I was just reading today's Toronto Sun ... And i'm shocked. Here's the whole story, b/c i know it won't be there tomorrow (they take them down after a day or so ... stupid stupid)
By HEATHER BIRD, TORONTO SUN
BRANTFORD -- Okay, hands up everyone who indulged in experimental sex play during puberty. Everybody got their hands up? Good. There's a name for those of you who don't. You're called liars.
Back then, as now, you probably didn't want anyone to find out. But if word got out, what's the worst that could happen? Someone might tell your mom.
Yesterday, in an adult courtroom here, alongside accused child pornographers and drunk drivers, a 13-year-old girl found out that there are worse things than having your mom find out.
Last winter, when she was 12 years, two months old, she engaged in sex play with two 11-year-old girls who she had just met. As a result of that, Little Girl X, all 4-foot-10 of her, is now on two years' probation for sexual assault.
In passing sentence, Ontario Court Judge Lawrence Thibideau noted that he could give the child a conditional discharge but didn't think he should, partly because she hasn't fully taken responsibility for her crime.
"There's a requirement that (Little Girl X) understands there must be consequences for criminal behaviour."
And that sums up what's wrong with this picture. Tiny children commit crimes all the time. They are constantly assaulting one another or attempting to make off with items that aren't rightfully theirs. If their playmates don't cooperate, they smack them 'til they do. It falls to the adults around them to see they are properly socialized.
We don't criminalize the behaviour because we know children need time to learn the difference between right and wrong. Little Girl X wasn't given that same chance in her sexual development.
While she claims she thought it was consensual sex play, her playmates testified she forcibly French-kissed them and pulled down their pants to briefly lick their genitals.
"I had no idea it was wrong or else I wouldn't have done it," she says.
When authorities found out, they charged her criminally, even though she was just weeks past her 12th birthday. Since that day she has lived in different group homes, where she's afraid of the older girls who have smacked her "a lot." She hasn't been to regular school for 15 months and hasn't seen her disabled brother for months. From what the judge indicated yesterday, it's not likely the situation will change any time soon.
She needed our help, not more harm. The girl is the product of a dysfunctional home where both parents drank and her father physically abused her. And somewhere along the way she became sexualized at a premature age. She doesn't trust anyone and shuns intimacy.
"Being in care isn't good for me," she says. "I'm the type who likes to get comforted and stuff."
When she says this, it's difficult to resist wrapping my arms around her and saying: "Honey, we all do." But in that crowd at that courthouse, it might be considered assault. These, after all, are the folks who placed the great weight of the state on the shoulders of a child.
The concept of judicial overkill is not a new one, it's been around at least since the wheel was used as an instrument of torture. It was 18th century English poet Alexander Pope who wondered: "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?"
We do, that's who. This little butterfly's been broken. That's the real crime.
My two cents ... I think once the parents of Little Girl x's playmates found out what happened, they showed disgust to their children (the playmates), who in turn decided that they wouldn't be shunned by their parents if they say that Little Girl X forced them into it. It was probably all consensual. But who's to say that a 11 year old can fully consent to something like that anyway? Oy ... I don't know.
When mom found my diaphram, I told her it was a bathing cap for my cat.
~ Liz Winston
In a Smurf's world ...