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04 May 2007


Peter Harvey

You're quite right. The earlier comment explicitly criticising the Portuguese police for doing nothing has now disappeared from the BBC web site but the typical British subtext that foreigners get it wrong is still there.

I don't remember where Portugal was in the recent international survey of how people in different countries treat their children, but I do remember where the UK was.

But it does all look a bit odd.


The greater evil will always be the crime. We should never forget this.

The parent who leaves a child unattended may be accused of bad judgement but the kidnapper is the one who commits the crime. We must beware of taking the blame from the criminal and attaching it to the victim. If we do this, we enter the terrain of blaming the woman for being raped on the grounds that "she was asking for it".

No woman ever "asks" to be raped; no parent ever "asks" to have a child kidnapped; no child "asks" to be kidnapped and raped.

These are probably good parents who love and care for their children. In what they thought was a safe environment they left their child unattended. A mistake, yes, but not a crime. Someone has kidnapped their child, a crime, not a mistake.

It is very easy to play the blame game because it suits us. "I blame the parents," we say and we are then free to forget about it and not mourn for them: It's their own fault, isn't it?

No one deserves to have a child kidnapped and no child deserves to be kidnapped, whatever the circumstances.


quote: No one deserves to have a child kidnapped and no child deserves to be kidnapped, whatever the circumstances

I agree, but.... they shouldn't have left their kids in a position for this possibility to happen. It is our responsibilty to keep our kids safe and this includes not leaving them alone in an unlocked room

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