does your child think rape is funny?I read a deeply disturbing article today. About the rape of a 15yo girl being broadcast via Facebook Live. If that wasn’t bad enough, she is now being harassed online, and told she’ll be got at again. Unsurprisingly she is too terrified to go home, and is staying with relatives.

The thing I find most troubling is that the kids watching thought it was funny

That raping another human being amounted to nothing more than teenage kicks. That they would be so brazen about doing this unthinkable thing, that they’d stream it live on the internet. I don’t know about you, but my head feels like it wants to explode right about now.

The worst part is that it’s not the first time I’ve read a story like this. Just last week I read something similar. The girl was gang raped by boys, whilst girls watched. She was then harassed and physically assaulted by the girls some time afterwards. She tried to get past the atrocities that we’re inflicted upon her, but couldn’t. In the end she took her own life because she couldn’t live with the pain.

Every day it seems horror stories like this are appearing

Kids being bullied so badly that their only escape is suicide. A nine year old hung himself recently. Nine? Polly will be nine next year, and I can’t even bring myself to imagine what this would be like. 

I myself am no stranger to bullying. I was bullied horribly in several of the eight schools I went to as a kid. I even took an overdose as a cry for help. Bullying has been around forever. It’s an unfortunate fact that some people pick on the weak and vulnerable to make themselves feel better. To make them feel strong and powerful.

Here’s the thing though: only cowards bully. Only cretins of the highest order make others suffer to make themselves feel good. Only the truly weak among us would hurt the vulnerable

does your child think rape is funny? Bullying has changed though. It’s constant now. It’s in school, on the way to school, on the way home from school. It’s on Whatsapp groups and on social media. It’s on seemingly harmless online games that our kids have to play otherwise they’ll feel left out.

And it would seem that when that gets boring and doesn’t quite scratch the itch, these bullies are moving onto violence of hideous proportions.

Rape. The ultimate violation of another human being

Is it the easy access to porn that is to blame? Just like bullying, porn has always been around. I wrote a blog a few years back saying that I feel porn played a role in my own sexual abuse as a child. Now that anyone who owns a phone can get their hands on porn, it certainly raises alarm bells in my head.

So my question is, dear readers, what are your kid’s views on rape? Because there comes a point where us parents cannot sit back and deny all knowledge of what our children are up to. It’s on us to teach them right from wrong. That’s our job.

It’s up us to monitor what our children are doing

Most parent in this day and age live in fear that their child will be bullied, but what about the other side of the coin? Someone’s child is doing the bullying. We can’t just sit back and sleepwalk into this horrendous situation. We need to stop it in its tracks before it goes too far.

I haven’t got the answers, far from it, but I would urge you to watch this video. Lucy Alexander lost her son Felix when he committed suicide after seven years of abuse

My heart goes out to all these victims and their families. It’s times like this that I truly question what kind of world we’re living in.

After reading about our Pornography Society on the blog Purposefully Scarred I got a little emotional. Although this post is going to be difficult for me to write, it needs to finally come out of my head and onto the screen. I’m an incredibly open person, I wear my heart on my sleeve and always have done. But some things are best left buried in the depths of the past and this is a topic I rarely speak about. I was sexually abused as a child. Throughout my life I’ve always had people who were worse off than me, and even the most horrendous things that have happened have paled into insignificance when compared to other people’s problems. A handful of my friends have stories so much worse than mine, when I put it all into context it doesn’t even feel like I have much to be sad about. Maybe it’s this attitude that allows people to get away with far more than they should, I don’t know. I think for me it has been a coping mechanism, self preservation to ensure I didn’t fall to pieces.

I was abused by two people (separately) for about two years between the ages of 8 and 10. My eldest cousin used to babysit for us and was eight or so years older than me. The other person was the son of my mothers best friend. He was a very messed up character, and often stayed with us after arguing with his mum. Although they both completely took advantage of a very young child, they were nothing more than randy teenage boys. I’m not letting them off the hook, but I’ve never viewed them in the same way I would my friends father that raped her when she was 15. Or my other friend who was so badly abused by her fathers friend that she felt she was being raped whenever she had sex as an adult.

I feel that pornography played a large role in my abuse. I grew up in an environment where people had open and frank discussions about sex around the kids, and remember being privy to many adult conversations about bedroom antics and porno videos. I know my memories are blurry but it felt like there was always porn in the house. I have very distinct memories of myself and my half brother taking it in turns to watch the film while the other one guarded the door to make sure no adults knew what we were getting up to. I couldn’t have been more than nine years old, which would have meant he was six. Our innocence was stolen in many ways from a very young age. He went on to have major drug dependency issues and was sectioned for the first time at just 21. That’s another story though, for a different day.

My point is that I grew up in a highly dysfunctional household. None of my school friends had waifs and strays staying in their spare rooms, and porn videos readily at their fingertips when they were growing up. None of them ended up being abused like I was, and I can see a massive correlation between the porn and why these teenage boys couldn’t control their teenage urges. Nowadays porn is everywhere, and I wonder how many other little girls and boys have had to suffer like I did as a result. We can’t even go to the post office to send a parcel without our children being greeted with images of naked ladies on the front of trashy magazines and trashier tabloids. We have a whole generation of young people (both sexes) that think huge fake boobs and a size 8 waist is normal. That female genitals should be groomed, and are repulsed by the sight of actual pubic hair and a post-pregnancy belly avec stretch marks. If they’re watching the harder core porn then I can only imagine what their expectations are when it comes to having sex. I’ve read some very disturbing blog posts about date rape recently and I get the feeling that attitudes are becoming warped.

Unless our young boys respect their female peers, and our young girls respect themselves it will be a disaster. I’m not an expert but from where I’m standing it feels like we’re in the midst of an epidemic.

Something needs to be done to change things.

And soon.

 

 

 

Although I don’t have her in my life any more, in many ways I feel sorry for my mother. She had a rotten childhood and it’s no wonder she turned out the way she did. My Grandfather was killed young, in a road accident, and left behind my Grandma who was pregnant with their sixth child, along with five kids aged between one and ten. They were living in the States at the time, and she came back to the UK to raise her family alone, and never allowed another man into their lives. She went to work six days a week and her kids all resented for it. They would have preferred to have had a mum who was home more, but she thought she was doing the best thing by ensuring there was always money for a roof overhead and food on the table.

Grandma was one of three, a very respectable lady who could always hold her head up high. Her sister and husband on the other hand were classic dole bludgers. They would regularly have their electricity cut off and not have any food to give their children. Fortunately for them help was never far away, although I can’t help but feel having a back up just exacerbates a situation like that. All I know about Grandma’s brother is that he was a businessman who was out of the country lots. When he came to the UK and stayed with the family, he would creep into my mother’s bedroom late at night. This hideous abuse would shape her entire life, much to its detriment.

My eldest aunt married young was left for another woman, and brought up their two kids alone. Aunt #2 married a violent drunk and endured a life of domestic abuse (towards her and their two kids). Next is uncle #1, the success story of the family – despite getting his wife pregnant at 15 they worked hard to have a decent life. He didn’t have much to do with his family when I was still in touch though. Then there’s my mother, who you’ll hear about on this blog. Next is aunt #3, a classic damsel in distress, always has a drama but always seemed fine in the end. Then there is uncle #2, the baby of the family who was given the name of the father he never met. Back in the early noughties before I was estranged from them all he was totally messed up in the head. He’d regularly get hammered on drugs and alcohol, and frequent ladies of the night even though he had a lovely wife and three kids at home. Oddly enough most of my cousins seem to have done fairly well for themselves, although my half brother and sister are another matter (more on them another time).

The psychologist and Guardian columnist Oliver James has written a series of books about how your parents mess you up. No matter how hard they try not to repeat history it almost always ends up happening. Classic example of this is my mother being hell bent on her girls not going through what she did with her uncle, but unfortunately for me, not doing enough to prevent it from happening. More on this later too, I’m not quite ready to open up that particular can of worms just yet.

I guess my point is that for my mothers lot, their childhood really did dictate their lives. The girls all chose partners badly and they and their kids all suffered the consequences. You have to actively break the cycle of dysfunction to ensure your own children do not have to endure the bad experiences you did. Rather than just talking about what I am or am not going to do, I’d like to think my actions speak louder than words and this will count for more when it ultimately comes to protecting them from the demons that stole my childhood.