Ever since I heard the news of yet another precious child being found dead, I can’t seem to get her off my mind; another innocent young soul’s life taken away too soon at the hands of another. Why is this happening so often, and why are these children not being protected from such cruelty?
I wrote a status just the other day, venting about what I’d seen on a news report about this child’s death. When I read the report of what had happened with this child, it saddened me and made me angry, as I’m sure it made many people feel. But as I scrolled down and read some of the comments people had made, I became frustrated at the ignorance of some of the words I was reading. People coming to their own conclusions about what had happened, making disgusting comments about her parents, and all this was before anyone had any idea who was responsible.
Of course, now it has been found that the stepfather was responsible for her death, however, it doesn’t change the fact that these people were being so careless with their words. The first people that I thought of when reading these comments were this little angel’s family. Nowadays nearly everyone has Facebook, including children. I couldn’t help but think of those poor family members (aunties, grandparents, her sisters etc) who likely saw everything that was posted. I wish people would consider the feelings of those that love these lost children before commenting so irresponsibly. This is not the first time it has happened either- every single time a child has lost their life, people are very quick to jump on social media and accuse people or put their two cents in, long before any details have been confirmed.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that so many people are very much for the death penalty in these instances. While I appreciate that society is angry about these children losing their lives, I wholeheartedly disagree with these people who say “bring back the death penalty”, and simply because I feel that being put to death would be the easy way out. These people need to be held accountable for their actions and be forced to spend the rest of their lives in prison, living with what they’ve done. This is just my opinion, however. Obviously, locking them away wouldn’t make the pain any more bearable, and it won’t bring back the child the families have lost, but neither would the death penalty.
Far too often nowadays, we are seeing innocent children being abused and worse still, murdered, and it seems to be happening more and more lately. It’s heartbreaking and leaves most of us confused as to how someone could possibly harm a child. Particularly for those of us who are parents ourselves, it really does hit a nerve and personally, makes me sick to the stomach. Any crime against a child is just incomprehensible and gut wrenching, to say the least.
I can’t help but wonder however whether this is a sign to awaken humanity to what the real underlying problem may be. In my opinion, not enough is being done about these children that are in environments that are potentially life threatening; not to mention the emotional, physical and mental damage that so many children are at risk of. While I appreciate that child protection do investigate most reports (I have experience dealing with them, both professionally through my work in early childhood education, and personally), unfortunately regulations and funding limit what can be done in these situations.
The government needs to step it up and provide more support for those working in the field to allow them to do their jobs properly, which is what they’re there for: protecting children from harm. The other side of this is from the families’ perspective. Where is the support and intervention if necessary; not only for the children, but for the parents/extended family? Why do these situations continue to go unnoticed until something tragic happens?
Reports to child protection need to be taken seriously and action taken if a child is at risk of harm- whether it be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect. If people in their living environment have a history of domestic violence or drug use, the family should be monitored closely, and in particular, are current drug users, something more needs to be done.
In addition to this, there needs to be way more direct support for these families; in rehabilitation, in parenting and respite, and in how to deal with challenges such as drug use, violence, and mental health issues. It’s not good enough to just have ‘support services available’ for these families. In most instances, they aren’t going to go out of their way to reach out and get help, because of their state of mind and mental health. Where children are involved, intervention is required, and other family members need assistance too, in order to properly monitor and support them. If our children are going to be kept safe and these senseless deaths of children stopped, this is my ‘two cents’ on what needs to happen.