Monday, April 29, 2013

WHEN WILL WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

(Written a number of years ago, but still new today.)

OUR CHILDREN/ November 8, 2007
Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and novelist Doug Marlette, who recently died, wrote this line in what Pat Conroy calls “the finest first novel to come out of North Carolina since the publication of Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel.” Marlette wrote in The Bridge “We both know that monsters don’t spring full blown from Zeus’s brow.”
Likewise a baby is not born fully developed. Multiple factors and influences go into the development of an adult human being. One of the tragic influences we need to pay more attention to is childhood sexual abuse. The following article is a good example that we do not take seriously enough the protection of OUR CHILDREN.
“The former pastor of the Believers Faith Center in Iredell County, accused last year of sexually assaulting minors, has pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with children and has been placed on probation.
Carl Edward Nixon, who now lives in Charlotte, entered his guilty pleas Friday in courthouses in Iredell and Rowan counties, Rawls said. He was placed on probation for five years in Iredell and for four years in Rowan, the defense lawyer said. He'll be on intensive probation the first six months and will have daily contact with a probation officer.
Nixon, 66, is now employed as a truck driver. He must register as a sex offender with the state and can't be around children without another adult present, the defense lawyer said. He also must perform 50 hours of community service.
Two women in Nixon's church told authorities that Nixon made inappropriate contact with them more than 10 years ago when they were 11 and 14 years old, Detective Sgt. Bill Hamby told the Observer after the pastor was charged in 2006.
"Probation was appropriate because Carl Nixon accepted responsibility for his conduct," Rawls said, "and the conduct occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s."
Iredell Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler said he agreed to the plea because he believes Nixon likely would have gotten probation even had he been convicted at trial. Nixon didn't have a criminal record and didn't do anything more than inappropriate touching, the prosecutor said.
"You're glad when your victims aren't subjected to terrible abuse, but sometimes you wish you could do more," Butler said. "But the law doesn't allow for more when it stops at just the touching.” [THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, TUESDAY NOVEMBER 6]
Why do I keep writing about a subject most people do not want to hear about? Because OUR CHILDREN are in danger from a society who does not have the will to protect them or the will to properly deal with the people who victimize them.
The defense attorney thinks because the man confessed and because the sexual abuse was years ago the punishment was appropriate. One of the District Attorneys agreed to the plea because it was only touching. I guess he doesn’t know only touching is sexual abuse. I guess he doesn’t know that only touching from your Pastor has lasting memories you can’t forget. I guess he just plain doesn’t know anything about us.
Most victims of childhood sexual abuse of which I am one would have the same reaction as I do to this story. We know we did not all suffer the same amount or length of abuse. We know we did not suffer the same amount of physical pain. We know that each one of us coped in a different way. I believe we all have one thing in common. Deep in our hearts we would like to see justice. If you think justice was done in this case as the defense lawyer and prosecuting attorney does then OUR CHILDREN will never be safe.
Please go to this web site www.annafoundation.org
and then give some serious thought to the subject. As I have said before lots of folks with mental illnesses are also victims, but all OUR CHILDREN need all of us.

You can reach me directly at edcooper@projectdreamagain.com