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Comments for Abusers' Accountability?

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Dec 20, 2007
The answer is complicated and complex Part 1
by: Darlene Barriere - webmaster

I've moved your post to this page, Sara, because it really is more commentary. You make excellent points, points I've made myself in several postings on this site.

Change can only come about when people's attitudes change. When people learn and accept that children matter most. But as long as we continue to view children as property, as long as we continue to accept that children have no rights, nothing will change. Abusers will continue to abuse, free from consequences, and victims will continue to be blamed and have to serve a life sentence for being victims. It's all so very twisted and convoluted.

I find it interesting that you say your mother was raised in a healthy environment, yet you say "she could do no wrong" in the eyes of your grandparents. A child raised with this type of mindset learns they can do no wrong. A child raised in this mindset learns they are never to blame for their actions. A child raised in this mindset learns there are no consequences for their inappropriate behaviour. This is one of the most insidious forms of abuse, Sara, because children who learn they can do no wrong never learn how to live in the real world. Your mother is a product of her upbringing. Her childish ways of coping are evidence of that. Please, don't get me wrong; I'm certainly not making excuses for her erratic, hostile and outrageous behaviour. It is an explanation though.

Children need discipline in their lives. They need to understand that there are limits and there consequences for all behaviour, good and bad. But discipline is not synonymous with hitting, spanking or yelling. Discipline is teaching the difference between right and wrong, in a loving, respectful and nurturing way.

If we as a society refuse to adopt effective and appropriate methods of discipline, we do so at the peril of future generations. As long as we continue to allow abusive parents a "free pass" as you put it, Sara, the problem will not only continue, it will get worse. And the worse it gets, the more problematic our futures will be.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 20, 2007
The answer is complicated and complex Part 2
by: Darlene Barriere - webmaster

You mentioned posting here in the past, Sara. Indeed, you asked the question, 'why do parents target a specific child?' I answered your question at great length in my October 2007 issue of Barriere Bits e-zine. UPDATE: This article can now be found on this site at Why Parents Target a Specific Child for Abuse. Feel free to leave your own comments.

I hope you had a chance to read it. Much of what you wrote about your mother in this post was characterized in that e-zine article.

Sara, the points you've made are multifaceted. Perhaps you'd consider taking on the abusers' accountability cause. If so, I invite you to open a room in Safe House as part of OpenSpace on this site. It would give you an opportunity to voice your concerns, and effect change, change that will never happen unless people like you and others speak out against such deficiencies in the laws and speak out for our most vulnerable in society: our children.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Sep 11, 2008
My comments to you about your mom
by: Anonymous

I think you should stay away from your mother. Even if she has mellowed toward you...she began shouting again at you....she doesn't deserve to have you around.

I wouldn't give her credit for anything....she hurt you and scapegoated you.

Why stay. I don't think you'll ever heal if you stay around her. I'd write her a letter and then I'd get on with my life and leave her out of my life!

This will take tremendous strength but everyday it will get easier and then you will begin to feel your rage and then you will begin to heal.

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