Back in the 1980s there was some hysteria over claims of the sexual abuse of children. The “Satanic Abuse” cases and so on. All of which turned out to be entire nonsense.
Then there’s all the sex abuse that did take place. Islington care homes being one obvious example but not the only one.
Which means a certain care has to be taken over these investigations into what are not historical matters:
Police say they are uncovering a hidden “epidemic” of paedophile abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, with thousands of allegations leading to convictions against people who abused their power to attack children.
New figures seen by the Guardian show that 4,024 allegations led to guilty verdicts at court after police investigations since 2014 into decades-old child sex offences.
Officers say hundreds of offenders, including teachers, religious workers, youth and care workers, thought they had got away with their crimes. Many victims have been traumatised, and some have killed themselves or been left with severe mental health problems.
People who abused should be prosecuted, of course. There’s the obvious difficulty of proving any case at this distance but so what.
What we do need to take care over thought is to make sure that these two different kinds, these two different flavours, don’t merge into one. We can’t allow the abuse by those in positions of power – often enough, just because of the very nature of such power over children, those employed by the State to care for children – which obviously did happen to merge into a justification of the Satanic and other similar cases which didn’t.
For the claim in the latter is that families are the danger to children, thus the State should take care of them. When the historic reality is that if the State has power over you then you’re gonna get fucked. That latter not being an argument for an expansion of the power of the State over either children or us really.
Take, in more modern terms, those grooming gang incidences. The largest tell, the greatest risk factor, was not, in fact, being in a Northern city. It wasn’t being where large numbers of a certain Pakistani origin immigrant community were. Those were both involved, obviously, but they weren’t that greatest risk – being in the care of the State was.