(Harry)Dante’s Inferno is the first of the three-part epic poem, Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri. The Inferno depicts Dante’s journey through Hell, accompanied and guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In his poem, Dante describes Hell’s topography consisting of nine circles, each representing the seriousness of the sin committed by its offenders, these sins are categorized (by the Catholic Church), grouped, and commonly known as the nine deadly sins. Each level of Hell represent places of torment where the first level is home to less serious offenders, and increase in severity in each circle. As they go deeper into each level, our characters, Dante and Virgil encounter offenders within each ring of hell who have committed more serious offenses and the sins are more egregious. We find that the lowest part of hell houses the betrayers, and punishment here is more severe. Punishment in the poem is handed out in a poetic justice fashion Dante calls contrapasso. In this last (deepest) level or ring of Hell the betrayers of Julius Caesar: Brutus and Cassius are prime tenants, along with Judas, who had betrayed Jesus.
As I read this poem, I can agree with how Hell was organized, and as it sits currently, those guilty of child sexual abuse could reside along with those who are being tortured in the second circle: Lust. But Dante seemed to portray these sins as less severe. But personally, I think that those guilty of committing child sexual abuse should be in the ninth circle of Hell, along with those committing treachery because what is child sexual abuse if not treachery! It is treacherous against the innocent children, who fall betrayed by those who they must respect and obey (adults or those older then they), it is an act of treason to the victim who may have trusted the person committing such a heinous act. But after much contemplation, I still cannot agree with this placement. Child sexual abuse and child sexual assault is, in a very real way, equal to those types of betrayals. The innocence of a child makes those crimes so bad that I feel so uncomfortable writing about. As defined on their website, child sexual abuse includes: any sexual act between an adult and a minor, or between two minors, when one exerts power over the other, forcing, coercing or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act, non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism, and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or Internet. In Dante’s world, those guilty of child sexual assault are far more wicked than those guilty of other sexual sins, and even worse than those guilty of aberrant sexual behavior (as it was understood at the time). Therefore, these sinners would have their very own special place below the ninth circle.
For sinners tormented in the tenth circle, the torture must be as gruesome as the act committed by the sinners. For someone who has committed such a abominable act as is child sexual abuse, assault, and/or rape would suffer eternally having to be flash frozen to the point where every member of there body is about to fall off, but only to be flash-burned alive, to the point of almost dying, but yet their flesh be medium-rare. They would have to cut off their sexual members and be force-fed them, over and over again; and all while watching innocent children play. Not that we would be trying to rehabilitate them, but they would learn to associate their lust for innocent children with unconscionable pain, as they inflicted on their victims. As described by Gaby Hinsliff in her article, victims of child sexual abuse are often times shaped by the act committed against them and the effects and usually deal with these symptoms for the rest of their lives. Victims of the aforementioned abuse may display a wide range of emotional and mental disorders, and are likely prone to have a pervasive and negative belief of themselves. It is now commonly believed they suffer from a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which keeps them from effectively understanding and managing their feelings, trusting people, and many feelings of guild, and inadequacy; all of this holding them back from living a fruitful life. Over 40% of victims having issues with relationships and specifically intimacy (Hinsliff).
Many of the victims perceive the abuse as punishment, so it would be fitting that the ones to supervise and/or deal out the punishment should be their victims. The punishment described above would only be part 1 of a series of torture the perpetrators of such evil acts would have to endure. For the next series of the punishment, the victims of the perpetrators would perpetrate their own form of torture (justice). As soon as the sinners were done with part one of being forced-fed their sexual organs, Satan would have them healed and present them with their victims, and as soon as they make eye contact, a meat grinder would be placed in their pubic area. I personally have not had to endure this type of abuse, but I have a few acquaintances that are still attempting to recover from such atrocities.
“Child Sexual Abuse Statistics – Darkness to Light.” Darkness2Light.Com, Darkness2Light, https://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/all_statistics_20150619.pdf.
Hinsliff, Gaby. “'It Never Stops Shaping You': The Legacy of Child Sexual Abuse – and How to Survive It.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 June 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/28/it-never-stops-shaping-you-the-legacy-of-child-sexual-abuse-and-how-to-survive-it.
"The Project Gutenberg eBook of the divine comedy, hell, by Dante Alighieri." www.gutenberg.org/files/1001/1001-h/1001-h.htm.