Just reading the sensational reports from Amstetten in Austria about the father who kept his own daughter hidden as a sex slave in his cellar, as she gave birth to seven of his children. I'm always amazed about these stories about children being abused in the proximity of so many "good citizens". We have the usual reports from neighbors, who interacted with the family on a daily basis:
Wien - Als "freundlich und ganz nett", als "sympathisch und unauffällig" beschreiben die Anwohner in der Ybbsstraße von Amstetten ihren Nachbarn Josef F. (Residents of the Ybbstrasse in Amstetten described their neighbor Josef F. as "friendly and really nice" "there was nothing unusual at all")
Wie in solchen Fällen üblich sagen die Nachbarn, dass sie sich „das nicht vorstellen konnten“. Die Familie F. war „sehr nett “, Josef F., der bis zu seiner Pensionierung Elektriker war, „hat immer gerne geholfen, wenn es wo Probleme gab“, und er ist „sehr lieb mit Kindern umgegangen“. Dass er zu so einem Verbrechen fähig ist, nein, das will in Amstetten niemand glauben. (As is customary in such cases the neighbors claim "they could never imagine such a thing". The family was "very nice", Josef F., a retired electrician, "was always there to help out when there were problems" and was "always very sweet to the children.")
The same things were said about the kidnapper of Natascha Kampusch, who was held captive in a Vienna basement for eight years before she managed to escape.
Is there something pathological about Austrian society that prevents people from intervening in child abuse? Yes, undoubtedly. But the events unfolding in West Texas show that it can happen here as well, but on a much larger scale (this is Texas, after all):
San ANGELO, Texas (AP) --"More than half the teenage girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant, state officials said Monday.
A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. He didn't specify how many are pregnant."
Nobody could have known.