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Social Issue-Child Abuse

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posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 07:18 PM
There are many ways to abuse another person.

Some are subtle. Some are overt.

One of the cruelest forms of abuse is so subtle that it can be hard to prove and as far as I know is perfectly legal.

It's called ostracism.

From there abuse gets more obvious and closer to crossing the legal line.

There is emotional abuse which can be subtle or overt.

Small words can hurt. Often repeated they can take on a life of their own, as it were, made real by the person against whom they are used.

Emotional abuse when used against adults can be little more than annoying, or it can be enter the realm of harassment.

Then of course there is physical abuse which is both overt and illegal, though not always obvious.

Any form of abuse against a child takes on a character all its own.

Abusing children is illegal in almost any form it can take.

Failure to report child abuse in many, if not all, states is illegal and citizens are encouraged to report even suspected abuse.

The following case exemplifies the most heinous form of abuse: physical abuse against a child who is too young to comprehend virtually anything.

A Winter Haven man is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 4-month-old daughter.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, 28-year-old Marcos Gomez-Romero told investigators that he beat Ariana Rodriguez Romero to death because he wanted a son, not a daughter. He told investigators that the beatings had gone on for months.

Take time to read this affidavit.

This is not the only case of child abuse in the national news at this time.

The current methods of eliminating child abuse are not working and often the cure is worse than the crime, though in this case nothing could have been worse.

Let us examine this phenomenon called child abuse.

Why is it so prevalent?

Why can't we get a handle on it?

Why are Child Protective Services not more proactive?

Can they be more proactive?

What can we do about it?

posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 10:15 PM
I find these stories equally maddening and heartbreaking. I have to ask where were the other adults in this child's life? They must have known something was wrong; why in the world didn't they take action to save this child's life? Where was the mother? I believe the other adults to be just as guilty as this sperm donor. He isn't much of a man and he certainly is no father.

As to your questions:

I believe that it has become more prevelant for a couple of different reasons.

First we as a society no longer take personnal responsibility for our actions or our inaction. It's never our fault and there are a myriad of excuses ranging from I have an addiction of some sort to I had a bad day.

Violence has become a social norm; we see it every day and I believe that we become numb to it. It no longer shocks us as it should; we read about instances like this and say "Oh too bad" and by the next day we've moved on to something else.

Neighbors are no longer neighbors in the classical sense; we no longer interact in a positive fashion with each other. It used to be that kids were watched out for by the neighborhood; we were friends and pulled together during times of adversity and supported one another. That no longer really happens. Although to be fair I did see a sort of revival of that here during our wind storm where neighbors helped each other; but that sort of bonding if you will used to happen daily; not so much anymore.

We won't get a handle on this until we as a society stop being afraid to get involved. If you see abuse happening report it; if you see a friend, family member or neighbor getting overwhelmed give them a break; speak up and help don't worry about being intrusive or being termed a nosy busybody; act. I recall being in a store about two years ago; I observed a young Mom with a toddler; it was obvious that the toddler was having a bad day; lots of screaming. It was equally obvious that Mom was at the end of her rope. I smiled at her and mentioned that her child was adorable but it was sometimes tough to be a parent and how lucky she was. She smiled, a tired smile, but a smile none the less and said she thought that maybe a nap for both was in order. She thanked me and we moved on. Let's try giving the kind word it does make a difference.

Many times CPS has its hands tied and can't take the action that needs to be taken. Laws protect seemingly the rights of the parents over the right of the child to be safe and protected. Social workers are over worked and programs to help families are scarce usually due to money constraints.

Ulitimately the cure for Child Abuse lies in each and every one of us. We need to stand and do the right thing. The right thing isn't always the easy action to take. Child Abuse can be prevented and stopped but it is up to us to do it and not to rely on the government. We need to follow Seagull's example when he joined with other adults to stop a mother from beating her little girl in the mall parking lot and then was willing to testify. Actions like that are the only way to stop it.

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 12:09 AM
Nice well thought out response, gallopinghordes.

I think you covered the issues quite well.

We are more isolated from our neighbors than we used to be. Many neighborhoods these days are ghost towns during the daylight hours with both parents working and children in daycare or school.

Who really has time to get to know each other beyond a passing acquaintance?

And it's true that if a neighbor dares to correct another's child, you're looking for a fight or a lawsuit. Teachers can't instill discipline in kids without risking life, limb, and a lawsuit.

Violence is everywhere. The television is a veritable font of profanity, violence, inappropriate sexual content, and the rantings of low-life scum.

Yes. CPS workers are worked to death and the turnover is so rapid that the departments are forever off-balance, while a turf war rages over the control of innocent lives.

Children who were removed from their homes to protect them from danger are shuttled from home to home and institution to institution and in the process they learn that no one can be trusted and their lives are run by committees who can't possibly know or care about them in any real sense--only in some statistical sense, as a feel good project or supplemental income.

Moreover, the CPS hotlines are often used as tools of vengeance because callers can choose to be anonymous and very much money and time is spent snooping into the lives of those who have done no wrong.

But, let's look at causes deeper than the ones we've noted.

Somewhere along the line, values changed. Yes, I know, horrors like this have always occurred and in the old days news didn't travel quite so fast and family matter were considered family matters, but there was a time when society was not in such disarray.

Is this burgeoning problem causal or symptomatic?

Can we possibly pass enough laws to protect the children?

Or, is it that we just don't care about the children anymore, choosing rather to leave it all up to the government?

Is this weakness from within our Achilles' heel?

Will we succumb ultimately because we forgot how to raise responsible, productive adults to carry on that heritage that was bequeath to us?

[edit on 2008/1/14 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:40 AM

There was abuse in my family.

Sexual and verbal.

Due to the inherent anonymity of ATS and the healing aspects of discussion, I have no problem of relating a personal story.

My Granny raised me after my parent abandoned me. I was lucky. My Father kept my sister.

She lived a childhood of Hell on earth. Physical beatings and sexual abuse from the time she was a baby, until she left at age 18.

My family as a general rule, blamed my sister for this. That is correct, they blamed her! They even went so far as to make excuses for why my Father abandoned me, saying it must have been a mistake and he forgot. Yeah, forgot me on a street corner in the middle of the day. Luckily a Police Officer found me and took me to child services. I was 3.

The general social environment that existed, and to some extent still exists in that area, either accepts child abuse as the "norm" or equates the blame to the child for causing the parent to become, "Upset", "Aroused" or whatever else may fit the scenario.

I'm currently on some pain meds, but I'll go deeper later..


posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 07:45 PM
I think that galloping hit on a big part of the problem right off the hop...

First we as a society no longer take personnal responsibility for our actions or our inaction. It's never our fault and there are a myriad of excuses ranging from I have an addiction of some sort to I had a bad day.

It has become the norm for us, as a society, to blame things on others instead of owning up to our responsibilities and mistakes. There has been a couple of high profile cases in my region recently of serious child abuse. One left a four month old girl with a large gash on her head, a broken leg and bite marks on her thighs. The defence lawyer tried to blame it on the fact that the father was "slow" or handicapped mentally. Turns out, the father was pissed at his girlfriend for going to a friends house and leaving him with the child and her older brother.

There was another here that I don't want to really discuss, it is horrific, but the defence brought in "experts" to say she didn't know what she was doing and was suffering from mental illness and not responsible for her actions. It turns out that the whole thing was premeditated and well thought out.

Both have been found guilty. The father in the first case was sentenced to 2 years. For some heinous acts against a 4 month old defenceless little girl whom now, due to her head injuries, displays serious development issues. The kicker, the family in question had a history of abuse and neglect. They had several children taken from them in Nova Scotia a few years ago but CPS here in New Brunswick couldn't use this information, even if they knew about it, because of some law prohibiting the sharing of information between jurisdictions due to privacy concerns. Now I am all for the need for privacy but when a child's or children's safety is concerned, to hell with your privacy. The kids need to be protected from people like that. The only time the father apologized was after he was found guilty. Before, he changed his story at least four times to try and get away with it.

In the other case, the woman was found guilty and is awaiting sentencing. The whole defence revolved around her not being responsible for her actions. They had psychiatrists, psychologists, personality disorder experts all testify that she was suffering from a disembodied state and wasn't aware of her actions.

I also agree with gh on that we have become a culture of individuals and not the collective society we were a couple of generations ago. Remember the old saying "It takes a village to raise a child"? In all but a few rare instances, this isn't the norm anymore. We now have a global village that is virtual and we have become disassociated from the collective. It is much easier to recognize a problem when there is a group that is familiar with each other and is comfortable enough to talk about issues such as this one.

It's sad to think that we have gotten so far away from each other that we can see a child that we suspect may be being abused and we don't feel a moral responsibility to do something about it. "It's not my problem" or "I have enough problems of my own, I don't need to get involved with that." Two phrases that shouldn't be mentioned when it comes to children's safety. The safety of our kids is all our problem's.


Ok I have lost my train of thought. Too many things to say. I'll post some thing else here in a while. Just need to collect my self.

[edit on 14-1-2008 by GAOTU789]

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 08:44 PM
We have two very good assessments of the problem.

How is it that we got to where we are now from where we were before?

What needs to happen to try and turn things around a little?

Why are we no longer responsible?

I have my own ideas, but I'd like to hear what others think.

These changes didn't happen over night and there are those among us who have lived through these changes.

We also have those among us who have known nothing else, but know of the consequences of these social changes.

There must be those who can shed some personal light on the subject.

[edit on 2008/1/15 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 11:04 PM

How is it that we got to where we are now from where we were before?

In the area where I grew up, the problem is exactly "Where we were before."

The psychology of a "perfect son" and the woman being the fault of abuse, be it sexual or physical, child or adult, is as ingrained into that society as "Beans and Taters."

My sister today, is a wreck. She suffers from severe Clinical Depression, (Way deeper than mine) and attachment issues. (Go Figure huh?)

The death of our father hit her really hard as she always carried an attachment. I'm telling you there is no sickness more insidious than the one we are discussing. None more damaging to the young mind or more destructive.

I try and be there for her as much as I can, support and "Brotherly Love" but of course she has her life and I have to let her lead it.

I know the Christen thing to do is forgive, but God help me, I confronted him a few times when I became an adult. I got tired of being hauled off by the Police, (Remember I have not always been a cop), so I just disappeared. I never could get her to go to the District Attorney and seek some form of justice. Again, she has her own mind.

She never even finished High School. She is the smart one of us and that was a crime in and of itself. She carried a 4.0 all the way until she was made to drop out senior year.
Seems she got pregnant and after "he" paid for the abortion, his "new" wife threw her out on the street. She walked to a nearby house and stayed with neighbors until she moved in with a guy she had been interested in. 20 years her senior and VERY physically abusive.. (Out of the frying pan, into the fire)

Some may be shocked that I am/can talk so freely about this. Two things. One I have taken steps to ensure her anonymity and the absolute truth is, there is healing in the telling.
Much like other horrible actions, abuse hates the light. The more we all know about this, the stronger we all become and better able to combat it together...


Thank you for this thread..


posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 09:23 AM
In today's society we're so concerned with imaginary victims, that we've seemingly stopped seeing and helping the true victims. Abused children, women, and men, who need our help are out there.

I've stepped in when I deemed it neccessary on 3 different occasions, all involving abuse and/or neglect. But all too often, people are afraid to do so for fear of being wrong, or being harmed by the person abusing. It's not that they don't want to help, it's fear.

We aren't as connected a society as we once were. Once upon a time, we knew our neighbors. Now? We seem to rarely even know their names. It didn't used to be that way...

Whether abuse is more common now than it was, I really don't know...I suspect that it is, at least to a degree. Your neighbors aren't as likely to notice that something is wrong as they would have been years ago.

Honestly, I don't think that abuse is more common now than it was say a hundred years ago for the size of the population.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:53 PM
reply to post by GradyPhilpott

I read this thread when it was first put up and decided to go away and have a think about it... I wasn't getting anywhere, all of my ideas seemed to sooner rather than later hit a brick wall.

Time, money and man power. Will always be huge factors in stopping any social problem.

Another thing that kept resurfacing in my mind was economics. Over the last 15/20 years it has become more and more common for both parents to work, with the upper income earners employing maids, nannies and using child care day centres. And the lower income earners leaving the kids to fend for themselves, watched by nieghbours or relatives or it would seem more often that not the kids just get the TV for company.

As far as I am concerned leaving your child with a maid or as they are called in Hong Kong a domestic helper all day is child abuse, most of the DH's couldn't give a rats ass about the kids it's an form of negligence. That said, my sis is a Professional Nanny in London (if you have ever seen the Super Nanny programme with Joe Frost I think her name is - She is so much like my sister it's scary) The kids she looks after are sooooo lucky to have her, even if their parents are never around.

Now the reason I eventually came back to this thread was a news paper story. This morning in the local paper (Chinese) was the story of a 9 year old girl that hung herself. The reason she did this: she didn't come first in her exams, as she had done for the last 2 years.

That is freaking awful. Her parents studied with her everyday, yet they didn't see the wood for the trees. The pressure a 9 year old must have felt to kill themselves, must have been unthinkable. This in my mind is abuse. The child must have believed that her parents wouldn't love her/ want her if she wasn't first.


I'm very sorry to say, but I don't think there are suitable answers to your questions, there are stop gaps, there are improvements within the systems, but there are no ultimate answers.

I, like seagull, am not sure that abuse is anymore wide spread now that it was 100 years ago. Maybe (again) the mass media has expanded a problem, because of the shock tactics used to sell papers and get ratings.

Just spending so much time thinking about this, is getting me down. Kudos to the people who work day in and out with these issues.


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