Monday, March 31, 2008

Truth is Stranger than Fiction in Child Abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Blue is the color of child abuse...
Black is for mourning...


Can't help wondering... what you're wondering about?

Today seems to be one of those kind of days when I just know I'm going to wake up any minute, shake my head and laugh with relief that I've just had the weirdest dream ever... or maybe it should be considered the most frightening nightmare?


Or somebody forgot its leap year so April Fools Day isn't until tomorrow? No such luck...

First there is this story about the man who several times a day goes outside on his deck naked, turns a round picnic table on its side and has sex with the umbrella hole...in full view of a nearby school.

Then there's this story about a training seminar on child abuse, where the Keynote speaker was Dr. Walter Lambert, medical director of the University of Miami's Child Protective Team. According to the the article the doctor's comment that "some cultural concepts change over time," refers "to how parents and schools used to hit children as a disciplinary measure."

Used to hit?
What world is he living on...not here on Earth for sure, where in the US every state still allows Corporal punishment by primary caregivers and most states still allow it in schools, and the US remains the only country that hasn't ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that calls for no spanking.

Another article in my e-mail points out that these were reported in the last few weeks, in just one county: " 3- and 7-year-old children suffered severe ongoing beatings with a belt…a 3-month-old boy who suffered numerous earlier injuries died of blunt-force trauma to the head….a 2-year-old girl was punished by her mother with blasts from a pressure washer…a 2-year-old boy was beaten with a T-ball bat…an 8-year-old boy was tied to a coffee table and beaten for three hours by a relative who was babysitting him….a 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy endured horrible physical and sexual abuse for more than six years."

In another state, an article mentions, "...babies suffocated in their sleep, on plastic bags, balloons or laundry carelessly left too close. Seven died after being hit, thrown, dropped or kicked. Two infants were shot; two others, starved..." but "no agency is responsible for a comprehensive assessment of child abuse and neglect here...the state Office of Children's Services, for instance, is responsible for situations within a family, but OCS usually has no authority if a baby sitter hits a toddler, or a health aide fails to recognize a critically ill infant, or a teacher has sex with a student."

And in yet another state in 2006, "15,798 confirmed cases of denial of critical care [neglect]....2,037 cases of physical injury were reported...839 cases of sexual abuse were founded in the state — the lowest number founded in more than 20 years."

And in another, it's reported that "over 60,000 children are confirmed child abuse victims each year in Texas."

Unfortunately I could go on...and on...and on.... but I won't. Not today, anyway. Statistics simply don't say all that much to most people.
But that precious baby at the top of this page? Remember her? She was a victim of child abuse.
On a stormy spring night she entered the world six weeks early as an innocent, 5 lb. 1 oz, and barely 17 inches long. She couldn't go home until she was ten days old.

When she was three weeks old, her mother hit her so hard on her bare bottom that the red mark lasted for hours. No doubt the psychic pain lasted far longer.
At three months her twenty month old sister dumped Ivory snow over her head. She turned blue, but was revived and survived after a few days in the hospital.

For the next ten years of her young life she was slapped, kicked, pushed, pulled, jerked around, bit, her hair pulled, hit with a belt, wooden spoon, metal edged ruler, sticks, locked in her room as punishment, and that's only part of the abuses she experienced from her mother, father, older sibling, and stepfather.
She survived all that, too.

What would you do to have spared her that beginning to her life?

What will you do to spare another child who suffers now as she suffered then?

Millions of children are reported abused each year in the US. Child abuse occurs at all socio-economic levels. Today a neighbor can be so overwhelmed by stress that she does the unthinkable. Tonight a friend can be so overwhelmed that he does the unimaginable. Research indicates tomorrow the same thing can happen to you. Don't be careless...anyone can become a child abuser given a terrible set of circumstances. Learn more about child abuse so you can make a positive difference for all children. The child you save could be one you know and love.

Here are links to just a few of the articles in my e-mail box today. Tomorrow there will be many more. And every day after... for how long????
A Child is Waiting,
Take care...be aware,
Nancy Lee

2 comments:

moses paul sserwanga said...

hi Nacy . I have visisted yr blog. Nice/ great work you are doing for the vulnerable children. keep going. Hope to continue networking. Cheers

yr can also drop me mail on my address;
msserwanga@monitor.co.ug

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