Jaycee

31/08/09 | Posted by Poppy

It seems that a young girl was kidnapped and then appears eighteen years later and has been living in a tent in a garden with two children fathered by the alleged kidnapper. My first reaction when I heard the story was 'Lord have mercy' but it was followed very shortly by the question 'where were the neighbours?'

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I find it hard to be unemotional about this case. It isn’t just about being a mother it is about being a human being. How can someone do such a terrible thing? Looking at the pictures of where she lived are appalling.

I’m angry and I was hoping to write a considered piece but I’ve failed. How could the neighbours have known nothing? The parable of the Good Samaritan which was told by Jesus to his followers two thousand years ago seems to have been lived out in twenty centuries later. Instead of taking place over a day, this modern version took place over eighteen years. That is a lot of people walking past and focusing on themselves and their own concerns. That is a lot of people who were ignoring gut reactions and suspicions and nagging worries. People who commit these sorts of offences are very good at lying and manipulating people. Generally the truth does leak out and surely it is the responsiblity of everyone to report it, anonymously if necessary, that something might be very wrong?

If you do suspect anything then the NSPCC, which covers the UK, has a website is which ishere.

Edmund Burke, many years ago said that ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ For a modern audience we need to add women into that sentiment but it captures the heart of what goes on every day. One good woman, a police officer followed her instincts and Jaycee was back with her mother within days. It really isn’t rocket science but it asks that we take our focus off ourselves. Jesus, when he spoke in the parable was answering a question about how to live - love you God above everything else and love your neighbour as yourself is a paraphrase but loving yourself and your concerns to the exclusion of anything else is as prevalent now as it seems to have been two thousand years ago.

We are the ones who are responsible for good to flourish over evil. It means getting involved and sometimes that involvement is at a distance, being anonymous if a situation might be complicated or there is a physical risk involved, but it can mean being aware of your neighbours and speaking to them and knowing what is normal and when something is not quite right.

Oh and I’ve alerted the authorities at an appropriate level when a local situation has seemed to need some professional intervention. And I’ve made the effort to befriend people who are lonely or struggling with new babies.

Maybe that is why I’m so angry.

Eighteen years. Words fail.

 

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I wouldn’t put so much anger on the neighbors.  People just don’t know.  For 11 years of my life I was basically trapped at home, no school, no childhood, little outdoors, no friends.  I was allowed to go to Mass once a week, and maybe another activity once a month.  So people “thought” they knew what was going on.
I had, and lost, two children.  And no one ever knew.
Its been 6 years since I left.  No one has a clue what my past was.  The best think that can be done for this woman and these girls is to let them fall into ambiguity so that they can life their life and get true healing.

#1. By Katie on September 10, 2009

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