Harry Potter Revisited by Adults: The Dursleys Should Be In Jail

Harry Potter Revisited by Adults: The Dursleys Should Be In Jail
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Lord Voldemort is certainly an archvillain in the Harry Potter franchise, but there is one family in the HP universe that can be described as one of the most disgusting muggles to ever inhabit this planet.

They are the Dursleys. The only thing they do is torture Harry Potter. As a kid you find them nasty but once you've become a grown-up person you will see much more in their attitude towards Harry Potter.

What if we judge their actions and the way they took care of Harry based on the modern-day laws and norms? Imagine you see a boy in shabby clothes, wearing broken glasses. The kid would turn up every day wearing the same worn out garments with his glasses never fixed. What would you think of the family he's been born to?

"I have worked with kids and we were taught to look for signs like that. A kid showing up with broken glasses that never gets replaced, wearing clothes too large for him, continuously picked on by an older cousin who doesn't seem to be having these problems, would have definitely prompted me to make a phone call," says u/Fourthhorseman45 in a thread on Reddit.

The redditor argues that if police officers and social workers turned up and saw that Harry normally spends his night in the closet although there is a bedroom available and the family he lives with is quite well off and have plenty of money for the second kid, the family would be immediately arrested for child abuse. This is a fair point indeed.

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Another redditor, who is a teacher, argues that he would only "make calls when my students told me their grown-up was harming them". In Harry's case we don't hear of any physical abuse, just neglect, but he is still clothed and fed. After all, a child in ill-fitting clothes with broken glasses can hardly be a reason good enough to call the authorities. But could his broken glasses be a sign that someone punched him in the face? Why not?

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There could be a possible explanation why no one tries to jail the Dursley. It is often the case that victims of child abuse keep silent at school about their problems due to conditioning. Even when they know that what's being done to them is unacceptable, they don't speak up because most likely they are told that they will face consequences if they do. This is called a "threat," it can be interpreted as psychological violence, which is a crime. Especially when a kid has been raised by these people since he was a baby and knows nothing about the outside world. "This is a classic case," another Harry Potter fan says.

One of the most interesting takes on the Dursley is that J.K. Rowling has introduced their arc with a goal to attract attention to orphans being raised in adoptive families and to children protection laws. Harry showed no scars or bruises and no one ever bothered to call the police.

"Dursleys raised him like any unwanted child would be raised. Harry was underfed, overworked and bullied almost daily," one of the fans says.