Bradbury was described as “a man of great charm and persuasiveness” whom everybody trusted. When one victim raised concerns with his mother, she said: “He’s a doctor, it must be necessary.”
This month, we could read about doctor Bradbury. Shock and outrage surfaced with the news that he had molested innocent children with cancer for 22 years.
These boys were all vulnerable and gravely ill. In all my years on the bench, I have never come across such a grotesque betrayal of your Hippocratic oath.
Judge Gareth Hawkesworth
The case reminds me of Jimmy Saville, who also abused so many children without getting caught before it was too late. I think about the nightmare it must have been for those who’ve trusted these men. Children, hoping for a better future, and how they probably has had their lives destroyed. I won’t even think about how and why this happened. The story is familiar: People were suspicious and thought something might be going on. In Saville’s case, people even knew that abuse happened, but they failed to speak up, dismissing the truth for several reasons. Some because they were afraid, since Saville was famous and liked. Some thought they must have misunderstood, and some plainly wouldn’t think about it.
Our mind is the king of denial, and reigns over conscience and fear. After the fact we are haunted by guilt and think about the signs that suddenly makes everything obvious. I remember one of the people who suspected that Saville did indeed molest children. She talked about why she didn’t report what she had suspected. Several of the reasons mentioned, were named, and it was clear that she wished she had followed her gut feeling. We can all remember occasion where we failed to do the right thing, and most of us feel guilty for a long time afterwards. What’s the cure? Simply do what’s right when you feel something might be wrong. I, like the rest of the world, shudder when we read stories like these, but what really scares me is abuse on a large scale. It’s abuse in countries where no safety nets exists. Where abuse doesn’t get investigated because of corruption or lack of laws.
Examples are girls sold to slavery and poor women in developed countries who endure secular violence on a regular basis. They have silent screams that we never hear, because they are muffled from the very beginning. This is was scares me more than anything else. In UK, the children and families who were affected by doctor Bradbury, at least get justice. In many poor countries, the perpetuates walk free after abuse and even murder. The innocent women and men have no place to turn for comfort, help or hope. They must endure another crisis, every day, while the rest of the world goes on like nothing is wrong.
What scares you the most?
Maybe, when we hear the screams, we will finally wake up enough to do something for the victims of abuse. Until then, let us all remember to speak up when we suspect something’s amiss. We might regret it otherwise.