It’s hard for many of us to understand how someone can have a child and then not take care of it.
Harder still is attempting to fathom how someone can have a child and then abuse it, physically, emotionally, verbally or, sadly, a combination of all three. But it happens. Day in and day out. Men and women become the parents of little, needy ones, dependent upon them for everything, yet they let them down, shirking responsibilities that are theirs to shoulder.
You see unfortunate examples of this all the time in our newspaper and in professional publications, detailing stories of children beaten and burned, locked up like animals, forced into sexual roles, talked down to and abandoned.
And for what? To show who is master, to prove toughness, to take out the frustrations of life on those least responsible for the circumstances one might find themselves in at any given time?
No one may ever really understand why people choose to abuse their child in this way any more than we’ll ever understand how parents can turn their back on their children, allow others to raise them, support them and nurture them. But it happens … too often.
We can search for the answers that explain these atrocious acts, but it’s doubtful we will ever fully resolve the questions that whirl in our mind each and every time a child is hurt or killed at the hands of those who are supposed to love them most.
Some might say it’s babies raising babies. And they could be right. Teen pregnancy rates are high, and more and more 15 and 16 year olds are having babies than ever. What’s more, once they have them, they have little idea what to do with them. Frustrated and unable to care for them, teen mothers, and often teen fathers, often take out their frustrations on the child.
But adults do the same thing, many of them turning from abusee to abuser.
And our children suffer.
Then there are those parents who abuse drugs, have children and then must choose between feeding their little ones or feeding their habits. Too often the habit wins out, and the children are left under-nourished and lacking a nurturing environmnet, searching for something they simply cannot have.
While there are many good parents in this world who do their very best to raise their children in loving, nurturing homes, there are a growing number of children who don’t find those kind of homes no matter how much they look for them.
It’s a testament to the world we now live in, a sad reflection of the people we’ve become, the society we are now leaning toward, a society where so many are bent on fulfilling whatever need they have no matter the cost.
The good news is, there are still many people in this great country who want to make a difference in the lives of others. It may not mean that every child will be saved from the abusive, sadistic homes they must live in, but it might make a difference in the lives of some.
And that’s a start. When saving the lives of children, that’s a good start.