The stream of child abuse cases continue to surge as headlines in the media. The latest is of another Christian institution harbouring criminals who abused children in residential care. Those of us who suffered at such institutions know the legacy of trauma. It stays with you your whole life.
What I’d experienced was petty. In fact I was hardly in trouble (they had to catch me first) but I have witnessed much abuse during my years in a Catholic boarding school.
One nun, who was the principle of the school, regularly and openly punched students in the back for no apparent offence. She’d creep up behind someone who may be giggling in line and jab hard at their backs with a clenched fist.
I can still remember the tears that welled in the eyes of those girls who suffered this assault in silence. The tears would roll down their cheeks and they did not dare utter a word or cry. We who witnessed this injustice had to keep our outrage in our hearts. I let everyone know that the day Sr. T punches me would be the day she’ll get punched by me. One day she came close to it and everyone held their breaths but she never touched me. She must have sensed the danger in the atmosphere.
Thinking back to those days makes my blood boil though half a century had gone by. My heart is thumping as I cast my mind back to those incidents. I can only imagine what it must be like for kids who were regularly beaten and raped. What faith or trust can one have in people thereafter? How would that anger and hurt manifest in their future lives and for those around them?
Years later I heard that another cruel nun left the convent; turned up at a reunion and apologised for her behaviour. They knew what they were doing: taking out the frustrations of their unfulfilled lives on defenceless girls. Having sworn to be obedient they expected us to be the obedient ones; or else.
And what of priests and teachers? Can anyone be trusted when these turned out to be molesters who beat and rape children for pleasure? Are schools safe havens for children or a convenience for perverts?
As it turned out the Christian churches have been the safe havens for those criminals and degenerates. There they indulged themselves in child abuse, ruining generations of children and be well protected by the Christian churches. When they were reported they were moved to another institution where they enjoyed fresh flesh.
In the name of God!