Every day should be, but April is officially Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 6, 2008 12:15 am
One afternoon my daughter came home from school talking about a little boy in her class who was covered in thick scars.
“His mama threw him into a glass table,” she said. “Now he lives with his grandmother.”
This boy, as horrible as his situation, was one of the luckier ones in North Carolina, where more than 100,000 children are reported abused and neglected each year. As a nation, that number jumps to 5 million cases.
According to Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, 4,000 of these children live in Buncombe County.
A couple of months ago, I was asked by the CEO of Child Abuse Prevention Services Inc. to serve on its board. The goal of the group is to reduce this tragic crime and to strengthen and make families better through all sorts of measures including prevention, education and counseling.
Bill McGuire, head of the nonprofit, along with board members and volunteers, are doing all they can to enlighten the population and prevent our kids from going through physical, sexual, even verbal abuse and neglect.
While April is officially Child Abuse Prevention Month, every day, every moment should be one of stopping these horrific incidents.
The abuse is so bad here, the Child Health Report Card from the N.C. Child Advocacy Institute gave North Carolina D’s and F’s in child abuse and neglect, stating if it were a communicable disease, it would be declared an epidemic.
Research from Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina shows 1 out of 5 children will be abused, half younger than 6. Most tragically is that four children will die every day from abuse, often preventable through education, counseling and personal safety programs.
One afternoon, my daughter, having recently heard the prevention program in school, proved these outreach measures are working. She was acting up, and my temper began rising.
“OK,” I said, “If this behavior doesn’t stop immediately I’m going to have to spank you.” The words flew out of my mouth.
“You can’t spank me. We learned no hitting in school,” my daughter said.
I wasn’t really going to spank her; it was simply an expression I’d heard most of my life. The fact is, my parents spanked my sister and me. It was the way of the parental world in the ’50s and ’60s.
But that was then.
It can’t be that way now. Too often spankings and corporal punishment go hand-in-hand with scorching anger that leads to violent, even deadly actions.
On a brighter note, McGuire said plenty of success stories have resulted from Child Abuse Prevention Services here in Asheville.
One of those involves an 8-year-old boy whose mother’s boyfriend shoved him into a clothes dryer. This same child witnessed the boyfriend shoot himself in the head.
“(He) came here depressed and sad and now comes skipping and smiling,” McGuire said of the results from counseling sessions at the center. “The children are truly getting help, have hope, and the opportunity to reach their potential.”
This is what every child should have.
They need their parents’ unconditional love and attention, not just a TV shoved in their faces. They crave kind words pouring from their parents’ lips, not screams and vicious put-downs.
They are entitled to a childhood free from cruelty in any form.
That old saying is supposed to explain why children do not inspire fear and respect among elected leaders. But the real reason children always lose out in the political arena is that adults don't fight for children the way they fight for themselves.
Children don't vote but neither do firearms, clean air, or whales. Adults protect their self-interests with money, lobbyists, and modern campaign strategies. Children make no political contributions, don't hire media specialists, and can't form PACs.
Judge, Judge Not-?
This is fiction. To say that it is based on a true story is stretching it
considerably. I c o u l d have been the girl who is on trial, but then a lot of us could say that. [Right?} I suspect that cowardice had more to do with my failure to 'snap' than anything as admirable as self-control. 'Morals?' On one occasion, I remember saving my brother by hurling myself. . .never mind. There should have been a lot of times.
Thank God guns were a not as plentiful back then. Never one on the premises.
There but for the grace!!! Thank you for being here. Love, Peace, and Freedom. . .Happy and Healthy Children!!
Ladies and gentleman. a prosecutor shuddered,
Fingering his rep tie and silk-wool vest,.
The girl murdered her mother. Her mother!
The least you can do is put her to death.
Evidence shows a single shot to the head
Killed the victim instantly. Pow!!
The accused and her sibling may not have been fed,
But that is not at issue. Remember that, now..
The victim was cruel, you heard witnesses say.
She whipped the two bloody. She shut them away.
Locked up and escaped to a bar a couple days..
Leaving them with little to do but pray.
I love my kids, the victim has been said to say..
Got things to do, don't I!. Can't say I spare the rod..
So I leave the odd mark on their hide . .hey!
I am human, not fornicatin' God..
For the defense's part, they took the risk
Of calling the accused to the stand. So blue,
She was mute, then sounded oddly brisk,
She sighed toward the end, I am human, too.
I knew it was a crime when I killed Mother.
I know I deserve the Chair.
But no one -- no one -- hurts my little brother..
She broke his arm! She pulled out his hair!
I tried to get someone to help. I did.
It was her or him, I swear.
Don't try to hide when she blows her lid,
so I get out her gun and wave it in the air.
Mother caught me by the wrist and twisted,
and that is when I fired, and only then...
Brother a brother, right? Big sister, big sister?.