Elizabeth Fritzl Revisited Â? A Real Wake Up Call!
D'you know the original blog that I posted about Elizabeth Fritzl's situation has been my most popular blog ever with over a 1000 (thousand) viewers clicking on it within one week of posting the blog on a particular social network site. And yet, even though it has been my most popular blog, I have not had a single comment left by my viewers, NOT ONE, compared to my other blogs.
What Does It Mean?
What does that mean? What could it mean? Is it that as a nation we don't know what to say about sexual abuse, incest and rape and degrading another person? Is it that we are so disgusted by it that we are all rendered speechless? As stated in my original blog (Elizabeth Fritzl www.Jennifer-McLeod.blogspot.com), sexual abuse and incest is widespread across the world, religion, creed, colour, race and gender.
Many of you will already know that my passion and mission is to liberate parents and young people. In one of my programmes for professionals working with children and young people (The Psychology of Self Harm & Behaviour), I share with delegates that one of the main reasons young people resort to self harm (hair pulling, 'cutting', drugs, alcohol, emotional abuse, compulsion to steal, gambling or obsession with fire) is because they have been sexually abused.
The self loathing, self degradation, hopelessness, helplessness, self hatred, shame and sheer emotional pain that they experience becomes so overwhelming that they feel unable to cope with it all and resort to self harm or self injury as a coping strategy and release from the emotional pain. Relief and control are the top two reasons that young people state for harming themselves and self harming is the number one reason for young people ending up in Accident and Emergency departments.
So if as adults we feel unable to speak out against sexual abuse, incest and rape of children and young people, how then will we engender, encourage, support and engage children and young people in speaking out when they encounter such experiences?
'Changing people's attitudes towards mental health and counselling, and letting young people know that it's alright to ask for help, that admitting you need help and support doesn't mean that you have failed. Counselling needs to make more available to young people.' 24 year old (Breaking Down Barriers Report Â? Youth Access)
In the UK, in recent years, more and more adults have started to speak out about their own experiences, whether they occurred in children's homes, convents or at home amongst their family, and how these experiences have affected their lives today.
Our inability as adults to speak out goes a long way to demonstrate why children and young people are powerless to speak up or speak out about their plight, coupled with fear of reprisals from the perpetrator(s). In the majority of sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator is someone that is known to the child or young person, generally a family member, which means that children and young people are torn between standing up for themselves and family loyalty. Children are very protective of their parents irrespective of how good, bad or indifferent their parents are. Perpetrators are and can be any member of the community and at any echelon within the community. Josef Fritzl was deemed to be a respectable member of his community.
Who Would Believe Me?
'Who would believe me?' is the question that young people grapple with in these situations. Does the other parent already know? Are they in denial? What would happen to them if they did tell? Do they want to take on the added burden and 'responsibility' of breaking up the family home and shattering relationships with their parents and their siblings? How would they cope if they did? Who would support them if they did? Who could they turn to?
Some adults who pluck up the courage to speak out about their experiences become alienated by their families, are accused of lying and accused of breaking up the family home. If this is what happens to an adult, then what chance have young people got?
Review of Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services
A review of Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) 2001 by Youth Access in England, revealed that young people's emotional and mental health needs are not being met adequately. They concluded that there was not a specific service for young people as apposed to those for children and adults.
Society Fails Young People
Additionally, it would seem that social services are more confused and entangled in policy regarding children's rights and 'infringement of their human rights' than focusing on the need to protect the children as in 'Becky's' situation, "for fear their intervention might infringe her human rights."
It would therefore appear that at all levels, society is failing children and young people and yet, we wonder why some young people 'go off the rails', are 'yobos', have no respect', 'have no manners', or are turning to suicide as an escape route. What other choices have we given them?
Jennifer McLeod © 2008
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About the author:My personal mission is to have a positive impact on other people's lives My business mission is to liberate one billion parents, families and young people on their journeys of conscious awareness, enlightenment, light, love and gratitude. Awakening them to their power, dreams and the fulfilling lives that they deserve. Author, Professional Speaker, Inspirational Parent & Relationship Coach Creator of Easy Tiger Parents SystemsÂ? Creator of Born To Win! Programme for Young PeopleÂ? Born To Win! Books Series: - Born To Win! Live Your Ultimate Life Vision Today. NEW RELEASE!!! Get your copy here: http://tiny.com/6lf3gj Born To Win! Success Strategies for Young Businesses and New Entrepreneurs. Get your copy here: http://tiny.com/6x6u9t Born To Win! Success Strategies - EBOOK. Get your copy here: http://tiny.com/66hovs Creator of Easy Tiger Parents SystemÂ? Creator of Born To Win! Programme for Young PeopleÂ? E: email@example.com www.Jennifer-McLeod.blogspot.com www.JenniferMcLeod-Author.blogspot.com +44(0) 121 551 1668
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