Australia, officially known as the commonwealth of Australia, is a country that comprises of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and some other smaller islands. The country has a population of 24,161,700 and has an estimated GDP of $1.137 trillion. The country has faced a number of ethical issues in the past but one of the main issues that surround the country is the sex abuse of children. The Australian government is now actively treating child sex abuse as a national concern and is taking necessary steps to form laws and study its causes and social implications (Australia.gov.au, 2016). The danger of child sex abuse in Australia can be judged from the fact that out of 48,420 cases of child endangerment reported in 2011-12, 5,828 cases were related to child sex abuse.
Child sex abuse is one of the major evils of society and is prevalent throughout the world and not just in Australia. There have been a number of laws and regulations that were aimed at providing justice to the offended children and to punish the criminals in the best possible way. One such law related to child sex abuse is the “Name and Shame Law”. Name and shame law is generally concerned with shaming the offenders and their names openly in the public so that they can severely pay for what wrongs they have done to the society and rest of the people can also beware of such people in the future.
Many people are in favour of the Name and Shame policy while many are also against it. First of all, let us discuss how not naming and shaming the offenders can have a negative impact on the society:
Child sex abusers are those people who unethically harass children physically. Sex abuse can have very deep and long lasting impact on the victims and as a result, it should be carefully and strictly treated. If the offenders are not names and shamed openly in the public, it would become very difficult for the society to gather knowledge about such people and protect themselves or their children from them. Shielding the names of the offenders and not shaming them in the public would only encourage them. Such actions might even motivate them and as they are never names or shamed in the public, they might never realize the wrong that they have done. Further, shielding the names of the offenders or not faming them would also make it difficult for the police or the concerned organisations to track or to keep a check on their activities. Some people are also of the view that the offenders should never be allowed to change their names and there should be no way through which they could try to hide their past life.
It has been found out that most of the offenders have a tendency to recommit the crime once they have served their punishments (Meganslaw.ca.gov, 2016). Experts believe that even if they do not have a tendency to recommit the crime that they have committed earlier, it is important that their names are recorded in a register and updated in a database, which should be further shared with all the related authorities. It will not only make it easier to track such people but would also help the people, who are at a risk, to be more aware of such people and protect themselves or their children from such an unethical crime. If such people are not named or shamed openly in the public, it would become very easy for them to hide their true identity from people and live a normal life while the effected children suffer because of the harassment. Furthermore, such offenders will be able to easily hide their identity and will be able to commit child sex abuse undetected and unknown. Naming and shaming them openly in the public would ensure that such people cannot hide their true identity and they have a record which can be easily viewed by the concerned authorities (Parish, 2015).
Naming and shaming provides a great way of preparing a database that can be maintained at shared with the authorities at a national level. If their names are shamed in the public and they are not allowed to change them, it would become much easier for the police to track down the criminals and reduce the cases of child sex abuse. It would also ensure an increase in the success rates and the speed with which justice could be delivered to the victims. A number of researches have shown that dozens of sex offenders have been allowed to change their names and live a normal life with a changed identity, which is justice denied to the victims while the others are also put to risk (Debate.org, 2016).
Child sex abuse is a very serious crime and people found guilty of such criminal activities should be treated strictly. Many people are of the view that naming and shaming criminals is ethically wrong as it deprives them from the opportunity of living an improved life but people forget that prevention is always better than cure and it is for the benefit of the whole country that such offenders should be publically named and shamed so that their children would not become a victim of child sex abuse in the future.
By hiding their identity from the public, the law is not just protecting them and hiding their deeds but is also putting millions of lives at risk. It is definitely possible that such people might not ever recommit the crimes for which they have been found guilty but it is the responsibility of the government to make the public more aware about the offenders so that this social evil could be reduced to a considerable extent, even if not completely eradicated from the society. Therefore, it can be very easily concluded that child sex abusers should be publically named and shamed.
Meganslaw.ca.gov. (2016). Facts about Sex Offenders - Megan's Law - California Dept. of Justice - Office of the Attorney General. [online] Available at: http://meganslaw.ca.gov/facts.htm [Accessed 4 Aug. 2016].
Parish, B. (2015). Sacrificing our Children: Sexual Abuse Myths in Fame Culture by @BobbiLParish. [online] Rachel Thompson. Available at: http://rachelintheoc.com/2015/08/sacrificing-our-children-sexual-abuse-myths-in-fame-culture/ [Accessed 4 Aug. 2016].
Debate.org. (n.d.). Should sex offenders be named and shamed. [online] Available at: http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-sex-offenders-be-named-and-shamed [Accessed 4 Aug. 2016].
Australia.gov.au. (2016). Social issues | australia.gov.au. [online] Available at: http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/family-and-community/social-issues [Accessed 4 Aug. 2016].
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