Why would you hurt my brother?

Abuse. It comes in many forms: physical, emotional and mental.

When a person cannot communicate well, when a person is unable to defend himself/herself, it’s sad that that person gets picked on in some way or the other.

I read this open letter to DQ from Alterna-Mom’s blog and was aghast. A child with infantile autism and speech delays was mocked. Simply because of the way she speaks? Do you know how much time it can take for people with autistic disorders to communicate and be comfortable with themselves in unknown situations? How is it possible that compassion, understanding and tolerance disappears when it comes to something different?

In the comments of that blogpost, a reference was made to a UK court case. I immediately Googled it and found this: an Aspergers teen was reportedly tortured for days but the people who did it were let off with a community service rap (I do object to the use of the word ‘evil’ in the first sentence; not because I don’t agree, but because that doesn’t sound like balanced reporting, no matter how depraved the act was).

According to the news report, and I quote:

They kicked and stamped on his head, repeatedly punched him in the chest, beat him with a tennis racket, scratched his arms and leg with sandpaper, and threw him down a steep hill.

The terrified teenager – who suffers from autism and Asperger’s Syndrome – was also pelted with dog mess and forced to drink alcohol until he passed out. And, in a final humiliating assault, they applied tape to his genital area before ripping it off.

Community service orders and a curfew was handed out to the offenders.

A curfew. I had a curfew – still do when I live with my parents – and the worst thing I ever did was not clean my room. And my curfew wasn’t even in place because of that!

Why would you hurt my brother or someone like him? For fun? Because you’re bored? Because you think it’s funny to hurt the defenceless? My heart bleeds for the girl who was mocked and the 17-year-old boy who endured what he did.

Really … Why would you want to hurt my brother?

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