My first visit to a four year old abused child was at the suicide ward of Minneapolis Fairview hospital. Her 7 year old sister had been kicked so hard by her 45 year old 245 pound abuser that she had gone into convulsions.
Seeing this 7 year old in convulsions finally convinced the police to remove all four children from the home (after many calls to the home concerning domestic violence). The 7 year old had a vocabulary of under 50 words when I was assigned to be her CASA guardian ad-Litem.
A second case reported 49 police calls to the home before the children were removed and only then because the 7 year old tried to kill the 4 year old in the presence of the police. The 7 year old had been prostituted.
Expecting abused children to spend time in group or foster homes and just begin leading a normal life is insane & cruel.
Or, in the words of past governor Tim Pawlenty (to legislator Andy Dawkins & KARA boardmember David Strand) “Children that are victims of failed personal responsibilty are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the State Of Minnesota”.
And we may rot in hell for this (my words).
It is a very rare child that can walk from traumatic abuse into a classroom and just “be normal”. The biology of trauma means physiological change happens. Before a human being can proceed to the next level of growth, like sitting for 8 hours a day in a classroom & passively soaking in lesson after lesson while interacting normally with other children, adults, and figures of authority, real healing needs to happen.
I have seen very competent extremely committed foster and adoptive parents come unglued when faced with the insanity shown by 5, 7, and 9 year olds who have been tortured. The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.
All of the 50 children I worked with as a CASA volunteer had “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (about half of them had been sexually abused, some as young as 2).
At 7, 80 pound Andy kicked his teacher so hard she was severely injured and sued. At 7, the little girl in story 2 was carrying lighter fluid with her to burn down the house. Abused children react is tortured ways.
Where do very mean and dangerous people come from? MN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz has remarked that the difference between that poor child and felon is “about 8 years”.
She has also stated that, “90 percent of the youth in juvenile justice have passed through child protection”.
It appears that child protective services are breeding juvenile delinquents. 66% of youth in the juvenile justice system have diagnosible mental illnes and fully half of that population have multiple, severe, and chronic diagnosis.
Does anyone really wonder where felons and preteen moms come from?
Or, why the U.S. has five percent of the world’s population & 25% of the world’s prison population?, the highest homicide and gun violence in the industrialized world, the highest rate of STD’s in the world? the most troubled schools & city streets in the industrialized world?
I sure don’t.
It is one thing to watch veterans and old people eating dog food out of cans and living under bridges, but to cast children into a virtual promise of failure, crime, sexually transmitted diseases, & prison is something so wrong as to poison any society forever.
Or, in the words of Pliny the Elder two thousand five hundred years ago, “what we do to our children, they will do to society”
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