So I started this blog originally a few days ago when the sentence for Graham James came down but to be honest it was an emotional response. An extreme emotional response. Pretty sure what I wrote and then deleted came off as more the rantings of the outraged mother and less the thoughts of a intelligent woman.
Now I’m back and ready to share what I have processed. In what I hope will come across in a balance of outrage and intelligence.
First I have to thank Theo Fleury, Todd Holt, Sheldon Kennedy and Greg Gilhooly for coming forward. For standing strong and for giving sexual abuse survivors reasons to come forward and share their stories. Serial pedophiles count on the shame their actions invoke in the victims to keep them silent. You’ve stood up and told every survivor out there that they carry no shame, and that they can speak up and be embraced, not judged, by a nation.
You are brave and you are heroes. Your voices are proof that truth isn’t always pleasant to hear but that it is important that it is spoken.
After the verdict came down I went to Twitter mostly to start tweeting at my Member of Parliament, Shelly Glover and to show my support for Theo Fleury and Todd Holt. I’ve also tweeted at Prime Minister Harper but I understand he is out of the country at this time.
As much disgust as I feel at the verdict the politician and amateur lawyer in me knows that even 6 years would be too light for the years of physical and emotional torture Mr. James committed against who knows how many victims. I don’t think Mr. James’ offenses have all come to light and sadly the light sentence and worry for Mr. James’ comfort will not encourage others to come forward and unburden themselves. Why should they? They will get nothing even close to justice.
Part of what galls me is he confessed to what he did. He admits he is a serial pedophile with tastes running to young boys. It my very strong opinion that when someone shows you who they really are you should believe them. Mr. James has stated very clearly that he likes to molest young boys, they are his type and given his pattern of attacks he also enjoys the psychological games he plays to get them groomed and compliant with his whims.
Yet our legal (not justice…there is no justice here) system turns a blind eye to his confessions and pattern of behavior and fails to punish him for the crimes which he confessed to. The only time I’ve known confession to be a cleansing of the soul is when it is between penitent and priest.
So far Mr. James has been allowed to the poster boy for how the law fails the most innocent of our citizens. He’s served minimal sentences, has been pardoned, and even now has managed, yet again, to play the system. His only restrictions are to stay away from his victims upon release. Mr. James will still be allowed access to computer, internet and thus the underground child porn industry. He will still be able to feed his appetites, although indirectly, and in this way will continue to be an abuser of young men. He will also be able to purchase what he desires from the child sex trade that has only recently come to light as a growing concern. He will still be breaking the law for which there will be no real punishment…Again.
I figure it won’t be hard to stay away from his victims. By James’ own admission…they no longer fit his type. But others do and they aren’t safe from his attentions as long as he is outside a jail cell.
Now if I can figure this out why couldn’t a judge, Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Why is there only silence in the marble halls of Parliament Hill and the Manitoba Legislative Assembly? Why is there no Member standing up and sharing the outrage of their voting citizens. Many across Canada are disgusted. They don’t understand why Mr. James got only 2 years when Sandusky of Penn State is looking at over 400 years if he’s convicted of similar crimes.
Hell I don’t understand it.
I call upon my Member of Parliament, Shelly Glover, to bring my outrage to The Hill. I am outraged as a mother who tells her children to tell me anything and I will do everything I can for them. I tell them they are lucky to live here, I tell them this is a wonderful place to live and be a kid. Don’t make me a liar because government is falling down on the job of making sure the laws protect the victims. I appreciated your statement but I believe of all Members you are the one with the background to push forward. As a former police officer I am sure this situation, and these victims are not new to you. You know the fall out of these crimes…first hand.
I call upon my Member of the Legislative Assembly, Bidhu Jha, to get off his bench and start pushing for his party’s Justice Minister to push the Federal Justice Minister to start really looking at changing the law and protecting our children. These boys were citizens of Manitoba when they had crimes committed against them. It should fall on the Manitoba Government to push for change and stand up because right now the country is looking at us. How should we respond? How will you respond Mr. Jha?
Finally I call upon these survivors to keep talking. Don’t let inactive government prevent your voice from being heard loud and strong.
In closing I may not be an MLA, and I may be politician without a party, thus Independent, but I am a mother. If my children were victims of a predator I’d want to be confident that they could come forward and have justice. Every victim should be confident they will have their day in court. That a judge will worry about their fears, their violations and their rights.
Not the reputations of confessed serial pedophiles.
Thus I lend my voice and my outrage to the cause.