Friday, November 6, 2009

FLDS and foster care: Texas’ brilliant idea

What a concept! Attack child abuse by going after the abuser instead of revictimizing the victim.

They've just done that in Texas. As the Associated Press reported last night, Raymond Jessop, a member of the FLDS, "was convicted of sexually assaulting an underage girl with whom he had a so-called spiritual marriage." He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Doing it this way has several advantages:

  • You don't turn children from so-called spiritual marriages into victims by tearing them away from their mothers, interning them in a kiddie-Gitmo and then sending them hundreds of miles away into institutions.
  • You don't revictimize the girl who was sexually assaulted by tearing her child from her – and quite possibly making her more loyal to the FLDS and more fearful of the outside world.
  • You don't do enormous emotional harm to hundreds of children who were not, in fact, abused by anyone at the FLDS compound.
  • Instead of exiling the victim and her children, you can put the abuser someplace where he can't possibly abuse another child – jail – for a long, long time.
If only Texas authorities had come up with this brilliant idea before they took more than 400 children from the compound in the first place.