As I have said before, I have lived a blessed life. An easy childhood with loving, non abusive parents, two supportive sisters,a loving and caring husband and two decent children so the thought of physical and/or mental abuse is very strange to me.
I started on this rant months ago after reading a post from Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation entitled My Name is Luka. I hadn’t heard the song she quotes but it certainly brought tears to my eyes when I listened to it.
Several months ago I wrote on this subject – Excess Baggage – and lamented on the plight of many children here in New Zealand. We have one of the worst records of child abuse in the Western world and we are so tiny – 4.1 million at the last census. Note the 2011 census wasn’t carried out because of the devastation caused in the February Christchurch earthquake. The census has just been completed and it will be interesting to see how many more people have chosen to make their homes here.
It is estimated approximately 15 percent of children are born at risk of abuse, and over 80,000 children witness family violence each year, according to the Child Protection Services (CPS). How many of those children as they grow up will say (as Luka says in Susan Vega’s song)
“And they only hit until you cry
After that, you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore…“
It’s time for us all, wherever we live to stand up and say that this must not be allowed to continue. While we read about the abuse we hear little or nothing from our law makers as to how we can curb this growing violence. What can we as members of the general public do to stop these alarming figures from rising even higher? We can be aware of what is happening around us and if we do suspect abuse in a family then we can and should report it to the Police. We are assured that confidentiality will be maintained and perhaps, we could be instrumental in helping one small child get away from the regular, or even sporadic abuse.
End of today’s rant. And an update on the Beautiful Miss Bella. For the first time today she was left in the house alone for a couple of hours. When I returned she was sitting on the living room window sill patiently for me. And what a welcome I received.
Later in the afternoon we went for a short walk in the dog park where she encountered several new friends. Well I hope they will become friends in time. I am continuing to be entranced by this lively little clockwork toy that I have let into my life.
Dogs have given us their absolute all.
We are the centre of their universe.
We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps.
It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
Roger Caras, president emeritus of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.