Saturday, 17 July 2010

Splitting, projection, child abuse, trafficking and international crime

Today I learned about splitting and projection before during and after World War Two in Germany and the extreme detrimental effects of using shame as a way to modify a child's behaviour. You can read more about the work of Mary Katherine Armstrong here. She has also written a very interesting article called The Price We Pay for Shaming Little Boys
I went on an internet safari researching several things at once following a very busy day I had yesterday. Following reading reports on child protection especially those about the 'Rights of the Child' that were several years old; it struck me fairly heavily the collusion of judicial courts of law on both sides of the Atlantic in the tradition of favouring abusers' rights over children's rights to the extent that many professionals like Doctors and Nurses, even fear for their careers and disciplinary punishments if they disclose findings of abuse.

The suggestions of the Rights of the Child report haven't sufficiently been followed through; there are still 'waiting rooms' where trafficked children are mistreated and even beaten by French Airport Police, mother's trying to protect their children from their own fathers are still being locked up a year at a time because they have 'prevented their child from seeing their father'; original findings of Doctors that show a child has an STD (sexually transmitted disease) are later overturned and changed to ambiguous phrases like 'I was misled, the abuse was alleged, their behaviour tendered the assumption' - I think there is nothing more unambiguously a sign of abuse than an STD in a minor.

The fact that the French Government backs up the Judicial Courts who are in charge of caring for families and children, as well as the Medical Board; smacks to me of much more insidious collusion by people in authority to not have full transparency over their actions, or to change laws simply to reinforce protection of a child over a potential abuser. The involvement of police, the identification by NGO's of many abusers being in the judicial system all begs for a massive upheaval and sifting through of courts of law and re-evaluation of many cases - without the protectionism that is clearly rife within them.

This is a deep scar across European and worldwide systems of government and judiciary systems. It is blatant; it is clear that children are being trafficked along routes of transportation that the police already know about as revealed in the McCan case where the Portuguese police 'always believed she had been kidnapped by an international paedophile network who could leave the country to Morocco via the nearest port'.

I also found out that according to projections; profits from Human Trafficking are going to be higher than the drugs trade. That there is a highly complex network of criminal gangs operating across Europe and that 'France is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and Malaysia and other Asian countries. Men, women and children continued to be trafficked for the purposes of forced labor, including domestic servitude, many from Africa.

Often their “employers” are diplomats who enjoy diplomatic immunity.
- U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009

And yet it was only a few years ago that police expressed doubt about the existence of such networks - oh I wonder why? It strikes me that if you want to find out who these are run by then asking those people 'protecting' them; should be your first port of call.

The recent findings of the child abuse scandal in Belgium that eventuated in the sentencing of Marc Dutroux also uncovered multiple perpetrators from diplomats and judges right up to the royal family - none of whom have ever been sentenced despite identification and testimonials by their victims. This is all covered in the book Dossiers X which was the evidence that had to be leaked by its finders after their investigation was 'taken over' and therefore buried and they themselves lost their jobs. I would hate to be a police officer stumbling upon the fact that his/her superiors were involved in human trafficking for their own scary pleasures - I mean what do you do? You leak the evidence to the public. Then what? Then what do you do? What can the public do? I mean even if they question and debate they may not act. And what actions can they take?

Well these were the questions I asked myself today. There were lots of suggestions from the NGO's, from individuals who speak on behalf of children's rights.

First action that might be helpful is to increase space for children at risk. There was for example only one home for one area of France that could take only 1 out of 10 abused children. Which left oh about 900 kids to just get on with it. That's unacceptable and this is only one department of France. Recently in front of the world's eyes France bulldozed camps of illegal immigrants many of whom were clearly minors. I think people have this rosy idea that they were immediately 'taken care of by the authorities'. I dread to think what that really means.

There are thousands of NGO's and individuals around the world that are working against this tide of human trafficking and child abuse within their communities. All I can say is, wherever you are, whatever your role in society - help them; blow the whistle, make a mental note of strange activities you might see, check over the faces for kids who go missing and their locations AND connect the dots. Then when you finally discover something like the Dutroux case, find away to follow the leads and sentence ALL of those involved. Many police have apathy that though they might find a network one day and close it down, it starts up again the next. We have to find a way for this to NOT possible. Only convicting the middlemen is an impotent approach - of course they will start again the next day. I think alliances between organisations are very important to be able to get the bigwigs, the profiteers, the ones 'allowing' and perhaps even aiding and abetting the continuity of trafficking. Maybe they're benefiting financially and perhaps the 'silence' of some folk is also obtained financially.

If abusers have diplomatic immunity then there needs to be some way the law must also apply to them. Immunity should not mean the ability to get away with crimes, especially crimes of this insidious nature. Otherwise trafficking networks will continue to spring up the next day - because they can.

I'm no genius but in my humble opinion there's few worse crimes than child abuse and yet in a court of law there is an almost casual approach to the punishment of child abusers erring towards leniency than their removal from the reach of children. Perhaps because there are so many. Perhaps because they are usually also victims and it goes way way back. Which brings me back to splitting and projection. Splitting and projection are psychological defenses:-

'Splitting is understood in this way: when we find a personality trait in ourselves which we consider unacceptable, we deny that we are like this. We split off ownership of this part of ourselves. As for projection, we attribute the hated quality to someone else and despise it in the other.
Splitting and projection allow us to think well of ourselves and to be comfortable with ourselves. We have all the self-righteous satisfaction of being “right thinking people”. We belong to the right side. We are one of the “good guys”. We are worthy of love and acceptance.'

How many of us are splitting and projecting all the time. We are reeling from one the most violent centuries in history and never before has there been more violence, more slavery, more crimes against humanity than there is now.
Alice Miller wrote 'Whoever they are and however dreadful their crimes, deep down inside every dictator, mass murderer, terrorist cowers the humiliated child they once were, a child that has only survived through the complete and utter denial of its feelings of helplessness. But this complete denial of suffering once borne creates an inner void. Very many of these people will never develop a capacity for normal human compassion. Thus they have few if any qualms about destroying human life, neither that of others nor the void they carry around inside themselves. Today, we can actually see the lesions in the brains of beaten or badly neglected children on the screen of a computer.'The Wellspring of Horror in the Cradle”
And here's a case in point 'Alice Miller provides a dramatic description of Hitler's night terrors as witnessed by his followers when der F├╝hrer would wake at night with convulsive screams, yelling for help like a frightened child, hallucinating that "he" was there in the room'. And look what happened because of his shame, his splitting and his projection...

If we can start healing the shame; start holding back the raised fists of others, interrupt their verbal put downs, alert them to their own suffering and their potential for healing. If we can change the paperwork to really protect a child, suppress laws that favour abusers, build more sanctuaries for those who are neglected, who are on the peripheries of society; those who have been pushed there by the endless tide of greed and profiteering at their expense and also by our closed eyes, our closed ears, and our closed mouths.

To have a positive impact in this world sometimes you have to shout louder, much louder than the crowd and you have to have your priorities straight.
Yes each day do one thing on behalf of yourself and your family. But each day do one thing on behalf of the world and your global family.

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