Victimizing Children

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Good parents have their children's best interests at heart, and functional parents provide love, nurturing, support, and a sense of security for their children. However, not all parents are good parents, and, as a consequence, children can become victimized by their parents' neglect, abuse and cruelty that result in criminal behavior ("Mom let girl, 13, have sex," The Washington Times Web site, Sept. 27). Such is the case with the woman in New York who pleaded guilty to second-degree rape wherein she provided a hotel room and liquor to her 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old friend to engage in sexual relations - while the mother was present - with two men they met at a mall.

For the average parent who possesses rational judgment and a deep love for their children, at first glance this situation may be hard to fathom. It is not uncommon, though, in present-day society to have situations of domestic violence and child abuse that often remain hidden behind closed familial doors in which outward appearances can be deceiving.

Children who are victimized by their parents often find themselves conflicted because of parental allegiance and their dependency on the parents for support and sustenance. In many cases, therefore, the children remain silent and endure whatever abuse they become subjected to for fear that disclosure will result in an even greater degree of violence and abuse.

In this case, the mother initiated and promoted highly inappropriate behavior. Her intent and willingness to subject her minor daughter and her friend to have sexual relations in a hotel setting with two casual acquaintances - all of whom were plied with alcohol - is legally criminal, philosophically outrageous and fundamentally unjust.

Undoubtedly, this mother's actions and behavior have substantially affected these victims in a profoundly negative way that will have enduring impact for years to come. …