There are times when silence—that commodity we hardly know the meaning of today—should rule. At times like these when the horrible tragedy of Lisa Marie Zahra has sent shockwaves around the island and beyond, we should all be silent, stop and think, out of respect for her memory, for her father and anyone connected to her.

But I break this silence to speak out without trying to assume anything, as many others have done, lest I err in my assumptions. But I must point out what I think, and fear, is intrinsically wrong in our society.

And it is this where we should break the silence that protects people, be they priests, nuns, carers or teachers. Anyone who preys on the vulnerable, on the people in their care, should be exposed. This goes beyond justice and the courts—we should know who the perpetrators, the abusers, are.

Let us all start naming and shaming known culprits especially if they are in positions of trust. Let’s make society stop cossetting all our bad apples whoever they are and wherever they are.

Unfortunately we are still wrapped up in age-old habits of not speaking up, of not uncovering corruption at its core. It might be because the people concerned are our family, our friends or because the organisation they militate in might suffer.

Let’s all do our outmost to see the birth of a society that will not tolerate abuse, in whatever form. The blame is on all of us who see evil and do not speak up. Let us seek out abusers in whatever guise they exist.


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