Friday, October 13, 2006

Protect our kids, urge grannies

By TRUDY BEYAK
Abbotsford News
Oct 12 2006
A father sexually assaulted his little girl over and over again and when he died, the now grown woman jumped on his grave.
That shows the life-long agony and pain of victims of pedophiles, said Gertie Pool of Abbotsford.
Another little girl was victimized by her father and two uncles with pop bottles and she experienced other horrible things that can’t be repeated in public, Pool said.
That poor, innocent child was thrown into a bathtub and told not to tell anyone as her head was pushed under the water.
These are the stories of the survivors living among us – the childhood victims of pedophiles, Pool said.
Mothers and grandmothers in Abbotsford are rising in righteous anger.
“We’re furious,” Pool said.
Why is the federal government allowing pedophiles to continually hurt our children and grandchildren over and over again? asked Pool as she presented a 3,200-name petition yesterday to Abbotsford (Conservative) MP Ed Fast.
The “Furious Grandmas” as part of Abbotsford Court Watchers, are asking the federal government to improve child protection legislation in Canada and to create mandatory sentencing laws for convicted pedophiles and other sex offenders.
Many people are upset that the government is failing to protect our little children as the recent case of sex predator Peter Whitmore shows, she said.
Whitmore, 35, formerly of Chilliwack, terrorized two children in Manitoba when he was released from prison after serving less than five years for sexually assaulting six other victims.
“How come the government isn’t protecting our little children?” asked Pool.
Experts say a pedophile is “incurable” and one pedophile abuses about 150 children, on average, during his lifetime, she said.
“We’re saying that, as grandmas, this is enough,” Pool told Fast. “We want change.”
Mandatory federal sentences would help the ongoing problem of inadequate and inconsistent sentences being handed out by judges in Canada, said Pool, noting that B.C. judges tend to be more lenient than judges in Alberta and Ottawa.
Fast said he will present the petition to the House of Commons and share the concerns of the constituents of Abbotsford to the government.
The local MP said he supports taking any steps that will help protect children.
Fast, in fact, recently introduced in the House of Commons a private members bill to amend the law on luring children on the Internet.
The bill, if given final approval, would increase from five to 10 years in prison the maximum sentence for persons convicted of using the internet to lure a child for sexual purposes.
The House of Commons recently approved second reading of Bill C-277.
Fast said he will now ask the Minister of Justice (Vic Toews) to take a serious look at how the Canadian government deals with sex predators.
The MP said there is a certain amount of discretionary powers given to Canadian judges, but it is up to the government to determine if the sentences are severe enough.
Dr. Ron Langevin, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, published a 25 year study on sex offenders, concluding that 80 per cent commit another crime.
Currently, 44 per cent of convicted sex offenders don’t serve any time in prison and of those who go to prison, only 14 per cent complete a sex offender treatment program, according to Langevin’s study.
© Copyright 2006 Abbotsford News

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