Saturday 10 December 2016

Carol Hunt: We ignore teen rape culture at our peril

Carol Hunt asks if the rise in bullying and sexual violence among children is a sign that we have failed them

Published 01/12/2013 | 02:30

DANGEROUS LIAISONS: American drama 'Cruel Intentions', with Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair, focused on abusive teen relationships
DANGEROUS LIAISONS: American drama 'Cruel Intentions', with Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair, focused on abusive teen relationships

Every day the news seems full of it. Last week we heard of a priest asking a funeral congregation to pray for a man accused of sexual assault against a teenager.

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Liam Adams is eventually brought to justice for the repeated rape and abuse of his daughter as a child – no thanks to brother Gerry, who kept this knowledge to himself for nine years. And there's the horrific case of Lost Prophets singer Ian Watkins admitting to the most grotesque sexual assaults on children.

Also last week the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England published a report called If Only Someone Had Listened. It was the phrase "sheer levels of sadism" used by (Children's Commissioner) Sue Berelowitz that warned of what was to come. She wasn't describing violent pornographic films that some children may have viewed online (although there are many), nor was she detailing the activities of depraved people who sexually abuse children. No, what Berelowitz was talking about was the things that children, some as young as 10 and 11, do to other children.

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