Saturday, October 17, 2009

Korea Against Sexual Abuse of Minors

The Catholic Press is mostly concerned with internal Catholic matters be they local or worldwide. They leave for the most part the concerns of our larger society to its press. In recent weeks in cyperspace a great uproar, crying out to heaven for redress: sexual crimes against our young people. The Catholic Times has an article with the heading: "Our embarrassing self portrait 'our insensitivity to sexual violence against minors'."

Last December there was a horrible incident in which a 57 year old drunk, recidivist, raped an 8 year old girl in such a way that the girl will be an invalid for life. When the Court sentenced him to 12 years in prison and the electronic anklet for 7 years and this became public, the uproar was great.

This incident circulating in cyberspace and the petitions, have been making the rounds asking for a harsher punishment. In one day on one of the portals, there were more than 200,000 who signed.

The United States has been enlightened to the price these young people and their families have to pay when these crimes are committed. It is not a one act and all is over incident, in the lives of these victims. The Catholic Church unwittingly and unwillingly was center stage in the unfolding of this part of our recent State-side history. Hopefully the clerical abuse was so upsetting that it gave all a new awareness of what sexual abuse entails.

Korean Society is beginning to realize this is an area that has not been allowed to see the light of day. Most of the society does not know what is involved in these crimes or how frequent they are committed. The number of such crimes against children has also increased over the years. Men seem to be more callous. The articles mentioned that many men do not commit sexual crimes against minors but when they buy sex are committing a sexual crime. This is tolerated in Korean Society although illegal.

The gist of the article is that there has to be a change of thinking before any thing will happen. The clamor that we have been hearing will subside and every thing go back to normal unless an effort is made for change. One has to know what is involved in sex crimes and change our thinking on what is to be done. There is no safe area or safe person when it comes to these crimes. The Koreans are a very understanding people when it comes to sexual offenses and this is often a plus but not in this area of minors.

This is an area that has to be probed . Children are taught to be obedient to their elders, part of the culture, but as the article stated when persons start to touch the bodies of the children they should be taught to say stop I don't want you to touch me. This will take time and a long period of reeducation and change.

At present many of the crimes are settled with the mutual consent of the parties with parole, or fine, only about 27% go to jail. This will undoubtedly change but the area of sex in our society has to be examined beginning in the home, church and society and grasp what is happening in this important area of life.

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