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.

17 responses to “Excess Baggage

  1. I’m ridiculously timid and don’t feel strongly about many things, nationality, religion, sport, I tend to just go with the flow but as a mother I protect and stand up for my girls without hesitation. The thought that a mother could harm her children or stand by without doing anything whilst someone else does makes me sick to my stomache !


  2. I’m with you. I can’t imagine anybody hurting my children (or grandchildren) while I stood m=by and did nothing!


  3. We have such national shame over child abuse and children living below the poverty line. I’ve not heard much mention of these things in this election campaign.


  4. Judith, I do not mind at all your mention of my post. That post was extremely difficult to write. The memories are very painful, even all these years later. It has taken me such a long time to believe in myself and although I have tried very hard to forget, forgiving seems to be taking a bit longer.

    Thank you for speaking out – our children should be protected, encouraged, and given love and support.


    • Thank you. I applaud you for the bravery in writing such a post. I feel for you and your sister and can’t begin to imagine what your life was like. I hope that sharing it in this way has helped although I know that even if the memories do recede over time, the hurt will never go away.
      Take care.


  5. Man’s inhumanity to man, woman, child, and animal is hard for me to fathom.


  6. Thank you for sharing this link, Judith. It’s nice to know that good things can still come of a life that didn’t get off to a good start.


  7. I don’t follow the news stories about this. I just can’t.


  8. It just seems to be never ending here and not confined to one sector of society either.


  9. Every time I hear stories like this, it completely horrifies me…..the horror that people can do to a child….:( It’s heartbreaking!


  10. Such a tragic situation… 😦


  11. Pingback: Lucky lucky me | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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