Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Over the age of consent

Recently a dear volunteer friend of mine stayed overnight for a conference. As ever, we caught up with stories of the kids we were serving, and stories of kids whom we used to serve and who have grown-up.

I was asking her, How much do children with Down Syndrome understand? For my church in Singapore has a service just for youths and adults with learning disabilities. She told me that it varies child to child.

I asked her if there had been any issues with her special kids. She was quiet a moment before she murmured that they had discovered a case of incest by father to intellectually disabled daughter. Her superior had lodged a report, but nothing had happened. Why? Because the intellectually disabled girl was 18 years old.

She sighed as she told how her superior had raged that if only the girl was under 18, she would take her into custody immediately. But her hands were tied.

Thankfully, mean though it sounds, the father passed away soon after. But how many more disabled 'adults' are denied the help they need just because they are of 'legal age'?

P.S. I was looking up people who can counsel this girl, and asked my friend if she would like me to refer her on... But my friend said the girl is fine. Is she? These things come back...

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