Victims of child molestation in Depok face a new trauma: being forced into an insensitive form of therapy that is aimed at preventing the children from becoming future child molesters – NOT identifying the trauma or treating the wounds.

Thirteen children between the ages of 5-14 were molested by a man known as “Yohanes” from Depok.

Depok is a bustling city in the West Java province of Indonesia; it’s name means “place of one living in seclusion”. It’s name seems to fit these victims, whose plight is misunderstood by adults claiming to help but are only pushing these vulnerable children into isolation and mistrust.

According to Arist Merdeka Sirait, the the secretary general of the National Commission for Child Protection, “The treatment is very important as we have to make them recover after they experienced sexual violence. We do not want them to suffer trauma or do the same thing to another child when they are older.”

This is very disturbing–these children are being told something is wrong with them, they need therapy, and if they don’t get it they will become the very monster that molested them! And how is a child supposed to understand any of this or feel “cured” when the have experienced the rape of their childhood and innocence, now they are being told if you are not good enough or you don’t try hard enough in therapy or if… you could become a molester too. Somehow, you have become tainted. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is just wrong! These children will likely need therapy but even more they need compassion and understanding in order to heal and come to some kind of acceptance.

“Debri Pristinella, a lecturer at Pelita Harapan University’s psychology department, told the Jakarta Globe that it was possible for victims of sexual abuse to become pedophiles themselves later in life, particularly if they experienced pleasure while they were being harassed….The root is that the children, especially when they were still very young, do not understand that what happened to them was categorized as violence.”

These children were violated in the worst possible way. They were scared, intimidated and not consenting to any of these acts. Yohanes used force and manipulation to terrorize the children in this village. More victims may come forward. And he is going to be released from prison and go back into the community where the victims will have to face him all over again.

From my heart, I want to say to these 13 children: I am so sorry this happened to you. You did nothing to deserve this kind of treatment. It was wrong. But that DOES NOT MEAN anything is wrong with you. You are a beautiful child made in the image of God. You were called by name before you were born. God has given you a hope, a life and a future. You were very brave to come forward and tell others about what happened to you. As brave as a soldier or a fire fighter or one of the fairy tale heroes you may read about. I understand you may be hurting now. And all your feelings are mixed up. Maybe you feel different from other kids. Maybe you feel so alone, scared. Please know I am praying for you. And from across the world this Mommy is sending her love to you. So many people care about you. Because of how brave you are, things will get better. You are safe now, and have so many helpers to keep you safe. I wish you all the best. And know that you did the right thing in coming forward and getting help. If you ever get scared, remember all the people who love you and are praying for you”.

My heart really goes out to these children… And I hope this man dies behind bars before he can ever hurt another child. And those therapists and so-called government experts need to leave these children alone so they can heal, and they also need to get better educated.

 

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March 18, 2010
Nurfika Osman

Molested Children to Receive Therapy
Thirteen children who were allegedly sexually abused by a man in their village in Depok will receive trauma treatment from the National Commission for Child Protection to prevent them from possibly becoming pedophiles in the future.

“The treatment is very important as we have to make them recover after they experienced sexual violence,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, the secretary general of the commission, also known as Komnas Anak.

“We do not want them to suffer trauma or do the same thing to another child when they are older,” he said, adding that commission officials went to the homes of the 13 victims in Lio Village on Thursday to talk to their parents and prepare for the counseling.

Of the 13 children, all are boys except for one 9-year-old girl. They range in age from 5 to 14 years old, and they were sexually abused over a time period ranging from two weeks to seven months.

“The oldest victim is a 14-year-old boy who has been abused for seven months and he is the nephew of the perpetrator,” Arist said.

The suspect, Yohanes, a parking attendant who was living in his brother-in-law’s house, was arrested on Tuesday by Depok Police and could be charged for violating the Law on Child Protection, with a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Arist said Yohanes would ask children to play a ball game with him when his brother-in-law was not home. If the children lost, they had to engage in sexual acts with him. Arist said all 13 children had given similar accounts of abuse.

Debri Pristinella, a lecturer at Pelita Harapan University’s psychology department, told the Jakarta Globe that it was possible for victims of sexual abuse to become pedophiles themselves later in life, particularly if they experienced pleasure while they were being harassed.

“Therapy is important so that we can make them understand that what they have experienced is a wrong thing,” Debri said. “The root is that the children, especially when they were still very young, do not understand that what happened to them was categorized as violence.”

She said that if children were molested when they were young, it was hard for them to understand it as an act of violence.

“And this is the most dangerous thing as it is an unseen impact,” she said.
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Source: Jakarta Globe Online
Link: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/molested-children-to-receive-therapy/364613
Author: Nurfika Osman
Retrieved: 3/19/2010

Depok

 

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