Daily Archives: November 21, 2011

Excess Baggage

When I lived in Scotland I would occasionally take the children home to my parents for a few days when my husband was going to be away on business.  We often took the late flight because it was so much cheaper.  The airlines would move planes around at night to reposition them for the next morning and so there were always planes going from Glasgow to London and we took advantage of the cheap flights.

Baggage labelOnce when my son was only a few months old the airline employee weighed him in his carry-cot and  put an excess baggage label on the carry cot.  I can’t remember all these years later whether they charged me for him.  I suspect they didn’t because they were repositioning the plane anyway.  This has been a joke in our family for many years.  My baby ‘excess baggage’.

So when I saw the title of a blog from K8edid entitled “Excess Baggage – a Tale of Two Sisters” I thought this was going to be a story in much the same vein.  Alas, it was not so.  In reading this post I wept at the cruelty dished out to these two little girls and wonder how anybody could treat children in this manner.

However, I am not so naive as to believe this doesn’t happen.  Here in New Zealand we have one of the worst  records of child abuse in the western world.  Daily we hear of children being abused and even murdered by the very people they should expect to care for them.

We have a truly sorry record :

  • Mikara Reti: 5-month-old boy suffered severe blunt-force blow and died on January 11. Trent Hapuku, 22, due to be tried for manslaughter.
  • Serenity Scott: 5-month-old girl died on April 28 of severe, non-accidental brain injuries. No one charged.
  • Baby Afoa: 1-week-old, Otahuhu. Found in makeshift grave in Otahuhu on June 2. Mother Kulukora Akau’ola, 22, charged with murder. Christian Afoa, 29, of Mangere, admitted disposing of body.
  • Baby boy: 1-year-old, suffered serious head injuries and died on November  5. Police are investigating.
  • Sahara Baker-Koro 5 years old raped and murdered by her mother’s ex-partner,
  • A 9 year old girl found by Police hiding in a cupboard starving, dehydrated and covered in injuries. The father has been charged and pleaded guilty “to representative charges of neglect of and cruelty to a child, and a representative charge of assault on a child.”  The mother has pleaded guilty to 25 charges of abuse.

And so it goes on.  What do we have to do to stop this?

I do hope that K8edid did not mind my bringing her story to light again.  I really feel for her and her sister and abhor and condemn the perpetrator of the abuse doled out to these little girls.   Growing up in a safe and sheltered environment I was unaware that others did not have this safety in their homes.  I heard from a close friend today about the beatings her father used to give her for relatively minor transgressions.  Her mother stood by and said nothing.

As a mother it is inconceivable that I would stand by and do nothing; but it’s easy to judge when one is not involved.

So this is my rant for another day.