Letter: Too much abuse of youngsters and seniors

I, for one, have no patience for these predators

Too much abuse of youngsters and seniors

Today’s news on the sport pages saddened me enormously. How is this possible now, when anybody dealing with children has to show a clean criminal record? And there is the snag, for as long as one is never caught; there is no criminal record. These people are free to do whatever damage to your youngsters.

They use any method available to them, to first gain the youngsters’ trust; only to shatter that for their own selfish urges. The youngsters are often scared, embarressed, confused, isolating and hurting after such an encounter. We have seen in the past what damage these incidents can cause. Apart from the obvious physical damage; the youngsters have to deal with mental health issues as well, sometimes leading to suicide. It’s not an old phenomenon at residential schools; it still happens now, here, among all children!

We have seen and heard the stories of very outspoken NHL players among others; of the young women of the U.S. gymnastic team, and yet it still happens. Can we perhaps ensure that no person in charge is alone with a youngster? Is it possible to have a buddy system, where the person in charge has to have another adult present and the youngsters are always in pairs when meeting with a person in charge? Is it too much to ask that the youngsters are chaperoned by others than those in charge, on out trips?

I, for one, have no patience for these predators. No excuses are acceptable when it comes to hurting youngsters. If a person does the crime, then s/he can also do the time! Please, spare me the tear jerking circumstances such predator grew up in! S/he has the responsibility for her/his own actions and not given a slap on the wrist only!

As an octogenarian, I unfortunately was the victim of elder abuse. I trusted the person who was going to assist me with my lawns, who never gave a written estimate for the work. I neglected to ask for a written estimate and that was mistake number one! My second mistake was to think that this person was an honest professional, who knew what he was doing. After some questioning he admitted that the work was not up to snuff and promised to rectify that. By then I had run out of empathy for his personal setbacks and told him to stop work and requested half of my payments back as he obviously didn’t deliver on his promise. It was a very expensive lesson and a warning to all, that gentlemen’s agreements are only as good as the person who agrees to it!

That ugly word “abuse” seems rampant as people have less respect for the wellbeing of others, especially of the youngsters and the elders. This attitude has to change! Those partaking in abuse need to be penalized, not just lectured and sent to a rehab centre!

Judy van der Boom

Mill Bay