Help Stop Child Abuse
By Anna A.
Washington, Age 14
Pretend you come home from school, and you know your mom is waiting for you right behind the door. You say goodbye to your friends on the bus, hiding your fear behind a smile. As you walk in the door, she grabs you by your arm and pulls you into the kitchen. The dishes aren’t done, and you know what’s next. Your punishment is a brutal beating that you are going to have to cover from your friends with more clothes and make-up. This is called Child Abuse. It happens to roughly 2450 kid’s everyday (Iannelli,1), and you have the power to stop it. Don’t let kids suffer from something that you are able to help stop.
Think about the 2450 kids who are being physically and emotionally abused each day. 1 in 5 of them, are murdered (www.karisable.com, 2). Child Abuse is very similar to a chain reaction. Kids who grow up in an abusive, home and don’t receive help, grow up thinking that abuse is a positive thing to do. So by the time they grow up and form a family, they are likely to continue the chain by abusing their family. Those kids who are being murdered could have had a chance to live a better life, if only someone had had the courage to report them, without being afraid of “interfering in someone else’s family” when they could actually be making an enormous difference in a child’s life (www.helpguide.org, 5).
A lot of people use excuses for not having reported a child who is or was in an abusive home. As an excuse for not reporting a child, many people say that they wouldn’t want to break up someone’s home/family. However, CPS (Child Protective Services) doesn’t immediately take the child from the home-unless the child is clearly in danger. CPS offers anger management classes for the parents as well as other recourses, if safe for the child (www.helpguide.org, 5). A good reason for you to report a child is because by not doing so, you are actually helping continue the child abuse cycle. If that child continues to stay in the abusive family and receive no help at all, he/she is most likely to end up abusing their future family.
Take for example the story of Jazques M, a three-year old boy who is now dead because of his mom’s and grandmothers poor treatment. On a Sunday morning deputies rushed to a medical call. deputies found an unresponsive 3-year old boy, who had 3-degree burns on over half of his body. He was rushed to a Medical Center by paramedics, where later he was pronounced dead. An investigation proved that Valerie K, the boy’s mom, made him sit in a tub of scalding water as a form of punishment. She had also turned him over to the boy’s grandmother after being severely burned, and yet his grandmother, Annie W, didn’t bother to seek professional help or medical care. Both women are now in jail, but it was already too late to save Jazques’s life (O’Neil, Dets, 1). Is this the type of future we want in our country, or do we want to do much better and make our world a better place?
Don’t ignore the kids’ cries for help. Make a difference in their lives. The most obvious signs of abuse are the physical signs. Although it is normal for kids to fall and hurt themselves once in a while, injuries that seem to have a pattern, like marks from a hand or a belt are very common. As well as unexplained bruises and deep cuts. Other signs of abuse are kids being shy or fearful, and they may seem to be afraid to go home. These are behavioral signs, as well as dressing improperly. That is, wearing long-sleeve shirts on hot summer days (www.helpguide.org, 4). But there are ways to stop this abuse.
Here’s what you can do to help. You can go to local organizations, if there is one available around your city/town to report a child. Although the easiest way to do report a child is to call a Child Abuse Hotline and out of several hotlines, the National Child Abuse Hotline is the most popular. If you ever see a child having suspicious physical or behavioral signs of abuse, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (www.helpguide.org, 5). Don’t just stand there and ignore the kids who are trying to let you know that they need help.
So think about it. Put yourself in these kids’ shoes. Would you want people to ignore your cries for help, or try and get you out of the family your in and place you in a better home. You wouldn’t want to spend your last days in a home with a family who doesn’t love you, or would you? So get up off the couch, look out the window, and look for kids who need your help. You have the ability to help kids world wide, so why not use it now?