‘Why don’t we start by saving our own children?’ my wife whispered in my ear. We were hosting a carol concert for Save the Children at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich. This was a once-a-year occasion for the chattering classes to darken the doors of a church, doff their hats to the deity, sing a lullaby to baby Jesus and give a generous tip to the work of the charity that would save other people’s children in the dark continents of Asia and Africa.
If ever you subtly hinted that our children in Britain might be in need of saving, the fundraisers of Save the Children would look at you with a quizzical expression and Jeeves-like raised eyebrows. The chattering classes of middle England can give master classes to ostriches on burying one’s head in the sand. If we pretend a problem doesn’t exist, it will go away, is our modus vivendi. And what better way of pretending our children don’t need saving than to save other people’s children in Sudan or Somalia?
Could we have saved Child D? This little girl was living with her mother and two brothers in Liverpool. Child D, who cannot even be accorded the dignity of a name, became pregnant at the age of 13. She had sex with a boy who was 18 months older and a persistent offender. After Child D gave birth, her ‘boyfriend’ (then aged 16) violently assaulted her. By a linguistic sleight of hand, the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board report calls him ‘Adult 1’.
When she was 15, Child D began a relationship with a 20-year-old adult with a significant criminal history. After holding her prisoner for more than two weeks in his house and keeping her from her child, Adult 2 inflicted burns on her face with a hot iron and was jailed for 42 months. After Adult 1 left prison, he resumed his relationship with Child D and beat her to death. Child D died at the age of 17 and Adult 1 was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
We have woken up to the horrors of the sexual exploitation of our children only after Muslim men groomed and raped our underclass girls in various towns on an industrial scale. But it was not Pakistani-Muslim men who exploited Child D. It was her white peers. Her exploiters weren’t even adults but other young people.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey told a parliamentary inquiry in 2016 that the most prolific form of child sex abuse ‘is peer-on-peer abuse being conducted by people younger than 18 years of age’. The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children obtained figures from police in England and Wales showing that 4,209 children under the age of 18 committed sex offences against other children in 2013-14. The children’s charity Barnardo’s suggests that sex offences committed by children against children rose by 78 per cent between 2013 and 2016.
Norman Wells has collated this damning data in his book Unprotected: How the normalisation of underage sex is exposing children and young people to the risk of sexual exploitation. The lengthy title of his book says it all. The root cause of the problem is a culture in which underage sexual activity is seen as a normal and harmless part of growing up as long as it is consensual. Public policy has driven this culture by offering contraceptives to children without the knowledge of their parents with no questions asked, and a relativistic sex education which makes it clear that the purpose of such instruction is ‘not to agree the rights and wrongs’ of various sexual behaviour ‘but rather to discover the range of opinions on the subject’. Even worse, children are now viewed as having ‘sexual rights’!
In the last two years, the NHS embedded contraceptive implants in 10,554 girls aged 15 and more than 39 girls aged 12 or younger. The number of underage girls being fitted with implants has more than trebled in ten years. The cost to the taxpayer is almost £1million, as each implant costs £83 plus the cost of the GP or nurse’s time. Parents are excluded since this is a confidential matter between the child and the doctor. A study in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care reveals that one in 20 girls aged 12-18 is now taking the pill.
Remember how progressives and feminists claimed that sexual liberation would empower women and that what two consenting adults did behind closed doors was their business? ‘Consent’ became the big buzzword. However, children under 16 cannot legally ‘consent’ to having sex.
Now the advice given to children by bodies such as Warwickshire County Council is: ‘You are the only one who really knows if and when you are ready’. In its section on ‘Sex and the law’, the same website states: ‘when you’re both horny and fancy the pants off each other, what’s the law go to do with it?’ This is despite the fact that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) makes it clear that ‘children can and do abuse and exploit other children’ and it is ‘an offence for children under 16 to engage in sexual activity’.
However, even the CPS then flip-flops and goes on to state that if the sexual act is ‘in fact genuinely consensual and the youth and the child under 13 concerned are fairly close in age and development, a prosecution is unlikely to be appropriate’. The law on this matter is a joke.
Norman Wells concludes that ‘a fatal spirit of non-judgmentalism which regards young people as autonomous agents who must be left entirely free to make their own choices’ is one of the most incendiary elements in the cocktail that is killing our children. Our children don’t need saving from poverty or inequality. Our children desperately need saving from the state, the NHS, social services, the education system and the sexual relativism of our godless culture where there is no longer an objective standard for morality.
The problem is not that we don’t have a solution. The problem is that we can’t see the problem. The reason we save other people’s children is that we can see their problem, and their problem out there is poverty. We can’t see our problem because our problem is morality. And morality, like Little Bo Peep, has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them. God save our children!