POEM: Neighboring Accountability

Neighboring

Several homes
Down
There is
A child molester
You can’t no
For sure
Buddies sow nice
Too those knew
on the block
How could you
Warn up to him
Surly there are other neighbors
Axing the question
What shitty do
Especially iffing correct
The prize to be paid
From phallus testimony
And illicit probes
In the end
Assessing what is
Dear
In the light
Of what is
Dumb
Struck
Buy that veritable
It is
In the
And neighboring

This poem is about the all-too-common tragic trauma that child sexual abuse wreaks on its victims, their families and the . More specifically, this poem deals with the that we have toward one another, especially as potential victims. Child molestation and is perpetuated by . Perpetrators can only continue their crimes if targets or victims are silenced by threat or shame. Such silencing also depends on adults in a child’s turning the other way when suspicions are raised. Also, a child’s may not be supportive enough for the child to feel that they will be believed or feel safe in saying anything. This poem arose from a conversation with someone who found great difficulty in potentially wrongly accusing someone of something very serious. My is that this is precisely why we need to deal decisively with any suspected child endangerment, because it is so serious. Such hesitation, which in my view quite reliably chooses doing too little, strikes me as far more dangerous than being a little too ardent in protecting . Plus, in larger terms, perpetrators are typically also victims who end up perpetuating a cycle of abuse. Perpetrators also need a that can hold them accountable and offer real help to them, not just enabling. May we act vigilantly to build supportive communities that are committed to protect and provide compassionate care and for all victims.

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