Putting Children First

I read the news today, oh boy!
The front page headline news today was, again, covering a story of extreme abuse and torture of a child. The story was detailed and it was extreme. Truth be told, I had to put the paper down more than once to stifle my anger and to wipe away my tears. At 9 years old this girl has spent her life in fear. Sadly, she probably doesn’t know anything but fear.

Loyalty, love, protection and warmth have been all but absent in her short life. She’s been cut by a machete with salt and boiling water poured into the new, angry wounds. She’s been kicked in the crotch by steel capped boots repeatedly. She’s been starved and dehydrated. She’s been punched and kicked. She’s been systematically broken down. And who caused these inhumane offenses? Who was it who took such pleasure in the pain of an innocent child? It was her mother.

Yep, read those words again. Imagine the sheer terror that invaded this child’s life everyday and then say the words: her mother.

Her mother did it.

A nationwide ill.
This is just one story of child abuse that has come to light in New Zealand recently. It seems though, that each day we’re reading about children killed, maimed, murdered by their parents. The people that children should be able to look to for protection are the same people that are finding perverse pleasure in assaulting them – physically and otherwise.

And what of the stories we don’t hear of? How many kids are being tortured and abused? We may never know. If the closest thing to Heaven is a child, the New Zealand is headed for hell. I say this because the mother mentioned above only got 7 years in prison (5 non-parole) when prosecuted in court today. She’ll be out to beat more future children in the blink of an eye, and the cycle will continue.

Something that infuriated me beyond words was the stance of a group of people who actually had the gall to blame social agencies for the continual abuse. Instead of throwing the book at the person who made the choice to abuse and torture, they blame the government. Really? What happened to personal responsibility and taking ownership of our actions? The agency didn’t kick the child. The agency didn’t starve the child. The agency didn’t breed fear in the child. And the agency didn’t torture the child.

Not only did the girl’s mother abuse her child (or, as it turns out, her children – plural) she also abused the system. Having systems in place to help people, doesn’t mean that the systems themselves are at fault when individuals continue to abuse. Social agencies are only able to help people who want help. Psychopaths who think it’s okay to beat kids will not be changed by agencies.

Always put the children first.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I know a fail-proof way of ending child abuse here in New Zealand and beyond, it’s simple and easy: ALWAYS PUT CHILDREN FIRST. Bleeding hearts will not heal what ails society when it comes to protecting our children. It is families behind closed doors choosing not to abuse. It’s the court system making children, the innocents in the equation, the most important commodity we’ve got.

People can go to jail for life for smuggling drugs or embezzling money – but you beat the life out of a child and you’re free in no time with no punishment to speak of. Families stay quiet and protect abusers. What about the kids?

Let’s talk about the death penalty. Let’s talk about sterilisation. Let’s talk about taking away all rights from these beasts. Let’s talk about making the victims the people who deserve the social services – not the sick criminals. As you can tell, I am very passionate about this and about protecting kids. Someone said to me today that this is “not just black and white” and I called them out on it.

That’s crap. Abuse is black and white. We all make decisions on how we will act or react. We all get tired, stressed and overwhelmed. But we all don’t beat our children senseless. Every person can choose to act or react violently or not. And it’s when we start adding shades of grey to this and adding excuses for the criminals that society starts condoning abuse of our most precious assets.

So let’s talk about it. More than talk though, let’s act.

Come on New Zealand, let’s commit as a nation to ALWAYS PUT KIDS FIRST.

#KidsFirst

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