The Unkindest Cut of All

The National [New Guinea]
December 6, 2006

We can only hope that the story which ran on our front page yesterday relating to a Vanimo pastor preying on young girls did not happen.

Police are conducting investigations after a young girl, barely in her puberty, is alleged to have gone to a church to "confess her sins" and is reported to have ended up being raped by the pastor, the person she least suspected.

That is her story to the police and police alleged further that the same person might have committed many similar crimes.

While we are not at liberty to comment on whether or not he is guilty of the crimes he is being investigated for, the report prompts a general concern about those members of our communities who abuse their positions of trust and responsibility.

The sad fact is that time and again, many such people have used their positions to abuse our people, particularly those most in need such as the underprivileged, the old and the very young.

There have been reports of doctors who sexually abused patients on their examination tables.

We have carried reports of teachers who cajole students

into having sex in return for good marks or passing examinations.

There was the recent case of a female teacher who lured an unsuspecting male student to her home in Finschhafen and finally into her bedroom for sex.

Then there was the young girl in a Central province village who went with her male cousin to see her boyfriend one weekend never suspecting the cousin had designs on her himself.

This became all too obvious on the way and the court has heard the rest of the gory tale. We have reported the tale of woe from a married woman who suffered a beating from her husband for finally revealing a secret burden she had carried for 15 years of how her father would sexually abuse her when she was a teenager.

Our national and district court houses are replete with similar tales of fathers, brothers, uncles and cousins who abuse their positions to inflict injury and agony upon their own blood or charges.

There are more, we are sure, so much more out there than those cases which are reported.

It does not stop in the area of sexual abuse alone.

Churches, political and business leaders use their standing and positions to cajole tens of thousands of kina and even millions from the unsuspecting public for their own benefit.

This corruption goes beyond a mere criminal matter.

The criminally inclined we do not condone but we can at least understand and set them apart from the rest of law-abiding citizens.

Something in their psyche or make up has gone awry by social, economic or psychological conditioning so that they choose crime as a way of life.

However, it is far worse when the criminal is a do gooder whom you least suspect has evil designs.

He is the wolf who comes to you in sheep's skin.

You would not suspect the respectable preacher who speaks God's word every Sunday and who forbids you to commit sins. You trust your kids with him or her.

When that person turns on you or one of your loved ones, that is the unkindest cut of all, the one that hurts the most.

This is the kind of criminal we fear most and must be on guard.

Their ways are insidious, stealthy and premeditated beyond believe.

The criminal who takes your car might do it on impulse.

It does not excuse his crime or make it any lesser but he seizes an opportunity on the spur of the moment.

The church elder who preys upon young woman sees the person, desires that person and plots a series of moves which places him finally within reach of his goal.

The victim is unsuspecting and ever trusting.

She believes she is safe with this person.

This is premeditation and a calculated crime that must fetch the stiffest penalties there is under the law.

Stiffer penalties should be considered and if they do not seem to deter this trend, perhaps more imaginative options ought to be pursued.

Public flogging, tattooing, castration, loss of limbs and even the ultimate penalty death ought to be considered.


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