Pardon for Sex Abuser

Ex-coach Graham James pardoned for sex abuse that rocked NHL – The Globe and Mail.

This is a shocking story. In my 33 year career as a pediatrician I have talked with many children who suffered sexual abuse. All of the children I have seen were abused by someone they trusted or who was in a position of power over them –  a parent, a step-parent, a coach.

When an adult suffers an horrific event, he or she may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, seek treatment and eventually go on, the event fading further into memory. With children, it is different. With each stage of development, the trauma can surface again – as the child becomes more able to understand what has happened, and as psychosexual development reaches anther stage.

I recall one boy whom I saw first when he was seven, sitting in an emergency room cubicle, with a frozen attempt at a smile on his face. That boy suffered throughout his childhood from a father who continued to stalk him. When he was 16 the boy laid a charge and the father was convicted. Imagine if he was now pardoned, because pedophilia is not as serious a crime as murder. The victim would be traumatized yet again.

This is what the parole board has done, in allowing the abuser of all those young boys to be pardoned. It has denied the importance of their suffering.

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