Tuesday, September 15, 2015



Seven hundred and four is a number that I wish the world would rally around and the media would plaster on every screen possible until 704 became 0.

According to the government of Paraguay, in 2014, 704 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 gave birth.  Child sexual abuse is a profound problem in Paraguay, as it is everywhere.  And the world has made gained little ground in stopping it.

The article linked above, to me, has the wrong focus.  It contrasts the pregnancies in the same age range in the UK with those in Paraguay, noting that the majority of the young girls in the UK had abortions, whereas the girls in Paraguay are "forced" to carry to term given that abortion is illegal.

Pregnancy at 10 is most certainly devastating.  But so is abortion.  The focus should not be on abortion verses delivery but on STOPPING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE in the first place so that there is not either or.

Recently, Angela Jolie Pitt, actress and human rights advocate, recently called on the world to essentially do a better job at addressing the threat of ISIS.  In doing so, she deplored the unprecedented escalation by ISIS of the use of rape as a key weapon of war.  Day in and day out, women and girls are raped and sold by ISIS.  A practice so commonplace in war zones now as to barely cause a blip in the news.  That rape is an accepted and frequently used weapon of war is so egregious I cannot understand why the outcries against it are not flooding the proverbial airwave.  But, apparently, a lion's death is more important.  More meaningful.  More deserving of discussion and advocacy and policy change.

I think about my best friend's fifth grade daughter having a baby and my stomach churns.  Yet, as faithful and devout Christians, I cannot fathom her parents making the choice for her to have an abortion if she were pregnant.  See, even I focus on the either or ... should the girl have a baby or have an abortion.  Even I.  My stomach churns even more.

What saddens me is that the debate really is for-or-against abortion, rather than making the reporting of child abuse both mandatory and easy world-wide, of having sentences/repercussions be so frighteningly and overwhelmingly punitive so as to cause an abuser to stop and think before crossing the line with an act that can never been undone and/or prevent repeated abuse by an abuser.  If children really are our future and our most precious resource, why does not every single country have a national database of child abuse and sexual abuse perpetrators?  Stopping child abuse is not a state right or a state problem.  It is not even a national right or a national problem.  It is a WORLD problem.

Almost two a day.
And that reported abuse is only a fraction of the actual crimes committed.

I weep at the knowledge that one of the things in common among humanity in all countries is the silence that cloaks child abuse and the utter failure, even in 2015 to protect children ... and adults ... from sexual assault.

In other words, the culture we all share is a culture of rape.

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