children - for sexual gratification, for power. Quite frankly it is something they enjoy doing. I know that is hard for the rest of us to comprehend but women are no different than men in that case."

In June this year, the Australian child welfare charity Child Wise began a television advertising campaign highlighting the risks from sexual abuse by people entrusted with the care of children. You can see the latest ad here.

Child Wise has calculated that almost a third of sex abuse by women takes place in an organisational setting, notably kindergartens and baby-sitting. The majority of such abusers are not coerced by a man but initiate the abuse themselves. The damage can last a lifetime.

Police in Britain fear that new technology has made all forms of child abuse easier and more commonplace.

As in today's case, the internet allows paedophiles to communicate and share child pornography. Mobile phone cameras mean images can be shot and disseminated around the world within seconds.

A kindergarten close to the Plymouth nursery involved in today's case is banning mobiles with cameras on its premises. But risk can never be eliminated.

Background checks on staff won't spot those who have never abused before. The new vetting scheme currently being rolled out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland would not have helped in this case.

But there is another danger too. That we allow fears about paedophilia to damage the relationship between adults and children and to undermine the trust that makes communities function.


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  • 1. At 6:46pm on 01 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 7:01pm on 01 Oct 2009, Clichoid wrote:

    Ofsted and the DCSF produce a lot of help and guidelines on safeguarding and preventing abuse. If all staff at kindergartens and play/nursery groups were well trained the risk would be much reduced. Staff would more easily spot the signs and know what to do if they suspected something or were puzzled. The risk is extremely low, paedophilia is not common.

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  • 3. At 7:03pm on 01 Oct 2009, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    This seema to follow on from your blog last week on new laws the government have introduced in a desperate attempt to appease everyone but which have pleased no-one.

    It only endorses that child abuse cannot be controlled by law it must be controlled by the people in charge of the children. Checks are useless for how can checks forecast peoples' behaviour in the future. The present horrific child abuse case confirms this.

    Men have always been seen as the abusers and not enough attention has been given to the fact that women are also abusers. A child should never be left alone with any adult who is not known and trusted by the parents.

    The nanny state has lulled parents into a false sense of security by telling them it knows best. Their intentions may be good but their implementation has been shown to be full of holes.

    The computer age has brought with it a problem of indescribable proportions thar we could never have contemplated a few years ago. That anyone with access to children can molest and circulate images of them throughout the world.

    Laws can prosecute but they do not prevent.

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  • 4. At 7:42pm on 01 Oct 2009, Jane wrote:

    The thing is you cannot tell who will and will not abuse children.
    For years the media and others have gone out of their way to highlight "stranger danger", when the truth is that most abuse comes from those the children trust and known well.
    Abusers do not wonder around with child molester on their heads.
    You cannot ever be certain of those who are hired. It takes a long time for these people to get what they want but they want it so badly they will wait until the time is right, be it months or years.
    So what can be done to stop it. As I see it there is nothing that can be done. Unless you make the punishment for their crimes so bad that no one will ever risk doing it in the first place.

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  • 5. At 7:49pm on 01 Oct 2009, Doctor Bob wrote:

    This is harrowing, worsened by the fact that many parents happily farm their children out to nurseries. As parents my wife and I kept closely in touch with our kids. They were never handed over to nurseries, only pre-school to which they were taken and collected. There was always someone at home for them. Both always loved to tell us what they'd been doing that day and we'd happily listen. It would be difficult to keep this sort of abuse secret...possible but difficult.

    But what gets me is the way this news has been over-dramatised as if the general public have to be shocked into revulsion. Why can't the BBC just gives us facts, not whimsies, not shocked-sounding but unfounded opinions? We really don't need to hear that "One police inspector said that the woman is evil". I mean, assuming the policeman was equipped to arrive at such an opinion, do we need to be told? Then we get the besuited reps of Children's agencies with their statistics and less-than-convincing studies. With the best will in the world they're self-serving.

    Interviewees were blaming today's technology for the spread of this material/disease but it's another symptom, to me, of the community falling apart. Obviously there'd be circumstances in every age when babies need to be put in the care of child minders but today it seems the norm to give birth then get back to work as soon as possible. At the other end of the scale people bung their "loved ones" in nursing homes. So I suppose the degenerate of society find plenty of scope to take advantage.

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  • 6. At 7:51pm on 01 Oct 2009, Doctor Bob wrote:

    "It only endorses that child abuse cannot be controlled by law it must be controlled by the people in charge of the children. Checks are useless for how can checks forecast peoples' behaviour in the future. The present horrific child abuse case confirms this.

    Men have always been seen as the abusers and not enough attention has been given to the fact that women are also abusers. A child should never be left alone with any adult who is not known and trusted by the parents.

    The nanny state has lulled parents into a false sense of security by telling them it knows best. Their intentions may be good but their implementation has been shown to be full of holes."

    Very well said indeed.

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  • 7. At 8:02pm on 01 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    The BBC moderates bloggers who tell the truth. What's up with that? Hollywood isn't unhealthy? Corporations aren't responsible for disseminating porn? Don't speak out against the evil empire you may get sued? If the BBC is losing market share there's a reason for it.

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  • 8. At 8:25pm on 01 Oct 2009, CComment wrote:

    There is another way - not politically correct - of dealing with this kind of vile offence. If the abusers knew they were going to hang they might think twice before abusing. Caledonian Comment

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  • 9. At 8:58pm on 01 Oct 2009, Remrett wrote:

    The Western world in the past 30 years has held men up to be the sexual perverts and child abusers. Sex abuse is always an emotive topic however sex abuse by women against children occurs frequently also. Women are also the largest physical abusers and neglecters of children; the main reason for this is that children are usually in their mothers care and not their fathers due to favourable custody rights women gets by our courts. People views are often formed by the media and when the media continually reports men as the sex attackers and leaves women off the map no wonder it give rise to a false impression that this is a gender specific problem. Most experienced social workers would also agree mothers neglect their children at an alarming rate however; the state does not want to intervene as it costs the local authority to much to house and care for these children they take the chance and leave them with their mothers.

    It’s maybe about time we have balanced and factual reporting similar to this piece to fully inform society correctly, or if you are interested the internet is awash with studies you can read on this emotive topic.

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  • 10. At 9:31pm on 01 Oct 2009, hizento wrote:

    What is the chance the man in this case, though not the most serious offender of the 3 gets the more severe sentence because of his gender?
    As always with crimes from petty offences like shop lifting to serious crimes as assault, rape, murder and in this case child abuse, women always get lenient sentence in the odd chance of being convicted.Women wants equality so let them have it all the time. Why hasnt Harriet Harman complain about women criminals not getting the same sentencing as men? Oh I forgot she is a man hating feminist.

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  • 11. At 9:41pm on 01 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Let's see if this comment will also be moderated, I'll try not to offend anyone by telling the truth. Here goes: People are powerless. They abuse others because they live in a society that repeatedly and deliberately chips away at their collective morals. Its immoral that governments allow drugs to infiltrate communities to deaden the intellegence of citizens. It's immoral to start wars to manipulate the resources of other countries. Its immoral to allow people to prey on children. Its immoral for politicians to speak from both sides of their mouths. Its immoral to put the profits of corporations over the basic needs of the common good. Its immoral that 2% of the population owns up to 90% of the world's wealth. It's just immoral. Most women who abuse children were abused themselves as children. People's sense of morality has changed because there are no more leaders to look up to make the world a better place. Its difficult to raise strong children in an immoral world thats been plundered since time began.

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  • 12. At 10:00pm on 01 Oct 2009, kathrynw71 wrote:

    I would be interested to know how many of the reported cases of child sexual abuse by women does not include a man somewhere in the background? Also how many of the women only instances of child sexual abuse is by heterosexual women? Does anyone have any figures on this?

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  • 13. At 10:01pm on 01 Oct 2009, stanilic wrote:

    Lets' postulate the idea that because one uses the Internet within the privacy of one's own home it is possible to live out a life free from the constraints of human socialisation in this virtual reality. This causes a conflist with real life which can only be resolved by a conflation of the two realities.

    Therefore if you were previously only someone who thought in your idle moments that the sexual abuse of a child would be enjoyable, the experience of doing that in a virtual reality induces a desire to experience the same pleasure in actual reality.

    This is just a thought, but the Internet may have unconsciously unlocked an element of human lust that was once safely buried by social pressures. Pretty dystopian, what? This wasn't what was intended by the Internet.

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  • 14. At 10:05pm on 01 Oct 2009, Seegji wrote:

    "Not simply the idea that people can find pleasure in the sexual abuse of very young children. But the revelation that women were involved." This comment is both naive and sexist. Women are just as capable as men of all forms of abuse. The overiding issue is that ADULTS have abused children. The gender of those adults is barely relevant.

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  • 15. At 10:38pm on 01 Oct 2009, harrietharmman wrote:

    Mark - many, many thanks for having the guts to report the truth on this issue. A shame such vital information hidden away here on this blog though rather than being more prominent on the bbc sites.

    You have missed one of two key points, most notable female sentencing discount as highlighted so eloquently in comment 9.

    Also you seem to be suggesting that only children suffer when we falsely pretend only men are paedophiles. Males suffer too, most notably in terms of false allegations in in terms of the jobs market particularly when they want to enter teaching.

    I real fell you should have gone all out to tell the truth here and actually have stated what really going on here. The way our government and media seeks to pretend only men are paedophiles is blatant misandry - I can't think of a worse type of sexism out there than this. If were always ignored all white sex offenders and only highlighted black ones then everyone would call it racism - this is clearly sexism so lets call it what it is please.

    One last point - given the clear consensus from the statsitcs that there are large numbers of female paedophiels out there isn't it about time the bbc's output reflected this?

    Can anyone think of a bbc drama, soap, documentary evening hinting at sexual offences by females against a child (or against anyone for that matter?). It seems to men we only ever see men in that role, thus the bbc is just a guilty as everyone else in terms of spreading these incredibly dangerous lies.

    Actually come to think of it, I'd say the bbc were worse than many others - Comic relief even gives money to a charity campaigning to have less female prisoners when of course given how female paedophiles get away with their offences so easily, it's abundantly clear we need more such people brought to justice, not less!

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  • 16. At 10:49pm on 01 Oct 2009, Doctor Bob wrote:

    How many more cases before we realise that legislation alone doesn't work? I don't know what the answer is other than rebuilding society so that parents ARE parents, not merely agents in the process of handing their children over to others to bring up.

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  • 17. At 11:06pm on 01 Oct 2009, Richard1634 wrote:

    #5 - This is yet another symptom of the community falling apart. This is exactly it. It takes a village to raise a child, or indeed a whole bunch of children. It takes the cohesive community of a village, not the selfish individualism of urban Britain. This is why children in countries like Taiwan, Korea and Japan are growing up so much healthier, happier, more balanced and more intellgent than children in the UK. It's because of the strong social ties in those countries: the extended families, the community centres, the communal street-cleaning days, workers exercising outside the factory every morning. All those things which Brits and Americans sneer at as being relics of a daft communist age. They are the things that are giving children a safe, happy and balanced childhood. I wonder if the British will ever realise how it is their own culture that is ruining their children?

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  • 18. At 11:27pm on 01 Oct 2009, twistywillow wrote:

    I cannot comprehend any of this. As a mother this is every mothers worst nightmare, yet if I were to believe everything written here, I would never allow my kids to leave the house each day or see their friends.
    Where do we as parents start to deal with this? I would like to say I don't believe that sex abuse by a woman is as common place as the report makes out and its all scaremongering for a good story, but I cant, I dont know.
    But I ask one thing,responsible reporting. In the grab for the headlines, and the scare tactics, although you believe and have most other people believe that it IS a common place abuse in Nurseries and schools etc, that sir is implying that there are a lot of people out there abusing children in positions of care and trust, and whilst in this case these 'people' appear to have slipped through the net, I don't believe many such people have. The needs of these 'people' are for instant gratification and need, male or female, and that yes they are calculated and the crimes committed are heinous in the top degree, most such 'people' would not go through years of training and university degrees just for the chance that they might get to work with and abuse children. I suggest then that this sort of crime is not as common as say, familial abuse or by friends of the family etc, and if it is, then heaven help our children and where on earth are all the 'normal' people gone? Surely not everyone is a child abuser now? No? And that's why I ask for care when using sensationalist headlines and materials such as used here... as we have seen in the news over recent history, headlines, and sensationalist reporting along with soap operas and the like, are rapidly seen as the way of life we have, rather than the exception to the rule, they have become the rule. If this trend was to follow the same line, then this abuse because it is reported and we are told its more common place than we know, will become more common place...the vicious circle.I grew up in ignorance of evils like this, and I am glad of it, my kids cannot have the same. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss, and it is time to give our kids back their childhood before they have nothing.I am not burying my head in the sand, I am just asking for more responsibility in reporting that's all.

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  • 19. At 00:44am on 02 Oct 2009, parisnemesis wrote:

    Given that all the paedo rings that are busted have the faces paraded across papers with months of police work involved it seems unlikely that as many women are involved as is being suggested else they would be plainly there for all to see. Of course women abuse children, as do men. But sexual abuse is not as prevalent as the article leads us all to believe as the stats in it already reflect, and indeed as human nature dictates. Men being far more sexually motivated generally than women. I would like to see proper stats reflecting just how many do initiate such abuse for sexual satisfaction where a man is not involved. I suspect it to be low. However the idea that women are coerced as the article states, is odd. Again the high profile cases where a woman and a man are involved in abuse, are largely to do with some bizarre notion of pleasing the man, sometimes being in love with him. There is no coercion.

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  • 20. At 04:11am on 02 Oct 2009, harrietharmman wrote:

    "Given that all the paedo rings that are busted have the faces paraded across papers with months of police work involved it seems unlikely that as many women are involved as is being suggested else they would be plainly there for all to see"

    Nonsense - men are far more interested in visual stimulation (nto to mention technology) and thus will be trading pictures far mroe than female offenders. Female paedophiles will thus be far more interested in the acts themselves and perhaps relationships with the victims.

    Furhter still, in our society men are constantly under suspicion whereas women are portrayed as innocent and blameless. (eg even government policy on domestic abuse talks about violence against "women and children". I.e. women are only ever the victims and of course the police operate under this very government.

    Thus to summarise - you've got offenders less likely to collect evidence of their activities, less likely to be linked to similar offenders, and under far less suspicion, both by the authorities AND by all society as a whole. No wonder most women avoid capture.

    Notice that even in this case it was the man's arrest that led them to the others. If he hadn't been around that woman at the nursery still be absusing the kids wouldn't she? I hate to think how many more women there are like her out there in our nurseries. Undoubtedly plenty of them are far more devious and intelligent and do not distribute photographic proof of their awful crimes and may never be caught (certainly not in the present culture anyway)

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  • 21. At 06:32am on 02 Oct 2009, megascarything wrote:

    f the abusers knew they were going to hang they might think twice before abusing. Caledonian Comment
    CC, well said; but what will happen? Those 3 will on release be given new identities and 24/7 police protection paid for by muggins taxpayers.

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  • 22. At 07:45am on 02 Oct 2009, newshounduk wrote:

    Abuse only takes place when the victim is left alone with the abuser.Given that we do not know who the abuser is, it makes sense that children are never left alone with a single person for any unsupervised period of time.This is easier said than done. It's not rocket science to list the places where children could be left alone with an adult and if we cannot guarantee that a second non-abusing adult will be physically present to prevent abuse, we are moving towards the idea of having covert CCTV to watch every child.This would not only mean having an extensive, well-planned and expensive national network with multiple cameras even in homes, but would also mean a massive intrusion into our personal liberties and freedoms. In effect,to protect the nation's children we would have to become a surveillance society. CCTV footage has been helpful to solve or prevent crime. The question is,are we as a society prepared to pay that kind of price to ensure that our children are safe?

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  • 23. At 08:33am on 02 Oct 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    This raises the issue of 'politically correct stereotyping'

    For example, to imply that all muggers are black is clearly unacceptable. However to imply that all paedophiles are men in fine. Neither are true statements.

    People like to rely on the numbers of people male/female being convicted and shown on the news for their impression. Analysis of reports from victims shows another story.

    This case shows that abusers can be female and have no previous convictions. So much for the plan to put a quarter of the population on yet another data base and the already in place scheme to eliminate men from schools and nurseries.

    Interestingly one study suggests that abuse by a female abuser is more harmful to the child, with a greater risk of the abused child later growing up to abuse children themselves.

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  • 24. At 08:55am on 02 Oct 2009, EuroSider wrote:

    There is nothing about this story that really suprises me. Child abuse more often than not comes from people of trust. The gender of the person is not in question. It is easy now to have an emotional reaction to this story because the person conducting the abuse is a woman. It is also easy to become paranoid about the child abuse and to see paedophiles around every corner.
    The problem appears to be the breakdown of the family structure and that more parents now put the care of their children in the hands of strangers. Also now there is a tendancy for children to become more isolated from their parents, and therefore not likely to talk about abuse.
    Parents should be more prepared to listen to their children.

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  • 25. At 09:11am on 02 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Atrisse and #5.

    While clearly you have given this a lot of thought your overall condemnatory tone is as highly charged as the BBC reports you find fault with on this difficult topic.

    E.g. ".. happily farm their children out..." Well, so far as I am aware many young mums and dads are not ' happy' at all about it, but have no choice in a society where 2 bread-winners is more or less essential to maintain the level of care and upbringing those 'farmed' out offspring require. You¨may wish for the clock to be turned back to a different social era (but as I understand we first became aware of Child Abuse in general because of revelations by victims from the inter-war and post WW2 era), but it is not going to happen. Young couples struggle to find rented never mind afford mortgaged Housing and the pressures on them to feed, clothe and care for their children requires many difficult compromises inc. often having to place their Children in the care of facilities-services whom they rely upon to have been vetted by National and Local Regulators. As Plymouth so tragically demonstrates no procedures are entirely guaranteed free of risk.
    Being in a position or making the personal choice and commitment not to send your tiny-tots to nursery is simply not something everyone is able to do. Having said that, perhaps you might like to consider how much vetting you did of the occasional 'baby-sitter' and what about your extended family that stepped-in when you weren't too well! Just how sure can any of us be?

    E.g. ".. Children's Agencies... self-serving.." Well, they do indeed have their particular perspectives, but again, where would modern society be without the Kidscape, Childwatch etc. who respond to the issues raised by Children not by Adults? I venture to suggest you are hinting they are a part of the problem as much as a solution and that is a very unrealistic view. Our intricate modern society has not invented 'abuse' (see Roman era slavery, Medieval Age child marriages, Reformation sack and slaughter, Dickens' Victorian Britain), but, has the technical capacity to investigate more thoroughly and disseminate those findings more widely. Blaming the messenger is a long established practise but hardly a fair or accurate assessment of from where the problem stems.

    E.g. ".. bung their loved ones in nursing homes..": Do they really? From personal experience I know that our entirely loved but wholly enfeebled, incontinent, dementia-suffering mum went into a home because there was no way any of our extended family (inc. Doctor and Police Officer grandaughters) could cope or offer the skilled attention she so much needed and deserved in her final years. Of course not everyone entering Sheltered Accom, Retirement Home etc. is in such obvious need, but, then most of those Residents choose the option of some assistance in their senior years (and at a cost to them and families) - - bunging them is an extreme term that doubtless applies to the few not the many - - and if the particular 'family' care so little then who is to say the elderly Citizen is not better off anyway!?

    The "... degenerate of society.." do indeed find the opportunity within our social fabric and exploit every loop-hole: This is neither a new nor unusual phenomena. It does not relate specifically to modern-day attitudes and care facilities for Children anymore than Oliver Twist, Little Nel or David Copperfield's misfortunes were reflections on the norm of Victorian society. Today we hear of Children sent to Australia by UK's Government who subsequently suffered abuse and it would seem no particular time, systems, or place is entirely safe from the pervert.
    Surely that is no surprise for they were of course Children in our society when sadly they learned their deviant behaviour patterns!

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  • 26. At 09:33am on 02 Oct 2009, Flexiworkingmother wrote:

    Interesting post and interesting comments, though I wish it did not have to degenerate into some war of the sexes, which these issues all too readily do. This war of the sexes is helpful to no one, least of all the victims. But the public and the media always seem to do two things: the first is to want to know the details. Is that a genuine concern for the victims, or a prurient interest, I wonder? This is coupled with a desire by many to minimise or marginalise what has happened - i.e. it's a one off, these things are rare, the perpetrators are weirdos who were always on the fringe of society, it was "only" touching or photographs. As if to say, this doesn't happen in my nice market town to nice middle-class people who pay their car insurance. But oh my goodness, it does. The rarer thing is that the abuse comes to light, the evidence is clear and the perpetrators are not family or extended family members.
    The second thing is that the victims are dismissed in one sentence generally stating that the effects will be with them for the rest of their lives. THis is true in some cases, but not all. THere is no suggestion of support, no proper discussion of how society might help these victims. The effects can be very far reaching. More than 50% of prostitutes report having been sexually abused as children, around 50% of all teenage girls diagnosed with eating disorders will disclose sexual abuse, in one survey 100% (yes!) of women in secure mental institutions reported childhood sexual abuse. Self-harm, suicide, drug and alcohol problems, domestic violence, unemployment and depression are all more common amongst sexual abuse survivors than in the unmolested population. But where is the help? Doctors write prescriptions for anti-depressants without talking, they mentally note "neurotic" on survivors' notes, the NHS gives 6 sessions of psychotherapy - not enough to even develop sufficient trust in the therapist to talk about the issues. THe cycle is perpetuated. THese vulnerable victims fall prey to violent partners, drug pushers, pimps and the like and become criminalised themselves.
    There should be a national outcry not that child abuse takes place but that there is no support for the victims when it does.
    All you sanctimonious people who think it has not happened in your own back yard are not looking hard enough. A victim must be society's primary focus, not the criminal. THese victims need a lot of resources and support and it is scarely available.

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  • 27. At 10:52am on 02 Oct 2009, Freddie wrote:

    So these childminders obviously had to undergo checks etc. to see that they are suitable to watch children. Doesn't that raise the question why on earth everyone has to go through the whole vetting scheme then when it really makes no difference?

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  • 28. At 11:39am on 02 Oct 2009, lillysarah wrote:

    Atrisse, in response to your comments:

    "but today it seems the norm to give birth then get back to work as soon as possible."
    "I don't know what the answer is other than rebuilding society so that parents ARE parents, not merely agents in the process of handing their children over to others to bring up."

    Maybe you and your wife as parents had the means, money and ability to always have someone there so your children never had to go to nursery but not everybody has the luxury of that. I stayed at home for as long as I physically could with my daughter after she was born but there came a time when the maternity pay ran out, bills were still coming in and we struggled to make ends meet. I found part time work so that I could still spend 4 days a week with my daughter and she would have 3 days with the nursery. Had we both quit work and claimed off the state I'm sure you would have an opinion on that but we are a young couple with a young child who don't have the luxury of bankers wages or bonuses to see that our child can be at home full time.

    I would be interested to know how you and your wife managed to survive financially while being such fantastic parents? Maybe you should publish a book so the rest of us can learn from you and try to change our ways!!!

    My daughter goes to nursery 3 days a week and I am aware that nursery policy states that she is never alone with an adult. The nursery has an open plan layout so there isn't anywhere for her to be taken that would leave her alone with an adult. Of course I still worry about her constantly but I do feel that despite this case 99% of nurseries provide a fun and playful environment where children are encouraged to learn, be creative and interact with other children. We cannot start being suspicious of anyone who works with children because of this. We need to make sure that our children remain our priority and allow them to enjoy being children. We instill so much fear into them nowadays when what we need to do is ensure them that we as parents are there to listen to them no matter how big or small the issue, to love them and to protect them to the best of our abilities.

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  • 29. At 11:55am on 02 Oct 2009, Kay wrote:

    It is really amazing that we are being told this crap that they are not confessing. I don't blame them it is HUMAN RIGHTS, isn't it? These guys are not human beings at all and deserve no human or even animal treatment. They are worse than the soil under my foot. I believe they should be sent to Nigeria and sent to Kirikiri prison for one day. they would confess everything they saw, did and even thought off. Nothing would be missed. By the time they come back if they even see a child in the park they would run for their dear lives. We are too soft on all fronts and that is why everybody comes here to rip us off all what is supposed to be a welfare for real suffering people. These lady and her accomplices should be put in a dungeon for the rest of their lives not seeing the sun till they die. They disgust me. They deserve to be given a death sentence. i cannot imagine the pain that all parenst with children in that nursery would be going through. Every teacher in that school would be looked upon as a danger and sex pervert. Trust is out of the window. I can bet you that many teachers would leave and become stressed juts because of the way people look at them in the community. They cannot be at ease any more. Every little matter now would be blown out of proportion by the parents. I hope the school does not even close down soon. It is a pity

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  • 30. At 12:35pm on 02 Oct 2009, verismo wrote:

    The NSPCC are partly responsible for this situation because of their continual shielding of female paedophiles in their adverts. All the examples in their appeal letters and on TV adverts are about "Uncles" who "come to my room to abuse me", or "fathers" who do something similar. Never a mention of "the jolly lady at nursery" who photographed me without my clothes on, or the young girl who was a "baby sitter" who liked to play "doctors".
    It's time the NSPCC was more honest in their literature so that parents could be alerted about the fact that 25% of paedophiles are women. The current NSPCC estimate of 6% is ludicrous.
    Dr Michelle Elliot wrote her book about female paedophiles about 10 years ago. She gave the 25% figure. So wake up NSPCC!

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  • 31. At 1:20pm on 02 Oct 2009, loudlondoner wrote:

    This is an absolutely vile situation that should not be allowed to happen in our country. But how many times have we heard of abuse towards children when they are in the care of strangers?
    I think that this goes to show that the only way to ensure the safety of our children is to look after them our selves.
    I understand that many people can't afford not to work, but it seems that we are so obssesed with work these days that, even those who can afford to stay at home with their children, choose to put them in child care.
    I think this is wrong.

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  • 32. At 1:35pm on 02 Oct 2009, nottoonear wrote:

    100% with #26. Well said.

    Instead of demonising any and every adult who comes into contact with children and wasting money on imperfect "vetting", I would much prefer more money and resources to be directed to helping victims.

    Instead of a set of "political experts" introducing laws, we need to ask victims themselves what might have helped them sooner, what they needed then and now. Many children do not speak up for fear of not being believed. This fear is often borne out, and only makes it worse.

    Indeed as the BBC today reports on the children sent to Australia, the knowledge was there but no action was taken.

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  • 33. At 1:44pm on 02 Oct 2009, Casaloco wrote:

    Another victory for Harriet Harperson's equality drive.

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  • 34. At 1:50pm on 02 Oct 2009, xkatielouloux wrote:

    This will never be stopped 100% but I agree with other comments that punishment for crimes in this country is a joke. Sentences are not nearly long enough and punishment is not nearly harsh enough.
    I was reading another story a moment ago about how two men punched and kicked a man to death, they got `life terms`. One of them was 16 and sentenced to a minimum of 11 years. How is this life? He will be out when he is 27. 11 years is probably on average 1/7 of a life. These sentences are not enough to deter criminals. These people should have the crime inflicted on themselves, maybey these people should be abused and then pictures of this sent on the internet and then after that they should be left to rot in prison until they are dead, that surely is what a `life` sentence should mean.

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  • 35. At 1:56pm on 02 Oct 2009, Flexiworkingmother wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 1:58pm on 02 Oct 2009, Doctor Bob wrote:

    #28 lillysarah
    "I would be interested to know how you and your wife managed to survive financially while being such fantastic parents? Maybe you should publish a book so the rest of us can learn from you and try to change our ways!!!"

    Circumstances and, since we had had children, the sarcifices we expected to make. I was the bigger earner and we could have got by just about. My wife wanted to return to work simply for a little financial independence beside helping with bill-paying. As a nurse she found a bracket of 3 night shifts: Thurs, Fri and Sat. Which meant I/we'd have to sacrifice some social life for a few years. We managed to get by - obviously you don't get out and about as much. Winning the lottery would have been nice just to put an end to this "work" nonsense! It was the best we could do.

    I'm as upset as anyone about the state of scoiety today (which is why I responded to this blog). Just my opinion but all this started with Maggie Thatcher and the Tory drive to get women out to work. Equality, fine. And few women spotted that giving them independence was an illusion. Well, it did from the family but enslaved them to corporations. And it also allowed house prices to rise rather sharply than in earlier days when it was the man's wage + a percent of the woman's used in mortgage calculations. You may think that unfair but it was rooted in a system of family: the wife may go to work for a while but when she decided to become a mum, she wouldn't want to go back to work for a while at least. Under a deregulated system, mortgage lenders could offer larger loans on two salaries - that made more money available for property pricing.

    Once people had grown accustomed to this new order, the nursery came into being. Had my wife not been an RGN things might not have fallen into place quite as easily.

    So please, I'm not blaming those who need to use nurseries; but I am, the political chain of events that led to that need by insidiously destroying a concept of family that had evolved over centuries - sure, it wasn't perfect but it's a sight better than what we have now. And it's led to this rather terrible situation.

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  • 37. At 3:21pm on 02 Oct 2009, nottoonear wrote:


    Women's independence is no illusion. While you may or may not be enslaved to a corporation or a mortgage or a kitchen sink is a decision you have made from your independence.

    I make my own choices and am responsible for them. Both my brother and brother-in-law have been stay at home fathers because they and their wives made decisions about their lives and families.

    I suggest you read a little more social history before you write again. If you wish to trade off your "freedom" for a mortgage that is your right.

    Child abuse and sexual abuse weren't invented yesterday - it has been going on for centuries. More people are more aware of the extent of it now.

    Try going back 50 years to see how many of your imperfect families had mortgages. Would you argue by the same logic that mortgages have caused the "decline of the family".

    And finally, you would be glad to go back and turn out the lights for many women and children who suffered abuse and had nowhere to go? We need less of the romantic view of the past and stereotypes. Men, women and children suffer abuse and they need support, not fairytales.

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  • 38. At 3:23pm on 02 Oct 2009, lillysarah wrote:

    #36 atrisse

    I can understand where you are coming from with the idea that the family unit has been deconstructed as such but I think this is only in a small minority of cases. I don't believe that children who are at home with the parents 5 days a week have a better relationship with their parents than those who attend nursery. I find in fact that because there are 3 days of the week where I am not with my daughter that when I am at home with her I ensure that the time we spend together is spent bonding and playing together. Also I think children can benefit from attending nursery. Nursery can give children a head start in primary school as it supports better educational, emotional and social development. When teamed with a happy home life surely this can't be negative!

    My decision to return to work was not for a bit of pocket money or to get away but simply because we could not keep afloat on my partners salary. We would have had less coming in than was going out and would have struggled to feed ourselves, let alone keep a roof over our heads. Even now with me working part time, we still struggle. We have completely sarcrificed the life we used to lead before becoming parents but that was our decision and our responsibility as adults and parents!

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  • 39. At 3:30pm on 02 Oct 2009, Flexiworkingmother wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 3:34pm on 02 Oct 2009, LippyLippo wrote:

    Why should it some as a surprise that some women can be every bit as vile, manipulative, violent, sexually deviant and just plain evil as some men? They do make up 50% of our population you know! Nastiness isn't an exclusively male trait any more than virtue is exculsively female.

    I partly understand those who are blaming the wide availability of technology - when people can take and transmit images and videos with such ease what do you expect? What real good is there in having a camera, internet access and video in a mobile phone? If the women had had to cart around a video camera, stills camera and a computer with them, they'd have aroused suspicion! But a phone with all those functions is unnoticeable. Banning these devices from areas where children are looked after is surely a sensible next step.

    The ease with which children can be abused have their images captured these days however, is partly offset by the fact that more is known about abuse, so children are more likely to report it, rather than suffer in silence as they had to do decades ago. The chilling side-effect of this is that that these people selected children too young to be able to report the abuse - this is a very worrying development. I pray that the widespread knowledge of child abuse these days doesn't drive exactly this kind of behaviour.

    Finally, the sentencing needs to take account of the devastation that these subhumans have wrought. What a pity that our prisons are comfortable 'warehouses' where criminals can take time out in relative comfort before resuming their lives of crime. Why can't they be places where criminals have to admit to their crimes, apologise for committing them, and buy into their own rehabilitation plan, or face spending the res of their lives there? Why can't these people be made to face up to what they have done, to see and suffer the damage and the hurt, rather than loafing around playing video games?

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  • 41. At 3:49pm on 02 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Clamdip and #11.

    Re, Penultimate sentence: ".. People's sense of morality has changed because there are no more leaders to look up to to make the world a better place..."
    and concluding sentence: ".. It's difficult to raise strong children in an imooral world thats been plundered since time began.."

    Well, make up your mind!?

    Either the 'moral leaders' have all vanished, or, there never were any because they were off 'plundering'.

    Frankly, I do not agree with any of your analysis of the World order except to concur 'immorality' has always been around and when juxtaposed with 'exploitation' then I think we get nearer to the mark about how the world turns.

    However, I really think we are far more moral now than ever we were: It is just that we have also incrementally become more able to access the information about what is wrong or right with the Society/World we live in. E.g. Several thousand pervert/degenerates in UK society is very alarming and the Media does concentrate on the 'bad' in our Society: All the same what is immoral is open to debate (though not Child abuse - - except or unless you are a Child bride under Sharia law etc. - - but, when did the 'victim' of abuse become old enough to be the degenerate perpetrator!?).

    Some of the Comment on here about "bringing back hanging" etc. begs the question what is 'moral' and what is morally acceptable behaviour?Apparently som on here think killing a human being is all wrong except when they've abused a child, but, you on the other hand are arguing war is immoral and as it is where there's likely to be extra killing of children! Do we then execute all Armed Forces? Yes, it gets confusing.

    The world and our own UK Sociwety is nowehere near as immoral or uncaring as it was in the past: Certainly the daily experience of most modern Children is not nearly so bad as every ordinary child from 4 upwards denied education and being made to work between 8 and 12 hours per-day as in Victorian times! Morality is a diverse bit of human nature: All those thousands of good Victorian Christians who attended Church every Sunday whilst Monday to Saturday living off the backs of terribly deprived children all believed they were very moral.

    Yes, we still live in a Society where people's values are under constant pressure: Fortunately, most people respond in a positive manner, hence the outcry about these criminals in Plymouth, because whilst the Media delivers the shock story everyday the great majority of people are of course shocked and not part of the minority element that commit such heinous acts.

    It is important not to lose perspective: There is a great deal wrong and that could be improved about modern day ethics and morality, but, there is a great deal more that is positive, progressive and improving, and therefore goes almost entirely unreported by the Media. Imagine a News of the World etc. with a frontpage devoted to a happy couple married for 30 years with 2 kids both married with grandchildren around them and all reasonably happy with their lot, or, total shaker an entire Episode of Eastenders-Coronation Street-Emmerdale where everyone was relaxed and got on with their neighbours - - what would be the point of that story - - no one is going to buy that issue/watch that, are they?

    Or, are they?

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  • 42. At 3:50pm on 02 Oct 2009, harrietharmman wrote:

    A number of people were asking for some stats on how many female paedophiles operate independently and how many were influenced or perhaps cooerced by men (and falsely suggesting the later figure would be especially high)

    Michelle Elliot is one of the foremost experts on the issues. On Sky news yesterdays she spoke of how the 800 female sex offenders she's worked with, only 25% had a man present, involved or even anywhere near!.
    Here is the link to the story:

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  • 43. At 3:54pm on 02 Oct 2009, Flexiworkingmother wrote:

    For those motivated to comment on this issue, you might care to sign the petition at the attached link.

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  • 44. At 4:47pm on 02 Oct 2009, loudlondoner wrote:

    I think we should have a nationwide debate on bringing back the death penalty for convicted peodophiles.

    I understand that the death penalty was stopped because of the possibility of wrongfull conviction. However, with the wealth of unrefutable DNA evidence available, this should change!.
    It is unacceptable that these absolutely vile people should be waited on hand and foot in our prisons at the tax payers expence.

    Harriet Harmman, if you want to win the election, you should consider this!!! I think we would all vote for someone who actually did something once and for all.

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  • 45. At 4:54pm on 02 Oct 2009, DeniseCullum222 wrote:

    There was never a time when children were not abused by others some are adults some are not the reason they abuse is also not because they were abused but because they lack empathy they have no close bonding with others and children they can have power over. Britian is not a child friendly place like its not an older persons place either both are very open to abuse from so called adults who look after them or live with them there is porn of them being abused. So people who are called adults are not they have with in them a need to destroy and it does not matter if it is their children or yours we took the consent of sex down to sixteen now those who know best are looking to take away the age limit another thing is they do not all come from lower working class back grounds either there is a huge network and shed loads of money to view and buy this type of abuse.

    As for the relationships that are formed the women who join up with these men are into abuse usually abusing others and they pull them because of were they work who buys these photos and why? how many of those people come from back grounds that would shock many people how many have big houses and good jobs as few can afford to buy there's
    photos if they are on benefits. The people who abuse children are people who may or may not have been abused they may have liked it women who doe this have no mother feeling they are psychopaths we do little study on women who are but we know many men are, but its nothing knew we do not look at what other societies do to these rants of the litter as that is what they are.

    Britian things that all this started when we got the computer it did not the West's did not have a computer but they had film, cine and customers who could pay the same with the Moors two its the customers who wish to view this that is strange to those who do not see children as sex objects. There has always been women who have sold or allowed their children to be abused in all economical levels. The man came from Norris green what does that have to do with what he is is there something in the water, No it is in him the women found a liar like themselves a real Walter Mitty as they all are when asked why they do it they will tell you the child wanted them or came on to them or liked it
    there is always an excuse same old rubbish its to do with power like men who want virgins.

    Women do not all want or live children many do not but have them to keep a situation usually to keep a man or to pull a man and will turn a blind eye as he abuses them all. It is in them just as it is in the men they are with. the media and fashion sell images of children but deny this why are some women singers fussed over and lorded because they look like tarts and dress like them and behave like them or they look like especially in the fashion business like doll like girls and boys no one questions this image that is the reason why they are thin.

    Youth is gloried in this country we have gone down the narcissistic bent of the USA. But child abuse is not new nor media made. Time to question why so called adults have to have this power, I call them so called adults as its about being mature not about age. There are a lot of people like this and if you have been abused you know them if you become one of them then it is chose your chose.

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  • 46. At 5:06pm on 02 Oct 2009, Jon Cooper wrote:

    I know of a man who left his wife because of the abuse SHE was doing, it took him over 5 years to get Social Services to even accept it was possible for a woman to do those things.

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  • 47. At 5:29pm on 02 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    You're right its really hard to know which came first. My point is that when you have large corporations, sexual violence, Hollywood media perverts cram their immorality down people's throats it can be very confusing for some people to draw the line between what is o.k. and what is taboo. The lines have become so blurred. There are certain things which should never be tolerated. Personally, anything that causes one to suffer humiliation, degradation and exploitation should be taboo.

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  • 48. At 5:43pm on 02 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    loudlondoner and #44.

    Re, "...debate... bringing back the death penalty for convicted paedophiles.."

    Interesting interpretation of a redundant Punishment: Firstly, Capital Punishment was never applicable for Child Abuse; secondly, Capital Punishment was removed from the Statute Book because of a range of issues, including the age of a convicted murderer (so, what is it for you? Do you hang the paedophile at 14, 16, 18, 21... or do the infamous 10yr old Bulger criminals get it in your deterrent world!?), whether those aiding and abetting a murder were equally liable to the same punishment (so what's you view? Holding the mobile, suggesting the idea, setting up the conditions, not being there but viewing it later...?), and of course it was shown time and again NOT to be a deterrent (so, where do you think the deterrent lies? Hang 'em high, but, if they're sick in the head - - classified psychologically disturbed - - they will not be deterred and will not be subject to your Capital Punishment? Or do you intend on extending it to those mentally unfit to plead?).

    However, I do agree to some extent with a previous Comment that a Life Sentence should mean Life: Many MPs that voted for the Abolition of the Death Penalty did so on the firm commitment from the Home Secretary that Life meant Imprisonment until death.
    Even so, that has been revealed as impracticable and unfair: It is still the case that 7 out of 10 murders and 70% of Child Abuse is in the Home - - let us just pause to think of the effect on the already traumatised-damaged psychology of the 'abused child' to be told their evidence will have their Dad, Mum, Uncle etc. strung up!?

    It may be "..unacceptable.." in your eyes that these "..vile people are waited on hand and foot..", but, each of them was Child at one time: Were they born perverted or learn their anti-social-amoral instincts from the Family and Society? When do they become so vile you kill them as opposed imprison them? The first offence and what sort of offence is that?

    Thankfully, in my view, neither Harriet Harmon nor any of the Front-bench of the 3 main Political Parties support such a retrogressive step which as the USA statistics reveal everyday has absolutely no real deterrent effectiveness with violent-sexually orientated crime.

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  • 49. At 5:47pm on 02 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    I was wondering if the economic aspect of selling pornographic images of children is more motivating to someone than the actual sexual nature of this crime?

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  • 50. At 6:59pm on 02 Oct 2009, twistywillow wrote:

    Is it still ok for other people to take photos of ones children or is it still considered a peeping tom thing to do? Dont we need to ask ourselves if we should be taking back the right to say No? Personally I dont allow photos on the web of my kids, but that doesnt mean to say they are not there. I have a family member who insists of having the whole family on face book for all to see. How do we change this culture of a free for all without causing upset? I am now more and more cautious of this and do not allow photos shared through email. People really need to look at their own web habits and the way they share photos around and that includes how we take them. Its not ok to say these people shouldnt have been allowed to get anywhere near kids with a mobile phone camera, but how many of us have the very same facility and have taken pics of our kids or family members kids without asking if its ok? and then sharing them around the web to other friends and family like sweeties. In the days of film and processing we got sent a family photo once a year from the school photo shoot, and that was it. Now it is very different. Its pandoras box, we cannot change the technology but we certainly should be more aware of how it can be abused or how it can be abused and take more responsibility for our own children's safety.
    I also feel, that it is unfair to continually slam parents who do put their kids into early years nursery because they work. Please consider this: You have a baby, the government says you have to work, you put your child into nursery and pay exorbitant fees for its care which take up most of your wages. Then this happens. I think those poor parents are in as much need of care and counselling as their children are,the whole community is damaged by this and it will be with them a long time. Empathy and sympathy not brick bats from Conservative fathers who have managed to have their wives at home to bring up baby. Life is different now, it very rarely works that way.
    It is worth mentioning that a few days ago we had a report telling us that our children are being damaged because they are not being cared for by mothers. Yet on the other hand,teh government over the years has done nothing but drum into us that we have to work, we must work, we cannot stay home and look after our children.
    So which is it to be? Made to feel guilty if we go to work but the government says so, or made to feel like social pariahs if we stay home and be 'only' stay at home mothers...
    You choose.
    So wha

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  • 51. At 7:24pm on 02 Oct 2009, EdwinaTS wrote:

    Over reaction is surely a guaranteed damage to children on a statistical level. Alright, there are many paedophiles, so we just need to take reasonable precautions and notice the signs.

    But please, no more red tapes or our society will fall apart.

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  • 52. At 7:26pm on 02 Oct 2009, letgolet wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 53. At 10:44pm on 02 Oct 2009, magicalways54 wrote:

    I think that most sex offenders or paedophile predators are males. There is no doubt about this in my mind. Such sick, twisted or desperate sex obsessed males tend to need or want some form of partner to give them the easy or further sexual gratification they may seek or need, as to do this by them selves would be hard work and would give them problems with arm ache. Whereas women who seek or need further sexual gratification can see to themselves much easier. Also most women are generally not so perverse of mind as men are and have a natural instint to protect children.

    Like in the Colin Blanchard and Vanessa George case, I also believe that nowadays countless paedophile men use the internet to befriend and groom those they feel they know they can and those who they know have easier access to children to gain what they want and to seek via the internet.

    The easiest way for paedophiles to gain access to kids is to befriend and groom the adults they know either have children or work with children. They often gain friendship and trust from those they plan to groom first before grooming.

    Child predators grooming adults and children via the internet has to be taken very seriously if children are to be protected from such monsters and the media should never distort the truth or facts on reporting stories, otherwise the media may become just as much of a danger to children then paedophiles are.

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  • 54. At 09:47am on 03 Oct 2009, fillandfrowpist wrote:

    I am unsure as to which is the worse evil, the nursery worker, or the pile of hysterical rubbish that is presented to me care of multi-media. The psychology of people should be presented as follows:

    1. We are all capable of the same "evil" we are prepared to vilify others for.

    2. (Undetected) Paedophilia may be much more common in "respectable" families than anyone may care to admit.

    3. Sex is our fundamental driving force and appears in most social things we do (oh yes it does). Ensuring children are "innocent" for as long as possible has been socially engineered out of life by "stupid, short sighted, middle class psycho-babble". Children should NOT be allowed to grow up quickly.

    4. There are double standards (and hypocrisy) at work in a society where the parents of children in this scandal have a choice of "what the eyes do not see..." or "the need to know". Perhaps we have never really understood just how "behind closed doors" we still are (the Victorians would laugh at us).

    5. When claims of child abuse are as widespread as some organisations suggest then we enter the realms of "what is natural, and what is unnatural". And that is not including paedophilia.

    6. The gender issue is irrelevant.

    7. We make matters far worse by sensationalising them.

    I am prepared to be slaughtered; feel free.

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  • 55. At 10:32am on 03 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    fillandfrowpist and #54.

    Why 'slaughter' the utterly nonsensical that makes huge, abusrd and wholly unsubstantiated assumptions about any and everybody that has already attracted gales of derision from far further back than Victoriana!?

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  • 56. At 12:47pm on 03 Oct 2009, fillandfrowpist wrote:


    Why, thank you ikamaskeip.

    Short on argument, long on derision.

    Obviously the most intelligent thing you are capable of, is it?

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  • 57. At 2:50pm on 03 Oct 2009, SUSANNAH55 wrote:

    Dear Mark
    Thank you so very much for highlighting this malignant area of our society - female sexual abuse of children - that still, even in the 21st century, remains a taboo subject.

    I am a survivor of female sexual abuse - perpetrated by my mother - and a qualified therapist and CEO founder - - of the Aurora Health Foundation registered charity based in south west London. Aurora offers specialist care to adult men and women who have survived abuse in childhood. And also help to those who support survivors in their healing.

    Aurora and myself are featured in a BBC Radio 4 programme produced by Sarah Bowen on Female Sexual Abuse of children this Monday 5th October at 8pm. Penny Marshall who conducted the interview has also produced an article about the programme for the Times newspaper is in print on Monday 5th October.

    Although I had participated in other BBC TV programmes under my pseudonym back in the 1990s I felt that it was time to use my own name and speak out about this horrendous and pervading form of abuse.

    I contributed to Michele Elliott's book Female Sexual Abuse of Children -the Ultimate Taboo using my pseudonym of Lucy Jenner - my story is Chapter 3.

    It is due to amazing pioneers like Michele, Sarah, Penny and others who highlight this taboo area that we are at last looking at the devastating effects for children who are sexually abused by women.

    Even with the recognition of child abuse per se, society is still to face the sad and appalling fact that women do indeed sexually abuse children.

    It is my heartfelt belief that only in silence and denial does this cancer of the soul exist. For too long it has devastated and permeated survivors' lives and left child victims to suffer the consequences. We must talk about this subject to bring hope and support not just to survivors but all those whose lives are touched by abuse of all kinds. We must protect our children and the future of our society it is time.

    Susannah Faithfull

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  • 58. At 4:57pm on 03 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Frankly, I do like more wholesome shows like "18 Kids and Counting"
    Its fascinating to watch the family dynamic at play and dysfunctional families can learn a lot by watching them. For example,honouring your children, revelling in your children's unique abilities, laughing at their hilarious antics. Garnering the support of older family members, respecting your husband. I've never once heard the mother raise her voice to her children. She's always calm, firm but loving. She has an intrinsic understanding of children and she and her husband work like a family unit. I guess the difference in their relationship is that they act like adults not adolescent, developmentally arrested, drug addicted adults. This stuff can sell but Hollywood is too drug and porn addicted to know it.

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  • 59. At 5:49pm on 03 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    fillandfrowpist and #56.

    You are most welcome: You really deserve it for a very shoddy contribution that lacks any substantive point on this topic.

    Now as to my poor efforts you can find them at #25, #41 and #48 (as well as #55) if you feel the need: Otherwise, I will take the liberty of reccomending #5 and #36 by atrisse, harrietharmon's #15, twistywillow at #18, plus some thoroughly interesting views by lippylippo in #40 and DeniseCullum222's challenging #42.

    Of course I realise you came late to the debate and as per usual had not read the Article in its entirety or all the other Comments, but hey, we can all have an off day: Though this particular topic warrants a tad more consideration than evidenced in your #55.

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  • 60. At 11:09pm on 03 Oct 2009, fillandfrowpist wrote:


    Please don't talk your arrant nonsense at me ikamaskeip. I have read every single one of your contributions and at least part of my commenst were directed squarely at you. I have made points - almost all of them are made in the opening comments in one way or another. So don't be so darned patronising.

    I was waiting for intelligent argument - and I am still waiting. In your case I am not expecting any.

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  • 61. At 11:45pm on 03 Oct 2009, fillandfrowpist wrote:

    @41 ikamaskeip

    "Quote: Clamdip and #11.

    Re, Penultimate sentence: ".. People's sense of morality has changed because there are no more leaders to look up to to make the world a better place..."
    and concluding sentence: ".. It's difficult to raise strong children in an imooral world thats been plundered since time began.."

    Well, make up your mind!?

    Either the 'moral leaders' have all vanished, or, there never were any because they were off 'plundering'.

    Frankly, I do not agree with any of your analysis of the World order except to concur 'immorality' has always been around and when juxtaposed with 'exploitation' then I think we get nearer to the mark about how the world turns."


    This is an example of your muddled, incoherent thought processes. The opening two quotes are not a paradox. Dicken's gives us a great insight into Victorian morality which depended largely on class - Great Expectations being a prime example - because poor people were too busy surviving to worry too much about moral codes. Of course the wealthier classes were busy reading chapter and verse about morality in public while their lives were a little more questionable behind "closed doors". True leaders (such as those clamdip may have been referring to) have been replaced by role model celebrities whose lives are tacky beyond compare.

    When a kid is "encouraged" to be grown up (beyond play) then we have serious problems on our hands. I will not define children by ages but simply state that no one under the age of puberty should be encouraged out of childhood innocence. Childhood is the only true period of absorption where we gain a unique perspective of what our world should be, and it will come tumbling down very hard when adulthood looms. Kids should be taught how to be themselves rather than machined to fit into an imperfect world. Spiritual leaders (not in a religious sense) do appear at times when the human spirit needs them but they are never just politicians which is why we are in a mess. We only have the poorest calibre of politicians we have ever had right now - not just here but across the globe.

    Immorality depends on your moral standpoint. More and more morals are being bent to fit situations - so we have the situation where a badly injured soldier returns home in a wheelchair as a hero only to be ridiculed on our streets by those who find it easy to poach humour from someone badly disfigured. Accepting people means familiarity and society has never been more divided than it is now. We are fast reaching a point where kids will be on one side of the street and adults on the other.

    That is an example of why I patently disagree with you. I could call it "the utterly nonsensical that makes huge, abusrd and wholly unsubstantiated assumptions about any and everybody that has already attracted gales of derision from far further back than Victoriana!" but I accept people have their opinions - something you would do well to learn about and acknowledge ikamaskeip.

    So be a nice lad and stop being a pompous ass.

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  • 62. At 01:53am on 04 Oct 2009, paula hendley wrote:

    Great point No 29.
    The problem is this Government, I read today in the paper that these three people that will be going to jail for the terrible things that they have done to these children, but they have the right to a new identity and a new life when they get out, so what is the point of even sending them to jail or them having all these court hearings just so that they can be protected and when they do get out for good behaviour? All this is going to do, is to encourage all the other child molesters to come out of the wood work because they know that their time in prison will be a protected one where no one can touch them and that they are sitting in easy street at the BRITISH PUBLIC expense. They say it is their human right but what about the children's HUMAN RIGHTS ? Their rights have been taken away and shattered, do these so called educated people in the judicial system know what those rights are? The human rights act states that it is your human right not to be tortured and that you should be able to live a normal life, what do they think is happening to those little children. These 3 people along with all the other filth that follow in their footsteps should automatically loose their right to any rights that they might have been entitled to. WHY DOES THE LAW PROTECT THESE PEOPLE? Unless somebody wakes up very soon and does something to enforce the fact that if you abuse a child the penalty for that is ZERO TOLLERANCE this will not stop. I think that unless the big boys at the top change the law on child abuse and soon, then the first Public spending cuts should be with all the Social Services around the country as they will then be a total waste of the Tax payers money, why throw good after bad? And why is it that when there are major cases of fraud going around that the sentence is far harsher the the fraudster then there is for far more terrible crimes?

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  • 63. At 11:38am on 04 Oct 2009, Its_an_Outrage wrote:

    17. At 11:06pm on 01 Oct 2009, Richard1634 wrote:
    #5 - This is yet another symptom of the community falling apart. This is exactly it. It takes a village to raise a child, or indeed a whole bunch of children...
    I wonder if the British will ever realise how it is their own culture that is ruining their children?

    I agree with you, although as a 60 year-old man with no children, I would have to be mad to go near a child, let alone speak to one. There is no connection at all. None. I feel obliged to avoid them; how sad!

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  • 64. At 2:03pm on 04 Oct 2009, paula hendley wrote:

    I find it totally amazing that the Government can stop a whole nation from smoking in public places, this is a NEW enforced law and it seems that everyone is adhering to it, so why is it so difficult for them to pass a ZERO TOLLERANCE law on child abuse in any form?

    My point is that the Government has taken away my human right to smoke in a public place because "It is a DANGER to others" so why is it so hard for them to take away the rights of pedophiles once they have harmed a child, their rights should no longer exist. The damage that has been done to that child is far, far worse then any harmful cigarette smoke first or second hand could do to anyone, so please can you people get your priorities straight.


    The bottom line is that, the Human Rights people that say that child abusers have rights must actually be child abusers themselves and are using this as a shield to hide behind while they along with all the other scum get away with it, it is all a smoke screen and the Government and the law enforcers cant or dont want to see through it.

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  • 65. At 4:11pm on 04 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Thank You Fillanfrowpist and Binglebug
    I always feel like the lone voice in a sea of perversion. I'm sure the Victorians were perverse too but they probably limited it to consenting adults not children. I think there has been a deliberate attempt to attack people's moral positions so that their beliefs become homogenized. When that's accomplished its easier to control a population of people. It was accomplished in Europe and now the United States and then lo and behold the New World Order appears seemingly from nowhere.
    Some things are just immoral and wrong. People take advantage of others and hurt them because their own suffering is so great. People need to heal themselves from their addictions. In doing that they will heal their soul and their suffering and then we won't need to have these discussions anymore. Although they get wonderfully juicy at times.

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  • 66. At 5:12pm on 04 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Another point I wanted to make about childminders is that having worked for over 16 years with children in the U.S. I have found that people aren't properly vetted. In my last job there were 2-3 former gang members
    (never caught) who may have been involved in drive-by shootings, who really knows who've they've murdered? One of them may have had an existing record in another country. I left my last job due to one of them intimidating me. She went on to intimidate others. Schools protect these individuals because they always threaten to sue. So basically you end up with the least educated, questionable people taking care of your precious little ones. They can be kind and affectionate but who wouldn't be after you've murdered someone? I have written to President Obama about professionalizing early childhood and properly vetting employees because it is the most important period in a child's life but until the government gets serious about protecting children, this problem won't dissapear. With all the identity fraud, do you really know who these teachers are? It boggles the mind. This is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed. People should work but early childhood is a very special, important period that only true professionals should be allowed to do.

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  • 67. At 6:28pm on 04 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Clamdip and #65.

    "I'm sure Victorians were perverse too but they probably confined their activities to consenting Adults not children".

    The mind boggles that you can just write such downright erroneous stuff without any knowledge and hope it backs your point of view!?

    You will not have heard of Josephine Butler (1828 - 1906): As authoress and champion of Women and Children's Rights, Elizabeth Longford wrote, "..if Josephine had a hospital named after her it would have been one for the Voluntary Treatment of Veneral Diseases... as she defended the rights of the destitute and prostitutes..... in Victorian society..".

    For as Josephine Butler wrote and campaigned all her life long it was for the ".. hundreds of abandoned orphans... living on the streets... and worse those as tender age as 5 and 6 taken into houses... to service the deviant, bestial needs of the Upper Classes..." and "... all this ... shamefully upheld and promoted.. within Laws provided by Westminster.."

    Mr Butler was criticised by decent and prominent Victorians and even chastised in Church sermons: The reason, ".. for not controlling his wife.. interfering in the natural order.."

    You may have heard of George Bernard Shaw: Well, get hold of a copy of his 'Mrs Warrens' Profession' (1893), or better still, research the Police records of the era and there you will find '..homeless women and girls... some no more than 11 or 12... tested by Police for their hymen.."!

    Do you know as late as 1882 the age of 10 for female prostitution made (in a direct reversal of todays disgraceful importations) English Girls highly valuable on the Continent where the age was generally 16!?

    Are you getting the idea?

    This UK in 2009 is nowhere near perfect but 'Victorian' it most certainly is not and thanks to Josephine Butler and her like in an age when only Males made the Laws.

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  • 68. At 6:50pm on 04 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    fillandfrowpist and #61.

    Oh, so its a 'pompous ass' is it!

    So, when or if I agreed with you my opinion would be valid.

    Except, if you had bothered to read my Comments you would know I am one of those who realises, "..more and more morals being bent to fit a situation..", but, that I think it is not so much 'bent' as the realisation ethics and morality is a moveable feast whether we like it or not: And, in my view, this is a positive thing for the progression of human society.
    You on the other hand appear to hanker (I could be wrong as my view can be bent to purpose) after the mythical past of the 'moral certainties' despite there never having been such a thing in the UK or anywhere in the world.

    Meanwhile your "..True leaders.." are replaced by the "..tacky celebrities.."!

    Sorry, but as the tennis player said more than once when the umpire and line-judge got the call totally, irrevocably wrong: 'You cannot be serious!'

    Which mystical leaders are these? Do tell.

    Apart from Ghandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Pastor Bohoffer, John Wesley, Florence Nightingale and Dr Scwheitzer I cannot really come up with many at all (and even they had/have their foibles).

    Please do not reply mentioning any Prime Minister, Soldier-Statesman, Churchman since William Pitt the Younger as you are on a very sticky (literally steamy in some cases) historical wicket.

    Now, what was that about others opinions: I seem to recall asking you to look at previous Comments and have referred to yours, so, not quite sure how you think I am dismissing others except for #54 which content, again I say is risible.

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  • 69. At 7:03pm on 04 Oct 2009, cyberPointofview wrote:

    I've read most of the comments and I am surprised that most people are inclined to blame the authorities, the law or the various organisations responsible for protecting the children, but not the British society with its "traditional" ways of raising children. It would be interesting to compare the statistics with other countries where the role of the extended family is much greater, where grandfathers and grandmothers happily look after small children and where parents do not need to rely on strangers to provide childcare.

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  • 70. At 9:25pm on 04 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Dear Ikamaskeip,
    Thanks for the interesting and enlightening tip. I will read the book.

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  • 71. At 10:52pm on 04 Oct 2009, fillandfrowpist wrote:


    I could not care less if you agree or not. I find your attitude pompous and that is MY opinion, whether you like it or not. Take it or leave it.

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  • 72. At 01:16am on 05 Oct 2009, Its_an_Outrage wrote:

    #65 Clamdip.
    I think you're probably right. In theory, anyway.

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  • 73. At 06:00am on 05 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Leaders you ask? Buddha was one and any number of other good men and women fighting to free the world from self interest, greed and unconscious stupidity.

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  • 74. At 06:09am on 05 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Yeah. There has been a deliberate attack and all signs point East.

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  • 75. At 08:30am on 05 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    clamdip and #73.



    That's it!?

    A rotund, mythical, spiritual being whom almost no one in the 'west' (where you have been directing your remarks abour 'leadership' and 'morality') had heard of until the mid-19th century!

    After that its any 'number of other good men and women'! Just off the top of the head Ang Syu Ki of Burma and then its...

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  • 76. At 08:46am on 05 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    fillandfrowpist and #71.


    Quotes, "...unsure which is worse evil... nursery worker... or media.." Well, as opening gambit it certainly gets you noticed. Followed closely by the distinctly underwhelming following flights of fancy: "... the psychology of people should be presented as follows.. (Nos 1 to 7).." which granted I challenged with low humour (whilst meaning: But should they?) and thus you took umbrage, "...please don't talk your arrant nonsense at me..", however, the argument was all downhill from there, "..This is an example of your muddled, incoherent thought processes.." followed by, "I was waiting for an intelligent argument... I am still waiting..", "I could not care less if you agree or not.." and "..find your attitude pompous.." plus "..take it or leave it.."

    Ho-hum! Who exactly is it you think is a 'pom....'?

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  • 77. At 12:28pm on 05 Oct 2009, SUSANNAH55 wrote:

    Thank you Mark for highlighting the subject of female sexual abuse of children.

    I am a survivor of female sexual abuse having been abused by my mother throughout my childhood.

    I consider myself fortunate since I have made it through the nightmare to live a life worth living. So many survivors do not.

    As a therapist I now run a charity that helps survivors of childhood abuse to heal from their traumas.

    It is surely time that the female sexual abuse of children is brought to the public's attention.

    I believe everyone one of us has a responsibility to prevent all forms of abuse happening to children - everywhere. And also to sensitively help those that have endured those traumas as children.

    Both myself and the charity are featured in tonight's radio 4 programme at 8pm.

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  • 78. At 2:29pm on 05 Oct 2009, newSweetMonkey2 wrote:

    Access to the internet is given as a 'reason' why this sort of abuse can fester and spread. Can I suggest that access to the internet is harmless in the correct hands - the same as a gun is in the hands of a responsible person. Give perverts and violent individuals any sort of tools and they will use them negatively. Responsible people use the internet to better themselves, explore facts and news, keep track of their family and access information.

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  • 79. At 3:16pm on 05 Oct 2009, DeniseCullum222 wrote:

    women abuse children because they were abused but many time they have not been but its in them to kill children because they can never thought of looking at these people as runts of the human race why not we produce so strange people look at those who wish to be leaders and those who fleece their country men and those who willingly put on uniform and go off and kill anyone because Queen and country say so what is the difference they are not usually western and white something the white race do not want to look at child porn is big business also forgotten and is not the news because the News of the World is on the door step it has always been its part of the nasty side of mankind but in other countries were the media is not king it is dealt with quietly after all why should these people get to be abuse celebs because people want to know? they have not met who cares its the same story male finds women like himself who likes to have power over children it does not matter whose children and they have a big market for this sort of photos we there was no computer painter did drawings of it and paintings and sold them it has always been here and will always be here unless you spay them all then when they die they take their genes with them.

    And name and shame those who buy the photos and what they do for a living I know it will drive it under ground do not make them interesting we know what they do it because they can why did the women join this bald man simple they are alike without EMPATHY the gene that makes you care about children and others.

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  • 80. At 4:11pm on 05 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Denise Cullum222 and #79.

    I usually steer clear of the grammar/spelling critique.

    Between "women..." at the top and some 300 words later "...others." at the bottom there is 1 '?', 1 Full Stop and no Capitals (except 'Q'ueen and 'NoW')!

    It really does make reading and understanding your recent contribution very difficult.

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  • 81. At 8:20pm on 05 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    O.k. Here's another one, Ron Paul.

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  • 82. At 8:44pm on 05 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Dear Susannah55,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us and its wonderful that you've managed to survive through all of that and and now help others. I also believe that this type of abuse is more prevalent than people realize. It also occurred to me after the celebrated Casey Anthony case and after a supressed memory I had from my childhood when taken to a babysitter that many women (allegedly) also drug children using cough medecine, alcohol or other things. These issues are very serious. That is why I wish child development was a mandatory subject in high school and for all new parents. If people understood that children love activities, predictable schedules and behavior management it might save women from resorting to this kind of crime.

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  • 83. At 8:53pm on 05 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Some bloggers don't have perfect command of English but they deserve, just like you to participate in this discussion. Try to be loving and gentle. Help people improve so they can learn from their mistakes.

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  • 84. At 08:01am on 06 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    clamdip and #83.

    If you can point to my being rude or negative about denicecullum etc.!?

    Totally agree on right of all to participate and would never suggest otherwise.

    In #80 I pointed out a very long passage without punctuation is difficult to follow: Usually d...cullum contributions are very reasonable whether I agree with the content or not.

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  • 85. At 08:17am on 06 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Clamdip and #81.

    I have taken some time replying to your suggestion of 'Ron Paul' as an example of a 'true leader' relating to ethical-moral issues in our modern world.

    The reason for my delay is I wanted to be certain of whom you meant. My initial reaction was astonishment as the only Ron Paul I had even vaguely heard of was an American Republican who'd been some sort of early contender in Presidential races.

    I've looked up the name 'Ron Paul' and if there is another you are referring to then I do apologise before I make the following comment.

    The Ron Paul of the Republican Party would seem to be a wholly unreliable and in some ways unpleasant individual (in the past he has allegedly made racist-sexist remarks unbefitting a modern, serious politician). I do not know much more than that: I must conclude you mean another person and if not then I believe unless you can clear the name completely that you think carefully before giving anymore examples of 'leaders'!

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  • 86. At 10:50am on 06 Oct 2009, puddingandpi wrote:

    I am a feminist & what that means is that I believe women & men, although different, are equal. Women are just as capable of being evil as men.
    It's sexist to be harsher on women who abuse children than on men. There's a belief that women are natural nurturers & that it's "against nature" for a woman to harm children. But it's just as appalling if a child is abused by a man as a woman, isn't it?
    My mother was amazingly abusive, though not sexually - to me at least, I don't know about my brothers.
    Women have always abused children, because they have the opportunity apart from other reasons.
    For years women have had unrealistic expectations foisted onto them - that we are "angels", demure, none-sexual, protective of children, home-makers, not naturally violent or aggressive, the maker of families.
    But we're not! We're the same as men - we can be loud, drunken, messy, boisterous, dirty, feckless, violent, abusive, foul-mouthed, ruthless, ambitious, back-stabbing, sadistic shag-monsters. Because we're not "women", we're *human*!
    This is not to excuse anyone for what they've done but this shows that the reluctance of parents to have men look after their children for fear of abuse is completely misplaced.

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  • 87. At 11:55am on 06 Oct 2009, tazza35 wrote:

    I am absolutely disgusted that we are still allowing are children to be mistreated and abused all the time, and too many people having something to say after the event has happened. I grew up in the care system since i was born and am not very happy that i am still seeing abuse like i was being brought up on, it should have well been stopped by now. How do you thnk a child feels when they know that nothing is ever going to be done to help them. Authority's need to put there foot down on these abusers and not let them get away with it no longer. Everyone has a responsibility to look after and protect are children but yet no one seems interested enough to do anything about it. All abusers can be stopped and it is down to everyone to put a stop to it. Everytime i switch on the news it makes me sick that nothing in the world has changed. Abuse is everywhere and it MUST be stopped.

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  • 88. At 12:45pm on 06 Oct 2009, Secratariat wrote:


    Could you please post some links to back up your claims against Congressman Ron Paul ?

    I'm not trying to deny your claims but I've been trying to find some hard evidence to back them up and all I've been able to find are some unaccredited statements from an old Republican newsletter produced in the early 90s that wasn't even written by him.
    Even they were hardly of the level I'd use to brand someone a racist, they were just pointing out that in some American cities the proportion of crime committed by young black men was far higher than the proportion of young black men living in the area and as such there needed to be something done to help reduce this level of criminality within the African American communities of those cities.

    He's also been accused of anti-Semitism, but considering he calls for a fair and equitable solution for everyone in the Middle East, including the Palestinians, this is hardly surprising. AIPAC goes out of their way to try to destroy anyone who isn't a die-hard supporter of Israel in U.S. politics.

    I've always considered Ron Paul to be one of the few decent men in the GOP and I'm quite surprised to hear anyone brand him a racist or a sexist as I've watched many of his speeches and read a lot of his writings and I've never thought of him in this way.

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  • 89. At 12:46pm on 06 Oct 2009, not2except wrote:

    The implication of the majority of the posts is that individuals who engage in abuse belong to some 'other group' i.e. they are 'evil', 'monsters', or my favourite 'lesbians' - because of course all lesbian women are not really human and they spend their days figuring out how to get their hands on children to abuse (are we not tired of this one yet?). Obviously this makes us all feel better because we can distance ourselves from them. Basically all individuals who abuse are members of family regardless of what occupation they have. They are someone's son, daughter, mother/father, aunt/uncle etc. Rather than blame authorities, the internet, or the price of cheese, for not paying enough attention, controlling access to children etc just take a long hard and truthful look at who you will send Christmas cards to this year.

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  • 90. At 2:25pm on 06 Oct 2009, not2except wrote:

    "the sexual abuse of children by women "constituted 25% (approximately 36,000 children) of the sexually abused victims" in their study.

    In the UK, Childline says that 11% of the calls received from children alleging sexual abuse suggest the perpetrator is a woman.

    The NSPCC says that women are the abusers in 6% of cases highlighted in their study."

    I am guilty of not reading the reporting of the statistics thoroughly enough. If you look at the above, they are not comparable at all and badly explained. The first (25%) is US based so no comparability to the UK. It is also 25% of victims, not perpetrators.
    The second (Childline) is a percentage of calls, whilst the third (NSPCC) is the only percentage that is actually based on perpetrators. Given that it is possible for one individual to abuse several children, then 6% of perpetrators can equate to 25% of victims.

    Sadly however, this is now all over the internet as 25% of perpetrators are female. Erm, no actually, they are not 6% are female and 94% are male.

    Given the recent criticisms of government statistical cock ups in this blog, it is disappointing that the same critical analysis has not been applied to their own reporting.

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  • 91. At 5:26pm on 06 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Dear PuddingandPi
    Apart from a full scale citizen uprising which becomes more of a possibility with each passing day in the U.S., The only thing is to fund a child rights lobbyist. But honestly, I think that weak laws to protect children has been yet another way to break down the collective good morals of a populace. When people see their lives inundated with crime, when their retirement accounts are raided, when their livelihood is constantly threatened, they run to a more powerful government to protect them. In America lately though, people have started to purchase guns because they're reaching their breaking point.

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  • 92. At 5:35pm on 06 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Secretariat and #88.

    Re my #85. Important to note I used the key-word "allegedly".

    I have no more information than you and simply set out my reservations having read a few background articles on Mr Paul: Having read the allegations I noted he had refuted them, but could not find any clear explanation either for or against. Nevertheless, having gone on to read how he is a right-wing Republican with ultra-strong 'pro-life', 'right to bear arms' and 'pro-death penalty' views, I was in no doubt he did not fit the category of a moral-ethical 'true leader' as in the mould I could accept.

    Not wanting to dwell on the man's opinions which he is entitled to hold I just give a brief example of what I find distasteful. In fact, he may well have not said the racist-sexist things, but the rest of his views leave me cold! 'Sexist' remarks come in all types of ways: Do not want to go into it here but Mr Paul is one of those 'Christian' gentlemen so anti-abortion the rights of the female are negated and of course as a male of our species he spouts loud about equality and then seeks to instruct females what they can and cannot do with their bodies and lives! Definitely not my idea of a moral 'leader'.

    Judging from his 'voting record' with his nickname "Dr.No" I would say he appears to be a 'maverick' politican with the appeal to those hard-right activists who want a much smaller Federal Government and a return-restoration of what he perceives as lost 'Individual freedoms'. Well, that's the USA and that is upto them.

    Hope this goes some way to explaining my cryptic #85.

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  • 93. At 5:41pm on 06 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    not2except #89 and #90.

    All good points and well presented.

    Certainly the 'male' of the species is far more dangerous than the female where paedophilia is concerned and those on here writing denials of that are simply wrong in history and in fact.
    Equally, your '25' and '6' % analysis just shows how quickly misinformation can spread from the most unlikely of sources.

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  • 94. At 6:40pm on 06 Oct 2009, Secratariat wrote:


    Ron Paul is not a typical Republican.

    He may be against abortion but he's not some women hating, right-wing extremist. He's an Obstetrics doctor who has delivered more than 4,000 babies and cared for many thousands of women.

    He believes issues such as abortion should be decided at a State level instead of a Federal level as he's more interested in Democracy and upholding the limitations of the U.S. constitution than enforcing his own moral values and, for a "pro-lifer", he actually has some pretty progressive views on the issue. I personally disagree with him on this issue but I think his approach is a long way from the usual right-wing fanatical pro-lifers the Republican party seems to be filled with.

    If you haven't already I'd recommend checking out his website:

    He's got some very good ideas and even though I'm not an American he'd get my vote for the Presidency if I was, the good he could do with his policies on foreign policy, prohibition, crime and several other areas could have significant and long lasting benefits for everyone, not just Americans.

    The guy gets attacked from all sides, the Democrats hate him because he's a Republican and most Republicans hate him because he talks sense and isn't your average right-wing extremist.

    As Swift said: “when a true genius comes into the world, you shall know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him !"

    I don't agree with him on every issue and I'm definitely not a Republican supporter but I'd love to see the guy get a chance in the White House.

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  • 95. At 8:43pm on 06 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Dear Ikamaskeip,
    I defer to Secretariat because he expresses it so much better than I could ever do. Maybe, in your opinion he's not the best example but at least he's a common sense voice in a world gone nuts.

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  • 96. At 9:34pm on 06 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Secretariat and clamdip.

    Sorry, if Ron Paul is your example of moral leadership we will have to fundamentally differ on what the modern world needs as an example of leadership.

    The man is an extremist (I did look at the link): Incrediblky, some describe his politics as 'liberal'; in my oinion he is about as liberal as the laws for easy access to firearms he promotes, i.e. a menace to society.

    Hey, we agree to differ!

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  • 97. At 03:15am on 07 Oct 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    How about governments that abuse children.

    Proposals by the Metropolitan Police to disband its specialist human trafficking team have been attacked by several leading charities

    I wonder if these are the very same children that are growing cannabis in illegal farms that our goverment is so keen to shut down.

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  • 98. At 09:21am on 07 Oct 2009, diversion wrote:

    I find it quite sad that the current view of our legislators is that "everyone is a potential paedophile". When are we going to take our world back from these "harbingers of doom". Abuse does take place and the perpetrators need to be caught and punished. Children also need to be protected but that is best done in an environment that encourages adults to be present in their lives not by excluding those adults through fear.

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  • 99. At 7:45pm on 07 Oct 2009, JeremyBosk wrote:

    This really is nothing new and definitely not new since the invention of the internet. The ancient Greeks told stories about incest and child murder - Oedipus and Jocasta committing incest, Medea killing her children.

    In real life the French national hero Gilles de Rais (1404 - 1440), a companion of Joan of Arc, raped, tortured and murdered countless children in his castle dungeons before being hanged after assaulting a clergyman.

    Going back to old fashioned family structures and bygone moral values is perhaps not the cure all some believe.

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  • 100. At 03:24am on 08 Oct 2009, philosophysherwood wrote:

    I found the stance taken by PM to the Vanessa George case astonishing - how on earth could it help the parents to know if their child has been sexually touched and if the experience was so demonic why dont those children who have been subject to it show any signs or symptoms?

    What will traumatise these children is the hysteria and weeping of the parents however understandable. The press and parental reactions and the salacious attention of the media will now re-inforce in these young childrens minds that "something terrible" must have happened to them.

    Still worse is the notion suggested by some interviewees that everyone involved will need counselling (perhaps for life). Frankly the child abuse lobby sickens me, it has become a veritable industry, FED by a media BBC included that keeps everyone at fever pitch. There are worse things that can happen to children than premature sexualisation, being seriously injured by drunken drivers or witnessing a massacre such as happened at Dunblane - grow up BBC.

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  • 101. At 5:02pm on 08 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    I find your position very strange. Abused children often spend their lifetime in alcohol and drug addiction. They are unable to hold down jobs and relationships or be sufficiently motivated to even want to live anymore. Child sexual abuse rapes the deepest core of a person's soul. That is why it is such an unconscionable act. Unconscious abusers justify their acts because they were probably victims too. They heap their emotional pain onto a new generation of children rather than fix the pain inside themselves. The pain of sexual abuse can be so supressed that memories don't surface until many years later or they have another emotional tragedy or they're in therapy. Children of sexual abuse can have seemingly normal lives but if you scratch the surface a little deeper you'd find a wellspring of guilt and shame.

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  • 102. At 01:37am on 11 Oct 2009, philosophysherwood wrote:

    ok lest unpick your position what i want to know is what exactly is child ABUSE if the age of consent is say 14 as it is in many countries is a child "abused" at 13 years and 11 months but not at 14. Is that your position if so it is nonsensical. Where do you get your information from on abused children = is it research, the media, your own intuition or experience or what.

    My point is desperately simple, if these children were too young to appreciate what had happened to them, what will hurt them is the reaction of their parents, the media and the wider public however understandable -

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  • 103. At 06:27am on 11 Oct 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Philosophy Sherwood,
    "Too young to appreciate what happened to them?" Are you for real? Where do you get your age of consent from? Is it some scientifically derived number that probably a man invented? Who is anyone to make some arbitrary age the age of consent? A 13 year old doesn't have a fully developed brain nor does a 15 year old. As far as I'm concerned this is too young to get involved in all the entanglements of a sexual relationship. Why? What do you think is an acceptable age,6...? A red flag warning sign immediately raised in my head with your first comment.

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  • 104. At 00:38am on 15 Oct 2009, Th1nk-about-it wrote:

    Twistywillow, what is the taboo about putting childen's photos on the Internet? I've heard of this before and felt too bewildered to ask outright "why not"? Actually I felt embarrassed and didn't want to show my ignorance. I mean, as you do, ordinary family photos, not pornography.

    It sounds to me like a sort of superstition, like the idea that taking a photo of someone steals their soul, or that a picture of someone is the same as the real person. Or that a person could somehow be affected by smeone looking at their picture. But is there something else, something rational?

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  • 105. At 03:12am on 21 Oct 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:


    Yes, It is a pandemic that needs to be dealt with by; Approriate
    authorities and not with only...Criminal charges, they need mental
    health services...

    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 106. At 11:30pm on 27 Oct 2009, Lanzecki wrote:


    Here's a thought. What if *parents* looked after children rather than *childminders* and nurseries? What if those parents were supported by the state systems (taxation etc), and were able to live close enough to their parents that support was available from that quarter also? What if all fathers could get a job that paid enough to allow the mother to stay at home with their children (reverse gender if necessary)?

    I guess we might return to a cohesive society?

    Must be something dreadfully wrong with that idea, as all governments in this country for a great many years have been doing their collective best to stop it happening.


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  • 107. At 08:57am on 03 Nov 2009, Henny33 wrote:

    Mark: "...child abuse is far more commonplace than most people comprehend and there are an increasing number of studies suggesting the involvement of women is significantly under-reported."

    Also under-reported is the abuse of children by other children (girls and boys). It took me 25 years to tell another soul. If you dig a little deeper you might find more of us out there and if you ask the right questions you might find out why we didn't speak up sooner and exactly where things went wrong.

    Mark: "But there is another danger too. That we allow fears about paedophilia to damage the relationship between adults and children and to undermine the trust that makes communities function."

    Trust needs to be earned. It can't be taught. And it must be earned from the outset of life. If you ignore a baby's cries, for example, then you are telling the baby her voice doesn't count. The baby works out there's no point speaking up because no body will respond. There are many more factors.

    Solution? Abolish controlled crying for starters. Provide parents with more support so that they don't have to make compromises that will undermine their babies' emotional wellbeing. Educate parents with good parenting info and protect them from age-old myths. Make emotional wellbeing a priority for all. I'm sure others have offered good ideas too.

    You might like to refer to Sue Gerhardt's book "Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby's brain".

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  • 108. At 09:12am on 03 Nov 2009, Henny33 wrote:

    106 Lanzecki:

    "Here's a thought. What if *parents* looked after children rather than *childminders* and nurseries? What if those parents were supported by the state systems (taxation etc), and were able to live close enough to their parents that support was available from that quarter also? What if all fathers could get a job that paid enough to allow the mother to stay at home with their children (reverse gender if necessary)?

    I guess we might return to a cohesive society?"

    Exactly. Happy to read your post. This would solve everyone's problems.

    If parents were supported they wouldn't take their frustrations out on their kids, or be so knackered that they would have to make compromises that they didn't want to make and they would feel connected enough with themselves and their children to notice when one of their kids was in the hands of a predator.

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  • 109. At 09:37am on 03 Nov 2009, Henny33 wrote:

    18. Twistywillow said: "I grew up in ignorance of evils like this, and I am glad of it, my kids cannot have the same. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss, and it is time to give our kids back their childhood before they have nothing.I am not burying my head in the sand, I am just asking for more responsibility in reporting that's all."

    Imagine you're a kid. You've been sexually abused by a woman or another child. You've never heard about women or children abusing children. That's weird. Only big nasty men do that. It's hard enough to speak up, now it's even harder because that's unheard of... nobody set a precedent.

    I'm not suggesting this article is going to make victims talk and get the help and healing they need. They might just feel some comfort knowing that somebody out there noticed... somebody else's story that they can relate to.

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  • 110. At 10:20am on 03 Nov 2009, Henny33 wrote:

    Also babies, toddlers and kids need to feel good saying "NO!". It's not something that can be taught to them to say under certain circumstances. It needs to be part of the child's everyday language within the relationships that matter most to her. How well the parent responds to her child's "NO" will determine how the child feels about using that word when it is most needed.

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  • 111. At 11:20am on 03 Nov 2009, elfrieda wrote:

    Who ever is doing the abusing the punishment must be the same, but i agree with some comments that parents now pass the children over so easily to others to look after , I or my husband were home with our sons until they turned 14 , they came home from school to find a parent . we had to forgo some of the little luxuries a second job brings, but now i fear that unless some have a second job they cannot afford to live !! is that really true .. or is it just not afford a car or a holiday abroad etc , that i think hits the mark..

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  • 112. At 10:33pm on 15 Nov 2009, philosophysherwood wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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