Monday 18 June 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

18 June 2018

Preventing Sexual Abuse


According to Australian news:
AN 11-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted in broad daylight from a park and raped in a horrific five-hour ordeal has been praised as a hero.
Detective Superintendent Brett Greentree said the crimes were “horrific” and had sent “shivers down the spines” of the community, as the alleged attacker was remanded in custody on Sunday.’

When I first heard the news – I prayed to god – not only to protect my grandchildren but also to thank the powers that protected my own children here in Australia as well as over in Sri Lanka. To my mind the little girl mentioned above is Royalty. Whether that Governing quality is an individual, family or national characteristic, while of secondary importance, would help prevent future cover-ups.
This week I received a report about an arrest in Vaddukoddai town (Northern Sri Lanka) in relation to sexual abuse at an educational centre close to our own training centre. A male-teacher is reported to have been the culprit. But I was not surprised by the report. The order in families and various sections of the Vaddukoddai community have deteriorated due to lack of leaders of good conduct.  When I started residing there in 2006 – I found that any show of friendliness was received by the ‘boys’ as ‘sexual attraction’. Some set out to indicate it, while others used it to elevate their own importance – mentally. As is my way I wrote about it to the mothers of the young boys but they took no notice – probably because they did not know what to do. One of them was reported to have been part of a gang that brought a school-girl from another village, to an abandoned house. But, the matter was suppressed and the guy is now overseas. The mother of this young guy often talked about her sister committing suicide because a high caste master slapped her for using makeup. We have since learnt  also about the case of  Vithya Sivaloganathan’s brutal rape and murder by a group that spread laterally at the lower cultural level.
Equally disturbing to me was the following account under the heading ‘Two Sri Lankan Women Making News Overseas’ by the Island:

[Tanya Selvaratnam

We read in our newspapers too about this young Sri Lankan Harvard educated author, actor, producer and activist living in New York. Tanya came forward bravely to accuse Eric Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, with sexual harassment in an intimate relationship that deteriorated to almost manic abuse. The New Yorker magazine quoted her as saying that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman "was a fairytale that became a nightmare and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes. Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did. He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property’. It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior."  The deepest irony of Schneiderman being accused thus is that he has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. "As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes."

What interested me most in what I read about this case was that The New Yorker and Times were awarded a joint Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual harassment. Schneiderman is reported to have issued a congratulatory tweet, praising "the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they had endured at the hands of powerful men. Without these women, there would not be the critical national reckoning under way."

The story on Harvey Weinstein, head of Miramax and the Weinstein Company, came out in The New Yorker of 23 October 2017, researched and written by Ronnan Farrow. It was good to read that Farrow shared the Pulitzer for this article. I quoted from his article when I wrote on the issue of sexual harassment to this column on 10 November 2017 titled Abuse of Power.

Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. I quote from The New Yorker: "As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence. All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal. But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women. They categorize the abuse he inflicted on them as ‘assault.’ They did not report their allegations to the police at the time, but both say they eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped and choked and threatened to be killed if they broke up with him."

Is the Island reporter not making the same mistake as The New Yorker and Times  - in relation to praising Tanya Selvaratnam ? To my mind, if as an adult, Tanya failed to do the parallel of what the 11 year old princess did – then it was consensual and is not fit to be shared with wider world. One who had the ‘right’ measure in terms of sexual enjoyment would have prevented such move or reported it immediately to the authorities. One who accepts other favours / quid pro quos – outside the official structure of a relationship – loses the right to complain to higher authorities or to even make a judgment. One who so judges is trading and not governing. Such a person would lack the preventive Energy and works independently to protect us.
People often tolerate and live with such ‘wrongs’ because they get other compensations. Hence as per their personal conscience / truth – they accepted such pain for other forms of pleasures. This can happen also - not only in marriage relationships but in any official relationship for various forms of returns.  It’s when we renounce our earned benefits for common good – that we have the natural preventive structures and Energies that we carry as intuitive powers. One who quietly cures develops such powers more strongly than those who trade-off  - after the due date. We need such women/minorities in environments where the official system of  law and order is weak even in Courts.
Commitment to marriage and the positions taken through such marriage is a strong preventive measure. Above that is true love.

1 comment:

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