Can we trust anybody?

As I watched the news this morning, I can’t describe what I felt to this piece of news..

A nursery worker has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and three charges over distributing indecent images of children.

A nursery worker! A person in whose hands so many parents must have left their children. Whom so many parents must have trusted.. So many parents like me.. parents who must have searched, checked every possible reference..

I remember when I went back to work after daughter was born. I had been to countless nurseries.. rejecting most when some little thing did not match my expectations.. nothing but the best.. All for that sense of trust that these people, to whom I entrusted her from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening – will look after her well, in my absence.. As far as I know, that nursery was exemplary.. had very good reports.. was a national chain… everything wasΒ perfect with it – but how can I be sure? Β  When I saw this nursery worker in the report above.. my heart comes to my mouth.. What if it had been my child? What if there had been just that one bad apple in the nursery ?

With parenthood comes a lot of happiness and a lot of responsibilities as well as a lot of insecurites.. I remember when we took the decision to opt for a nursery as opposed to a nanny or a childminder.. in the hope that a nursery is more likely to follow processes and with the number of people around, it will be more difficult for one person to do something wrong.. With CCTVs and everything Β – it somehow made me feel secure.. But when I heard of this nursery worker.. all my fears came rushing back.. Can we trust anybody? How do we ensure that she is alright when she goes to school? What if something happens there? Can we ever be secure in the knowledge that our babies will safe?

PS: I know I have not responded to most of the comments from the previous posts nor have I been able to read your posts .. Been a bit busy.. but could not stop myself from doing this post when I saw this in the news.

41 thoughts on “Can we trust anybody?

  1. Finally! me first!! yes!

    But, shocking piece of news isn’t it?

    Teachers are considered almost sacred because they are our kids’ guardians and they impart knowledge and help them and shape them for their futures…

    ***hugs***

    It is shocking, isn’t it? And to think that they could do all this..
    Thanks for the hugs – I really needed them after reading about this woman..

  2. Smitha. I know this sounds a bit absurd but it doesn’t suprise me. I’ve heard of so many things like this i’m starting to loose count. I think living with a law student (my sister) doesn’t help either. If you hear some of the cases she studies and has came across you’d go crazy. We live in a nasty, nasty world. 😐

    Oh Badz! That is so sad to hear 😦 But you are right.. things like these keep happening.. Looks like there is nothing much one can do too..

  3. Its eally shocking, some professins are considered so sancrosanct that any deviation is really horrible and shakes uyou from the core.

    Yes, Renu, sad, isn’t it?

  4. Trust is difficult to come by in todays day and age. I work in the field of sex trafficking. I have seen 6 year olds with sexually transmitted diseases. I have seen children from good families having suffered sexual abuse. I know of both boys and girls abused by teachers,realtives,family friends and caregivers.
    Since I have seen,heard,am aware of the statistics I never had second thoughts about being a stay-at-home-mom till my children were at an age where they could atleast communicate coherently about what was happening to them. This being one amongst a host of other reasons.
    Didn’t mean to pull you down but you have touched on a topic which is very imortant. Goa is known as a pedophile heaven..and these peverts are from all walks of life. Can any evalutaion or record really determine this disease?
    And to those who think they have a boy and hence have it easy ..they might have to be sorry for letting their guards down.
    what we can do is
    1.educate our children,
    2.keep the communication lines open,
    3.let them know that they will always be loved no matter what
    4.be very very vigilant

    Children are very vulnerable. They should be our primary responsibility and yes we should trust no one as far as they are concerned.

    Chrysalis, I agree with what you are saying here.. And as you say, sexual abuse can happen anywhere.. In most cases of CSA, the perpetrators are mainly people who are in positions of trust. While being a stay at home mum might make a difference – it does not totally insulate the child. Such abuse could happen even to a slightly older child. We have heard of teachers sexually abusing children too, haven’t we? Haven’t we heard of uncles abusing? Forget about all that – even parents!
    The 4 points you list are very valid and I think it is very important we do all that.. My worry is that – even with all this – sexual abuse could happen.. There is no 100% safe place.. That will always be my worry..

  5. Smitha, I know of similar cases here in Mumbai,too. And from what I hear, an increasing number of these incidents are taking place.

    Yes, either an increasing number is taking place or more people are coming out in the open and talking about it.. I think these were happening earlier as well – just that people were too scared to talk about it..

  6. It’s really shocking. Childrens’ cargivers should be subject to stricter background checks and frequent monitoring. But in spite of all this, there’s always a chance of some pervert lurking behind a decent facade.

    Yes, so true and so sad.. Here in the UK, there are strict guidelines and back ground checks are carried out. There are authorities who monitor caregivers, nurseries and schools and there still are these perverts who do not come under the radar.. The situation in India is more scary..

  7. Trust is a very fragile thing.. we cannot live without trusting someone.. All we can do it.. educate the children.. tell them what is right n what is not.. Actually children do know “wrong” touch instinctively.. but they dont know how to articulate them.. so they have to be given the “right” information…

    Oh yes, the children have to be educated and made aware of all this.. But it worries me that it could still happen – no matter how many precautions we take…

    I wish the world was more perfect.. but it is not 😦 Really!! ?The sad part is CSA exists but no one is willing to talk about it.. although its more common than not..

    Yes, Winnie – you are very right – ‘he sad part is CSA exists but no one is willing to talk about it.. although its more common than not..’ and more difficult to digest is that most of the abusers are people in positions of trust!

  8. This is SAD! 😑

    I was paranoid after I had my daughter. Even when everyone asked me to keep babysitters and even offered me to share there’s (the nicest ones) so that we could join them for parties still I refused because I was not ready to leave my tiny tot with anyone. I bid goodbye to the party world and preferred to be home with my little one.

    Yes, I agree.. I have never left her at a babysitter either- can’t get myself to trust them.. though they might be very very good..

    I thought I would wait till she could at least speak and let me know what happens when I am not with her. Chose the finest pre-school. Decided never to use school bus so one of us drop her and will continue to do so. I know I am still on the level of paranoia but then it works for me πŸ™‚

    Still bad things could happen. 😦 Smi, I share your fear.

    Exactly, bad things could happen – anywhere – if it has to happen.. It is not because the parents have been negligent .. We hear of abuse cases even in the best of schools.. Its is so sad, isn’t it?

  9. News that will upset anyone, not because it is something that we don’t know about but because we want to believe it happens only to someone else out there, just like in terror attacks.

    This is the price we have to be ready to pay when both mom and dad work. You can take all the precautions in the world but can never be sure. Horrifying thought, but what do we do….unless we have a stay-at-home grand ma?

    The sad thing is that it is not just restricted to day care centers.. It could happen anywhere – even in schools.. And even if we have taught the child everything and the child is old enough to communicate.. Though we would like to think that by having a stay at home mum – such a thing will not happen – that is sadly not true.. Abuse can happen anywhere and from the statistics – it is often by a person who is ‘trusted’ by the family -especially in India.. Most cases it happens irrespective of whether the parents are working or not..

  10. As horrifying as this incident is, it is quite common…Working with little children gives sexual predators all the opportunities needed to molest them…A background check must be done but it is not possible in countries like India…I don’t know what the answer is…

  11. ugghhh… I never like leaving my kid alone with any one.. really… except maybe my and my wife’s parents or my brothers and their wives…

    strangers no way….

    Yes, Dhiren -but schools can also be equally dangerous..All it takes is one bad apple..

  12. it’s really shocking to hear such things Smitha. As winnie and several others said, what we can do is educate our children…
    It’s a bad bad world in which we are living. 😦

    I know.. My constant fear is that everything we do might still not be enough..

  13. THIS is the very reason why I’m at home and plan to do so till Ash turns 2 and is at least able to talk and tell me about her day. Its such a scary and horrible world out there…sad 😦

    I know.. And I would love to be able to protect my daughter forever – just worries me that it may not always be possible.. Danger can come from anywhere,..and sometimes from where we least expect it..

  14. The building next to my office is where little girls between 4-7 come and study dance. And we are constantly facing problem from a guy (aged perhaps 18) who sarts removing his pants the moment any girl passes that building!! Just think of the trauma of those lill girls if theyve seen him once!!! We went and complained to the owner (dance teacher). She dint take any action, even today when we go that way he starts of his “show”!!! and even today those lill girls cme there daily! How long & how much people will tolerate saying “it hapens” I dont knw!!! I guess “WE” who are passive need to be punished fr letting things like ths grow!

    Yes, you are right..’WE’ let a lot of things be.. In India I think, a lot of things are taken for granted.. people just turn a blind eye.. I am sure most of us have had some experience or other – like what you mentioned.. It is shocking that the dance teacher did not do anything even after you complained!

    • Why can’t U ask U’r male friends to handle this situation.Once he properly ‘handled’ by someone,then he will never dare to do that in his life.

    • Ah just go upto him and ogle.. am sure if you ogle long enough he will feel self conscious.. and also.. using pepper spray generously works too.. or simply make an mms out of him and send it to his family or something!

      There was this serial called “Umeed bhavan” wherein there was a guy who used to board ladies special bug ladies.. so they decided to get all his female relatives.. including his mom n sis and wife.. and when he misbehaved.. they screamed at him.. and his wife n mom n sis were so ashamed of him.. that did the trick.. the public humiliation did!

      Do something similar!

  15. What to do,the world is getting badder now a days.This is the main reason , i stopped reading regional newspaper. Don’t ever leave U’r children to others for a long time until they grow up,no matter whether they are family friends , relatives or neighbors , thatz what i wanna say about this.

    True, very true..

  16. Oh yes like I said background checks and and psychological tests are no guarantee to ensure a persons sanity. We are solely responsible for our children. I am with Vinod ji here…when both parents work ..it comes at a price. NOt saying that this cannot happen to a stay-at-home-mom’s child but chances are less..since we are more aware than our mothers. When a child is left at the ‘mercy’of caregivers likedomestic help,nursery/day-care workers…we should be prepared for avoidable instances. Psychological effects like emotional detahment is a different blog altogether.

    Chrysalis – I wish it were as simple. Things like this can happen anytime.. even if the child is older..even if both parents are not working. It is all based on circumstances and on people who are bent on doing it.. And as I said earlier – even relatives could do it – who can you trust totally? I have read of countless cases where the abuser scares a child into submission.. And even if it is just once – a child could be scarred for life.

    And about grandmas supervising the domestic help is a good idea…but that too..has its risks the grandma could be old and napping during afternoons…..she cannot be blamed then.
    Child has to be of an age when he/she can cry/run/ask for help before we decide to leave him/her alone with whoever!!!

    It can happen anywhere – even in schools – do we have the option of not sending children to school? The only thing we can do is minimize the risk. Some people have no option but to work.. Single parents, parents who have no family support, or who need the money.. The day care I sent daughter to had CCTV coverage – so we could check on her anytime. Also, I feel day cares here- with the proper credentials -do follow strict ratio guidelines – so normally, one caregiver is never alone with a child.. But even with all this – instances like this could happen. Just as they could happen in schools..

  17. with every piece of such shocking and disturbing news, i wish i was a tree or something else…
    our species is just dispicable smitha. 😦

    I know, Crafty! I wish too 😦 Our species is truly despicable..

    that is quite worrisome. true, who to trust? unfortunatley, we cannot even trust family memebers at times. the precentage of cases where the offender has actually been a family member or a frequenter is higher than rest…

    😦

    Exactly – we cannot even trust family members.. ‘the precentage of cases where the offender has actually been a family member or a frequenter is higher than rest…’ exactly! There is no sure-shot solution – if only there was 😦

    to cheer u a bit (i hope) i have finished ur tag! my first tag ever πŸ™‚

    Loved your tag !!! Poohi loved it too πŸ™‚

  18. Smitha you have said it rightly..that this can happen anywhere..whether the parents are working or not working has no effect..
    because this happens even in joint families where family members are present 24X7
    ..what if one parents turns into the abuser?
    what if the school that the child goes to has such creeps?
    what if the half an hour that you are out of the room means trauma for your child?
    the list is endless..

    I totally agree! There are so many avenues of danger – if I may call it so. And in most cases – the abuser is not a stranger – but a person ‘trusted’ by the family!

    We have to be vigilant..
    we have to teach our children to be vigilant..
    We have to teach them as to how to differentiate between good touch and bad touch…

    Absolutely! Very very important!
    But most importantly we have to make them so damn confident that they never ever blame themselves and feel guilty for anything..

    That they dont feel ‘ashamed’..because thats what children usually do..they hide it..they are scared..they dont know whom to turn to..
    they blame themselves..

    Exactly- We really have to ensure that they never feel ‘ashamed’! They should know that they are NEVER to blame.. I have read so much on this, Indyeah.. Can you believe it – there have been cases where the social workers have put the blame on the child – that she ‘seduced’ her dad! An eight yr old child??

    Another blogger friend had written about this sometime back..since then I have picked up the book and found it extremely informative if also quite horrifying in places where I was unable to imagine what a child goes through
    here’s the link.. do read the comments as well..and the replies..

    Poonam has also given the definition (legal I think) of what CSA actually is.
    http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/book-review-bitter-chocolate/

    Will check this out.. I have read about bitter chocolate.. Have not had a chance to pick it up yet..

    The world is a scary place..
    All we can hope to do is make it a little bit safer for our children..

    Yes, that’s all we can hope for..

  19. This happens everywehre..no place is safe Smitha..like you have pointed out rightly..

    this was something another blogger friend had written about in context of a book on CSA..
    and after reading her post I did pick up the book..

    do read her post here and the comments and links

    http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/book-review-bitter-chocolate/

    it can happen in schools, in joint families(where everyone is present and yet ‘this’ happens) it can happen when one parent turns into an abuser..it can happen when you are out of the room for barely half an hour..
    the list is endless..

    Agree totally!
    one can only be vigilant..teach one’s kids about good and bad touch and the difference between the two..and most importantly..the kids should know that speaking up about this is not a mark against them ..that this is NOT shameful..that this is not THEIR fault at all!

    it is ‘NOT THEIR FAULT’ – I think that is the most important.. and to ensure that the channels of communication between parents and children are always open…

    the world’ s a very scary place… 😦

  20. And then people wonder whether the capital punishment should be abolished . Though I am completely aware that nobody is born a paedophile or a rapist , and it is conditioning,grooming and a host of other factors which contribute to their sickness , their kind should be put to death, for their and the society’s sake . About trust , I don’t think we can ever be sure . The only thing we have is what was left in Pandora’s box .

    Yes, I agree with you – for this crime – people more than deserve capital punishment. It is so scary that these people could be out on the streets again after completion of their sentences..

  21. You are right on… no place is safe and you can never rest easy. There are some things beyond our control and we cannot beat ourselves for it. For what we can control, we should take full responsibility. This issues gets me everytime and as Kislay says, this is one case which makes me pro capital punishment.

    Yes, Agree totally with everything you say.. we should take responsibility for what is within our control.. and hope for the best , I guess.. I agree with Kislay too – for this one case – I would be pro capital punishment..

  22. Yeah I read this one in the morning paper. Now a days, I don’t feel like picking up the paper in the bus. Its full of filth or some crappy news.

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