Saturday, 21 March 2009

Cultural differences.

Incase you were wondering, this is not a piece of self gratification, this is an Egyptian female protesting about what will be explained below.

In reference to my last post, thank you for your wishes. It is just a case of waiting for CT scan results in order to find out how extensive the op is going to be. I have been positively encouraged to continue by the Mrs so here is the next instalment.

The call sounds routine and mundane, a young girl is found by a concerned member of the public wandering the streets at about 11 o'clock at night. This nice person then does the decent thing and takes her to a police station. The girl is African in origin and is dressed only in her coat, pyjamas and fake Ugg boots. She is from our area and subsequently we are sent to transport her back home. Sounds simple. Arrive at the neighbouring station and get introduced to X. I sit in the room and tell her that we are going to take her home. The change is dramatic, she was quiet and pleasant at first but upon hearing this she turns into a mad thing. She is small for her age and is stick thin. Obviously there is some sort of problem and as she was so small I am scared to stop her from lashing out. I think of my own kids and just stay seated talking quietly to her. Eventually she stops and sits down again, she couldn't really hurt me anyway. She then rolls up one of her sleeves and I see the perfectly formed welt shape caused by a belt. The buckle is very distinct. She then goes on to tell me that she doesn't want to go home because she will be hurt again. I ask her who is hurting her and it transpires that her father whips her and her mother has also hurt her too. I ask what her mother has done and she points to her groin. I struggle to understand, surely her mother hasn't raped her? She then told me that she was taken to see someone who hurt her whilst pointing to her groin. I still can't think what she is talking about. I ask her if it still hurts, she shakes her head. In typical dumb ignorance I ask her if someone has made her do something she didn't want to, she shrugs her shoulders. I am for once a little out of my depth. The clear assault that she has suffered from the belt I am certain of, the other matter leaves me a little confused. I am certain however that she can't go home. I speak to the Inspector who after listening states that she should go to hospital and have further examination by medical staff. He will start the process for a PPO and that social services should be notified.

I don't want to scare her further by putting her in a police car so ask for an ambulance. My female colleague will go with her. Whilst waiting the bell rings in the front office and the duty officer comes to tell me that the caller is her father who has somehow heard that his daughter is at the police station. He has come to take her home. I go to speak to him and after a quick glance at his belt see that the buckle is a perfect match to the welt on her arm. I ask him to wait whilst I go to speak to my colleague, she takes the young girl to a more private part of the station whilst I arrest the father for assault. He shrugged his shoulders and said she deserved it. She shouldn't have lost her school project. I stand in a quandary, I can't believe the casual nature with which he said it. I understand that parents have the right to chastise their children but whipping them with a belt buckle seems a bit too much.

Moving on, the girl is taken to a local children's hospital whilst I convey her father to custody. The country they come from is notoriously difficult for citizens to obtain passports, so the whole matter takes a different slant, are they illegal immigrants? He is bedded down for the night whilst enquiries follow. My radio chirps with a PTP and through poor reception, my colleague is in a hospital, I learn that the girl has a multitude of welts across her dark skin and their is something more sinister. Her vaginal area shows "some irregularities", still being the dozy arse I ask if it looks like she has been raped at which point my colleague states that I should let the inspector know and contact the hospital. The connection drops off. I wonder what is happening and call the boss. He tells me that without delay I should go to her home address and basically stay there until social services attend, after ascertaining who is there don't let anyone leave or enter and treat it as a crime scene. He then mentions female genital mutilation. I'm not that ignorant, I have heard of it but that takes place in African countries doesn't it? Surely not here in Notgreatside?

It does happen in this country I can now vouch for that, another younger girl was also taken from the address by social services and the mother was subsequently arrested on suspicion of assault. Thankfully the younger child was unhurt.

I got home from nights and waited for my daughters to wake up, I know that I am not perfect but I am thankful that our society does not demand this ritual. I looked at them both and felt that I would never ever be in the position that I would ever whip them with my belt. The other matter would never be an option as our society doesn't demand it.

I now don't know how to think. I have seen an extremely frightened little girl who has been beaten and subject to a primitive ritual that holds no place in any country. I have also been instrumental in breaking up a family unit, whether that family should have been in the UK at all is irrelevant. What was quite ironic when all parties had gone their separate ways and both parents were waiting in their cells for the morning was that all four were HIV +.

The kids were born with it, the father should perhaps ...............oh had better stop now because who knows?


PC PinMichael Pinkstone said...

1st comment. Best wishes to Mrs CC, and to you, from a colleague.

You have touched upon a very damning subject - damning because it is a sad example of one of the failings of our multicultural society. If everyone entering this country was physically examined (as they are when they emigrate to Canada, for example) then I would expect any parent who had carried out such a ritual to be refused entry. It should be explained in no uncertain terms that if you are going to live in the UK you will abide by our rules, laws and cultural expectations. But no. We have sacrificed many things on the altar of our "open door" policy.

PC Michael Pinkstone said...

Apologies for spelling mistake in my name above!

Sage said...

Keeping you and Mrs C in my prayers...

I don't understand the way some societies feel they are able to mutilate their children this way. It doesn't have any health implications, at least for the recipient of the pain. I hope she manages to get over it, and that it stops but I have my doubts.

Dark Side said...

Best wishes and thoughts for you and Mrs CC.

It's one of the taboo subjects no one wants to mention but a lot more should be made of it....

Constable said...

Have just learned today that he has been bailed for a month or so and she has been placed back at home by social services.


Anonymous said...

Haven't you got a PPIU unit who can provide some guidance here? Has the mother got bail as well?

Constable said...

Hello anonymous,

yes the mother got bailed as well for further enquiries, they are all living together again as a happy family.

Hurray for social services and the CPS.

We do have a PPU but they won't get involved.

Anonymous said...

I know that it is months on, but I wanted to comment on this.

I have read in the press about "female castration" of African girls. A tradition of oppression, based upon ignorance and male domination of the females in those tribes. The mutilation robs those girls of sexual pleasure when older, which is a bizarre thing for men to insist upon as a part of their "culture."

Thankfully society has never demanded that here, but 50 years ago, any female who did enjoy the art of lovemaking was considered to be a bit of a "scarlet woman", a whore. Women were not supposed to enjoy sex, just endure it upon demand. Thankfully, times have changed and so have attitudes to sex.

The people from cultures who perform genital mutilation upon female children, need to be informed very clearly, upon arrival in this country, that it is an illegal act of cruel abuse.
Immigrants need to fully understand what is taboo here. My heart goes out to all the girls who have suffered that mutilation.

Beating that poor child with the buckle of her father's belt was also just plain vicious and must have hurt her very badly. I'm not at all surprised she didn't want to go home. Being beaten with the leather strap part of a belt is bad enough, but the buckle? Hopefully her father will have been warned to refrain from that sort of brutality against his kids.

I was thrashed with a belt strap as a kid, for telling an inconvenient truth, that my mother did not want to hear, nor would she accept. It was horrendous and seemed to go on for hours as she kept coming back..."To thrash the truth out of me". In the end I fought back, because she would have killed me, and from a standing position on my bed, I kicked her in the stomach to stop her thrashing me again. It shocked her and she did stop and left the room. A thrashing with a belt was normal punishment in the 1950's.

I was screaming. It was a nightmare. I banged on the wall to alert the neighbour and then opened the bedroom window and shouted repeatedly for someone to call the police. They did arrive and were told by my mother, that it was a family matter, and they went away. That was over 50 years ago, and a very long story.
I then got another thrashing for bringing the police to the door.
I had witnessed, and been subjected to very serious incidents of abuse, whilst in the "care" of my godfather.

I went to stay with my nan, but a few months later I was forced to go back home, but not by Social Services, who were not involved with what happened to myself.
I did miss my dad, but didn't want to be anywhere near my mother ever again after what she had done to me. It took a long time, but she did try to make up for what had happened, and was sorry.

I did get to tell a cop what had been going on, whilst at my nans, and he did his best to help me.
He told me to inform my mother that if she ever took a belt to me again, then Social Services would be informed and she would be in trouble. She didn't like that one bit, but it did stop her thrashing me with a leather belt ever again.
An auntie also stuck up for me, and stood up to her, told her off.
They didn't speak to each other for quite some time after that, and mum blamed myself for "causing trouble". I became the "scapegoat".

As an adult re-living the horror of those long blocked out memories of serious abuse; I realise that my mother was terrified by the truth and the reality of what had happened to me. She couldn't handle it and thrashed me out of fear for herself, knowing an awful truth. Women and children were routinely sexually and physically abused in the 1950's. Everyone knew it went on, but nobody talked about it; because many of the abusers were very ruthless men in positions of power and authority.

I vowed as a child, that when I grew up I WOULD do something to change things, so that kids didn't have to suffer that kind of abuse.
As I have siad before on here, I did write the letter which got the ball rolling on the Child Protection System in the latter part of the 80's.

Cases like this poor girl and baby Peter, makes me feel like I have failed to achieve my life's mission. And I heard a pathetic NHS "justification" for failure over baby Peter, on Wednesday's ITV news. An NHS "expert" stated that Health Workers had been reluctant to write in records that a house was "dirty", because they didn't wish to make judgements.

I would have thought that the clearly obvious bruises, broken bones and other injuries to baby Peter, were more relevant than whether a house is spotlessly clean, or not. Abusive parents can live in spotlessly clean houses, and some of them are "professional" people, raising unhappy screwed up kids.

A bit of mess and dust should not be taken as some sort of "tick box" evidence that a parent is ill treating a child. We have had Health researchers telling us in recent years, that kids have to come into contact with a bit of "dirt", to build up a strong immune system. They have stated that a too clinically clean home and the overuse of cleaning products, has been linked to children's allergies.

So I sincerely hope that Health visitors and doctors et al, are NOT about to assume, that because someone's house is not of the "hospital clean" standard, that they are probably abusing their kids. A miserable child is more of an indication of that, and even then, the child may be unhappy because of factors OUTSIDE of the parental home - like school bullies, or a divorced parent.

I sincerely hope, that the little girl mentioned in your post, does not suffer any more abuse at home.

Apologies for the length of this comment C.C. But it had to be said, and you did say on a recent post, that my opinion would be valued.


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