Most people will have heard by now about Elizabeth Fritzl who was drugged and kidnapped by her father Josef Fritzl at the age of 18 and repeatedly raped over the 24 years he held her captive in a garage cellar behind the family home.It is hard to imagine what Elizabeth must have been going through over those years and what kept her alive under such intolerable conditions in a low cellar, living with three of the seven children fathered by her own father.It is also very hard to believe that no one saw Josef Fritzl taking all kinds of things into his garage Â? for instance beds, utensils, bathroom unit - which must have seemed strange.As someone who works to liberate parents and young people, this is another example of how diverse, challenging and complicated situations can be within a family environment and also another example of how widespread sexual abuse and incest is across the world. It does not differentiate between colour, creed, gender, race or religion.
When I work with groups of young people as part of my Born To Win! Programme for Young People, I always say to them not to judge others Â? their friends and peers - because you never know what happens when that young person goes home. Each young person who is or has been sexually abused will behave differently from another and therefore it is difficult to tell that they have had to endure these experiences. For instance, their behaviour may range from becoming withdrawn, extroverted, promiscuous aggressive, angry or engage in self harm activities (emotional, psychological or physical self harm) due to the self loathing, low self worth, hopelessness and helplessness that they generally experience as a result of sexual abuse or incest.
Elizabeth Fritzl was sexually abused by her father Josef Fritzl from the age of 11. Most children being abused do not tell anyone of their plight, resulting from the sheer fear of reprisals from the abuser, shame, guilt and intimidation, coupled with wondering if anyone would ever believe them. The case of 'Becky', a 14 year old British teenager that was brave enough to pluck up the courage to tell adults of her plight, goes a long way to prove this point. 'Becky' was consistently ignored until she started self harming and turned to drinks and drugs. It was only then that social services took action to remove her from the family home and placed her in a children's home. Unfortunately for 'Becky', staff at the children's home "allowed her to be used as a prostitute for fear their intervention might infringe her human rights."
The extent and gravity of Elizabeth Fritzl's situation, however, is a stark wake up call to the rest of the world that our children and young people need to be protected and/or liberated, whichever the case may be.
As challenging times lay ahead for the whole family, let's hope that they are given the best support available and thanks also to Natascha Kampusch who lends her support by starting up a fund for the family.
Jennifer McLeod © 2008
With Inspirational BlessingsJennifer McLeod
About the author:
my missions is to liberate parents and young people on their journeys of conscious awareness, enlightenment,light, love and gratitude. Author, Professional Speaker, Parent & Relationship Coach Creator of Easy Tiger Parents System(tm) and Creator of Born To Win! Programme for Young People(tm)
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