- Primarily, to protect other children from harm and create a safer society.
- To send a message to the perpetrator and others: this behaviour is wrong and will not be tolerated.
- To provide some kind of resolve or ‘closure’ for the survivor and/or their family
Although we believe very strongly in justice and support all of its implementations, in the responsibility of every person as an individual to facilitate justice and to be vigilante in ensuring as a society it is served; tougher sentences for child abusers UK is not a primary campaign focus, for these reasons:
- We prefer to focus mainly on child abuse awareness and prevention, as always our core motivation is the health and happiness of all children. As important as justice is, it does not directly contribute to their well-being of vulnerable children. We feel are energies are best put to use preventing suffering.
- We believe that generally, UK sentences for child abusers are adequate, and there is a common public mis-conception, fuelled by certain aspects of the media, that perpetuate the myth that they aren’t.
The NSPCC conducted a review of sentencing for child abuse related crimes in England and Wales, and stated their ‘findings do not support the popular belief that offenders against children are leniently sentenced’. Points raised in the report include:
- Sentence levels are not as low as many people may believe and nor are re-offending rates as high as people may fear.
- Media reporting of sentencing decisions that is often misleading.
- Perhaps the most commonly misreported and misunderstood sentences imposed are indeterminate sentences. For example, reporting the Baby Peter case, The Daily Mail said “Free in three years? Outrage as mother of Baby P is given a ‘soft’ jail sentence” and “The official line is that she has been jailed ‘indefinitely’. But in reality she could be out in three years” In fact an IPP is an indeterminate sentence, i.e. a sentence potentially without end (a life sentence) from which the prisoner will not be released until he satisfies the Parole Board that his risk of harm to others is reduced and can be managed.
You can read the full report here: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/findings/sentencing_report_wda84994.html
It is important to clarify that justice is not always guaranteed, and there are many cases where justice is not achieved. We will ALWAYS fight for justice for children who have been robbed of it.
Thankfully, in the UK, our justice system is relatively effective.