Paedophilia, incest & sexual abuse: Unsettling travesties on our future

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ON the 5th of September, a joint operation between the Malaysian and Australian police forces succeeded in arresting one of the world’s most wanted paedophiles in Lundu.

The culprit, Alladin Lanim, was later charged with 18 counts of molesting five boys and inducing them to watch pornographic videos.

As you might know, his reign of terror was said to have started before 2007 whereby anonymous online profiles were used to share child abuse materials, which included 1,000 stashes of images and videos.

It was a long 14 years of countless sufferings for these victims, and begs the question, are there still more like him out there that prey on our young ones?

You might think that these cases rarely occur but in 2018, the Malaysian Internet Crime Against Children Investigations Unit (MICAC), operating under the supervision of the Police’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Department, found that at least 17,338 IP addresses had been downloading from and uploading sexual child abuse materials to the Internet.

Their investigations also reported that over 400 Malaysian websites hosting sexual child abuse materials were blocked between 2015 and 2018 yet no prosecutions or convictions were ever made on any party.

The reality is paedophiles and sexual abusers roam the streets of our cities, grooming their closely tied victims into provoking a sense of sexual desires.

What causes such individuals to inflict such actions is questionable yet Dr Fred Berlin, director of the Johns Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic, has said, “No one grows up wanting to be a paedophile. Their sexual prowess is discovered and not taught.”

By definition, paedophilia is recurrent with intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviours involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children.

The culprits are often males yet there are cases whereby females also get involved in this indiscretion.

If treated with therapy and medication, paedophiles will be able to learn to control their sexual urges. Otherwise, this will lead to sexual abuses being committed primarily on children to fulfil such urges.

Either way, such problems should be handled immediately to avoid individuals causing future physical and emotional harm towards a child.

A paedophile does not become a sex offender until he or she acts upon those sexual urges, by viewing child pornography, or sexually abusing children.

The worst kind of sexual abuse that could happen is if a family member inflicts such abuses towards the victim.

When the perpetrator is a father or a step-father, the aspects of secrecy and violation of a close familial relationship can cause additional issues of shame and confusion from the perspective of survivors.

These incestuous cases in general are harder to detect as these cases occur behind closed doors.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) had released a statement summarising that perpetrators may even lead a victim to believe that the sexual abuse was “a consensual way to show affection between family members or to be educated about sex”.

Just recently in Bintulu, a 60-year-old man was sentenced to 23 years in jail for raping his 12-year-old niece, who is now five months pregnant.

Police reports say prior to the incident, the victim had asked to borrow a mobile phone from the accused, who instead showed her a pornographic video on his device before committing the offence against her.

Because of fears of tarnishing their families’ reputations, victims often keep such matters under wrap due to the relationship dynamic of a normal household.

What comes to the mind of a victim is that he or she is afraid to be blamed for allowing such abuses to happen, which can lead to the shame of a family member.

Positively, the Malaysian Government has taken drastic measures in dealing with such cases involving sexual abuse towards children of all ages.

As loved ones and friends, we play a massive role in providing protection for their adolescent minds and teaching them early childhood sexual education. – TVS

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