20 May 2002 |
Here's how to minimize the effect of sexual abuse on children. Remove the whole issue from the public sphere and give up the mentality of revenge. Find ways to separate abusers from any contact with potential victims without a public criminal trial. Let families and social-service agencies work it out, then punish those offenders who don't comply. As children approach adolescence, put less emphasis on protecting them and more on preparing them to deal with the larger world in which they will soon be making their own decisions. Multi-million-dollar settlements to child-abuse victims do not aid the healing process. They are the result of opportunistic scams that should be recognized as a misuse of lawsuits.