Child Defilement: The need for stiffer punishment
Nundwe, Mwanja Phiri
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Today, News headlines are dominated by the threat of nuclear catastrophe and the rentless world wide economic decline. But these are not the only threats to humanity. Each year, over one million children around the world are subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation. Historically, our culture and traditions cherish and celebrate children. But it seems that this trend is dwindling and turning into a night mere. Children are in a more crisis situation today than ever before. Childhood has virtually been lost to children through "child defilement' or 'sexual abuse'. Far from being a rare act of deviant behaviour, childhood sexual abuse, being a widespread affliction, cuts across all social, economic, religious and racial lines. People with this inclination, the majority are persons who have cultivated a convincing veneer of normalcy. They satisfy their perverted lusts by targeting naive, trusting, and defenseless children. The first few years of life are critical to a child's emotional development. It is during those tender years that a youngster begins developing moral boundaries and a sense of personal worth. None-the-less, it is a sad fact of life that for many young boys and girls, such a childhood is out of reach. Childhood dreams are shattered when children become victims of sexual abuse. It is painful trend though; well known and publicized that has led to this research. It is hoped that this discussion in this paper will go a long way in elaborating the seriousness of 'child defilement'. In so doing reasons will be discussed why the perpetrators of these acts are involved in such and the effects on their victims. In analyzing the far-reaching effects, it will be imperative to consider how effective the law has been applied in this aspect, whether it has proved to be adequate. This matter is of a serious nature because children are the future for every society, once they are not there, there is definitely no tomorrow. It is therefore very important that society never overlooks the seriousness of this criminal act. So then the question is, when will children cease becoming victims of abuse and exploitation? Would more law enforcement and stiffer penalties for crimes committed against children protect them? Yes, until the root cause of such tragedies is eliminated, children will remain subject to much suffering. Because of the prevalence of this hurtful act, it is imperative that it is brought up to show the reality of this problem; therefore cardinal in determining this vice is the sentencing.
- Law