Last night on social media I saw people talking about the episode of 4 corners that had screened earlier in the night. I gathered it was pretty graphic and brought to light systematic abuse in our jails in Australia.

It wasn’t until this morning that I watched a small snippet of that episode. I was not prepared for what I saw.

A young teenage boy being abused in a detention centre.

It’s too hard for me to even describe without tears. It moved my soul.

How does this happen?

How am I too blind to see?

How can I live and breathe motivation and positivity and choice, and believe that I can make a difference in the world through what I do, when this is happening to our children?

That could have been my child.

One of my children walked the fine line between falling into a world where I couldn’t help him and where I could. I am thankful for every day that I he is not in the system.

There are many who are living in a world of cyclic abuse.

How can one human abuse another human?

Where do we even start to stop the cycle?

When something so wrong is going on in places that should be there to protect and rehabilitate, what chance do we even have of making change?

How do people working inside the system see this everyday and keep on working in a system that isn’t working? How do they not lose hope?

You cannot un see that which you have seen. Or as Maya Angelo famously said ‘When you know better, you do better.’

We know now, but will we do as we have done, and leave it to others to try and break the cycle, or to stop this from happening?

And will we go back to living our lives where things like this, images of abuse, touch us but for a moment and we move on to a place where we don’t have to think about it?


Tanya Carroll

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