Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Spending Time...and Resources...Wisely?

If we can spend
four days on a cat's custody,
we can spend a little time
on what happens to women and children
after they leave an abusive relationship.

Can't help we set our priorities when it comes to child abuse?

Recently, in the local news: a story about a 34 year old mother who allegedly murdered her newborn last year by putting her in two plastic bags. She just gave birth to another healthy baby girl. What concerns me even more than usual about this story is that there is also a 13 year old daughter in the home. I can't help but wonder why the 13 year old daughter wasn't removed from the home after the death of the other baby last year. Was this wise?

But wise or not, there are stories galore on siblings left in a home after a child was killed there. And stories galore with an element that defies belief but somehow gets accepted as truth for lack of evidence to the contrary. Babies accidentally rolled on by sleeping adults... babies left alone in a tub who mysteriously drown...babies who can barely stand who turn on the hot water tap and get scalded to death...babies dead while their killers go free by agreeing to lesser charges. Wise use of time and resources?

There are ways to learn and explore methods of preventing child abuse. There are organizations like Comfort House, working on developing more effective ways to work with children after abuse without further traumatizing them by repeated interviews. There are alternatives to the ways we presently use time and resources in relationship to child abuse. But there still seems to be even more ways to avoid making any changes that might seriously change the outcomes for children at risk. Wise? Why not?

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