Monday, November 12, 2007

Why don't we say NO! to child abuse?

They take a paper and they read the headlines
So they've heard of unemployment
And they've heard of breadlines
And they philanthropically cure them all
By getting up a costume charity ball.
Ogden Nash

Can't help wondering...

if you ever wonder,

as I do,

if it will really has to take

12o years to end child abuse?

Even when a county reports a 500% increase in child abuse and neglect, budget demands may still call for cuts in funding child welfare programs. Why don't they say NO!?

Or perhaps, given the thousands of years of known child abuse,
and the low number of people saying NO!
to child abuse throughout that same time,
a plan to actually end child abuse
in three generations
might be more than we dare even hope for?

And the 40 million children suffering from child abuse now?

What's being done for them? Charity Balls and Golf Tournaments in the Cayman Islands?

Over 50% of American's admit to
witnessing child abuse but do nothing.

Why don't they say NO!?

Because, they say:
Not their business (67%).
Not sure how to respond (50%).
Don't want to have others think they're
overreacting (23%).
Concern about personal safety (19%).
Maybe the actions might be justified (17%).

Seems like all those reasons say more about the witnesses concern for themselves than any concern for the children being abused.
Why don't they say NO!?

And the parents who committ the abuse...those who are the overwhelming majority of all child abusers? The 37 percent of American parents who insult or swear at their children? The 50 percent who neglect their child’s emotional needs, the majority nearly daily? The 6 percent who hit, or try to their children with a hand or anything handy? The 1 percent who kick, bite or punch their children? The 4-5 every day who kill the children they caretake? Why don't they say NO!?

Doctors contribute to child abuse by not reporting obvious cases. They ignore evidence of neglect. They contribute to increased risk of superbugs by failing to say no when asked to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics.

Why don't they say NO!?

Teachers contribute to child abuse by failures to report and by abusing children, themselves.

Why don't they say NO!?

Some Child Welfare workers are advised to not cooperate in ways that might save some children from child abuse, because it's inconvenient...ineffective... response is insufficient...not cost effective and so forth, to deal with other agencies.

Why don't they say NO!?

Many child welfare agencies refuse to even explore alternative assessments of at risk families. They say yes to the opinions of those who claim "non-adversarial, nonthreatening" ways now available won't work.

Why don't they say NO!?

Other child welfare workers act as though removing children from dangerous homes is in the best interests of the child. They accept without questioning the belief that the child will be safer, healthier, happier, and "grow up more successfully" than if kept in the home.

Why don't they say NO!?

Those are only some of the designated mandated reporters...those who supposedly don't have a choice about reporting child abuse...those whom the law says must why don't they report?

Why don't they say NO!?

And what about tougher laws? Why do so many say no to that, but not to child abuse?

Why don't they say NO!?

And courts so under trained about child development, child psychology, and overburdened by impossible workloads they can't make the best decisions? Why don't they say NO!?

National media report high profile cases of child abuse, but not others and seem to follow a policy to avoid coverage of federal government's role in the prevention of child abuse?

Why don't they say NO!?

Kids don't vote, so children's issues don't have much importance with politicians choices for attention, so the emphasis is on everything except children's needs.

Why don't they say NO!?

No to child abuse. No to child neglect. No to all forms of child maltreatment. No to easy-off for convicted child neglecters, convicted child abusers, convicted child killers. No to lax standards about reporting. No to any exceptions for mandated reporting. No to laws left to languish in committees. No to re-electing politicians who do nothing for children. No to politicians who do anything to add to the harm of children. No to corporations who knowingly market dangerous products for children. No to corporations who knowingly market dangerous products to children. No to agencies who won't even consider alternative methods for dealing with child abuse reports. No to underfunding of programs working with at-risk parents known to reduce child abuse and its aftereffects to society and save $4 for every $1 invested. No to reduced funding of effective pre-schools when that's known to reduce child abuse, increase school success and reduce crime. No to doctors who prescribe unnessessary antibiotics to children thereby leading to the development of super-bugs, like MRSA, that now kill those children.

See how easy? All we have to do to stop child abuse is just say NO!? Believe that? Right. Well then why don't we?

My guess is too many of us simply can't seem to say no to anything...including child abuse when we see it. I wonder if that's related to the fact that so many of us were abused as children and now lack the spirit or the will to stand up for anything, or anyone, no matter how important, or how much we want to?

It could become law today that everyone must report child abuse or face the consequences, but I wonder if there would be any reduction in the 40 million cases of child abuse? Sadly, I think not, as long as half of us can witness child abuse and do nothing.

A Child is Waiting,
Take aware,
Nancy Lee

No comments: