Who Will Speak for the Children?

***Trigger Warning*** For a highly emotionally charged post.

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This post will not be fun to read. It was very hard to write and may be triggering to some. I do not give graphic details on my blog, but this article is going to touch on some extremely emotional subjects, and I wanted to warn my readers of this.

The greatest weapon a pedophile has is the silence that surrounds their crime. We, as a society, would rather turn our heads and pretend it doesn’t happen, then to answer the cries of our most innocent and powerless citizens. Having survived such treatment as a child, I understand all too well the heartache and fear that accompanies being hurt repeatedly by the people who you love, and who should be taking care of you. When, as an adult, I began searching for help from my family, friends, and coworkers, I was met with a wall of denial and silence. As I struggled to gain a handle on my life that had been shattered by neglect and abuse, I began to ask the question, “Who speaks for the children?”

It is a Horrible Crime Against Humanity

I know that speaking about this horrible crime against humanity is uncomfortable and miserable. There is a part of every human that wants to believe that torture and abuse of children simply cannot be real. We would rather believe that the victims are themselves the perpetrators, lying to gain attention money. However, who would want to willingly face the ostracism of all they know, just to tell a fantastic lie. Also, the chances of winning a monetary award for fabricating tales is slim to none.

The Pain and Grief Could Have Been Avoided

The losses faced by adult survivors are only now being studied and acknowledged. However, I put it to you that all this grief and pain could have been prevented if someone had spoken up for them when they were children.

Some Damn Hard and Ugly Questions

Who speaks for the children?

Who will not turn their heads when they suspect abuse?

Who will stop looking away from children who are misbehaving in school, or in Sunday school?

Who will ask the question, ”Is there a reason for her/him to be sitting alone not playing with the other kids?”

Is abuse or neglect happening to this child at home? Elsewhere?

The questions are hard because sometimes the reasons behind a child’s strange or disturbed behavior are ugly.

A Personal Point of View from My Own Life

When I was born, two people who were supposed to care for my needs, abused that privilege. Because I have sworn never to give details or names, I will not. Suffice it to say, the trauma caused by these events changed my ability to form a cohesive personality, and I began to dissociate at a very age and to form dissociative identity disorder. The abuse went on for fifteen years and included torture, rape, and many other unmentionable things. I was withdrawn, quiet, and didn’t want to play. I was taken to neurologists and specialists to find out why I was so depressed at the age of six. When I was seven, I attempted to jump out a very high window but was talking in off the ledge. Yet, none of the doctors, specialists, nurses, other family members or teachers ever asked themselves the hard question, “What could be making her act this way?” I was considered an anomaly and given the diagnosis of epilepsy. They gave me lots of medication to treat me for depression, and the supposed epilepsy, but no one suggested I see a therapist. No one cared. Had someone had stepped in early in my life, and taken the necessary steps to protect me, I would not have needed thirty years of psychotherapy. I need not have lost relationships, jobs and opportunities. Life would have been radically different.

Who will speak up for the children?

My brother had a terrible time in school. He couldn’t sit still, was disruptive, and got in fights with his teachers. At home, he would wake at night screaming and trying to climb the wall beside his bed in terror. He was taken to the doctor for his nightmares and school problems and given the diagnosis of what was then called hyperactivity.  No teacher, doctor, or school principal ever asked the hard question, “What is going on with this child?” Instead, he was labeled a ‘problem child’, and his reputation was passed from grade to grade. He was hated by one teacher, who said so out loud to him in front of his friends. He was considered a ‘bad child’ when he was in enormous psychological pain. You see, when he wasn’t supervised, bathed, or fed. From a very young age, he had to fend for himself, depending on his sister (me) who was three years older than him to help him find ways to fill his empty belly and stay alive. He was also sexually molested by a person he loved and should have been caring for his needs. His behavior at school and elsewhere was a cry for help, but no one listened.

Who will speak for the children?

Unfortunately, These are Not Anomalous Stories

The examples I gave from my own life aren’t anomalies, they are tragically very normal. Compared to some children’s treatment, they may even be tame! The long-lasting effects of the mistreatment of children are horrendous. Some go on to treat their children as they have been treated, while others end up in the criminal justice system because they use drugs and/or alcohol to numb out what had been their reality.

More Tough Questions That MUST Be Asked

Who will speak for the children?

Are we all deaf? Can’t we hear the desperate cries of the kids who are helpless to change the horror they live through every day?

Are we numb? Do we not care what happens to the wee ones in the night?

Are we like the people of Nazi Germany? Turning our heads and pretending we don’t see, even when the ashes of innocent victims are falling from the sky all around us?

Who will speak for the children?

This Piece Wasn’t Meant To Be An Easy Read

This piece was intended to shake people out of their complacency. I’m not advocating for horrible things to be done to perpetrators, that would be self-defeating. What I am advocating for is for the citizens of the world to stop looking away, and to become part of the solution. We must take a hard look at what is happening to the innocents all around us, and open a dialogue that is truthful and non-judgmental. What good will trying to place the blame on others going to do for the children who are hungry and struggling to remain sane and alive? No, without finger pointing, we must speak up in public about pedophilia, and child abuse. We must do research to see if there is a way to help those who commit such horrendous crimes against humanity and ways to aid those for whom salvation from their nightmare lives is coming too late.

Who will speak for the children?

Will it be you?

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“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela