It does not help at risk children for you or me to speak of child abuse with understatement and euphemism.

Maltreatment is a word with the soft connotation of “mistreatment” which could be a missed meal or something else way less traumatizing than the abuse required to become a state ward child.

To not convey the horror of things the toddlers and vulnerable children in my caseload as a CASA Guardian ad Litem, leaves the reader with almost no sense of the violence of their truth.  Rape, torture and bloody bruising beatings were their reality.  My small defenseless human beings had been living in terrifying circumstances most often for years.  Someone needed to say it out loud…

A lack of transparency and accountability is mostly responsible for the absence of media attention to child protection, abuse and trauma. Institutions don’t invite scrutiny or share unhappy information if they can help it.

Since children have no voice at the State House and the rest of us are understating horrid realities that destroy human beings, fill our prisons, break our schools and make violent crime and public safety fill our media all the time, we have small hope of change without louder, more honest voices..

Until more of us are vocal about the lack of mental health services, affordable day care, support for young families and adequate child protection for terrified and traumatized children I expect things to get worse.

Our elected official could use a few phone calls and personal visits.  If you want to be a voice for a MN child  If you want to know the issues  ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN




1 Comment

  1. My mother left when I was four, (1933),to escape my violent father. When I was seven he sent me to work for my keep on a one-cow farm under the rule of a defrocked nurse who operated an illegitimate abortion business in Northern Vermont. I lived there all seasons for five years in an unheated barn caring for cow, pigs and large garden as involuntary servitude. Treatment was unremitting humiliation and frequent beatings with a heavy stick. My summer work was to raise produce and sell it door-to-door as a front to the abortion business. I was sent to Baptist church and to school in rags and barefoot. Wet the bed every night; after two hours in school my insides relaxed enough so urine puddled under my seat. When my stonecutter father began a gravestone business and came for me, I was age 12, after 5 years of torture, a trembling, skeleton victim of terror. Unable to work, I was taken to a doctor, who said, ‘What has happened to this child!’ and threatened to have my father sent to jail. After examination he said that without intensive help, massive vitamins, kindness and rest, I would not live another six months. Those were the kindest words I’d heard in five years.

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