Stop Child Abuse-Log Off

Facebook or people on facebook, more likely, are in the midst of a campaign to change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood in order to raise awareness about child abuse. 

I am not a fan of awareness campaigns in general.  Mostly they are a waste of donated money.  I think they are mostly cop outs for people who feel guilty about them, but don’t really want to do anything about it.  I mean, look at the infamous pink ribbon campaign.  I am officially aware of breast cancer.  I don’t know if I am any more aware of it than before I ever saw a pink ribbon, but how can I not be aware of it.  I know the pink ribbon branded stuff donates money to breast cancer research, but a lot of that money gets thrown back into promoting the pink ribbon. 

A friend suggested donating to a child abuse prevention organization instead of changing your profile picture.  While donating money to stop breast cancer makes sense because medical breakthroughs cost money, donating money to stop child abuse is like donating money to stop drug use; it will mostly be PSAs.  I can see an abusive mom with an extension chord in her hands, arm drawn back to strike, when a PSA comes on with a sad looking child saying “stop the abuse.”  I then see this mom hitting the cowering child harder to prove that they can’t tell her what to do. 

Abusive parents, like other people that do morally deplorable things, generally don’t see themselves as bad or doing wrong.  They actually think they are doing the right thing or that the child deserves it.  It doesn’t make sense to me, but my mind isn’t warped.  Child abuse is cyclic, but is also more common in homes where there is drug and alcohol abuse.  So, where do you spend money to prevent this?

The only solution I have is to promote self awareness.  Don’t beat your own kids, and watch out for other kids you know.  I hated being grilled about my daughter’s broken thumb in the emergency room (she had wrecked her bike), but understood why they were doing it. Pay attention to the kids next door and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  There is verbal abuse that is just as harmful and you can hear that.  Neglect is also a form of abuse, so turn off farmville, log off of facebook and pay attention to your kid(s). 

Parenting styles may vary and people that are little more harsh on their children than you are may not constitute child abuse.  Be careful and have your facts straight before you call social services on someone.  I know someone falsely accused and his life was hell for a couple of years (they made him rearrange his furniture even). 

In closing, don’t beat your child, don’t verbally beat your child, and don’t neglect YOUR child.  Pay attention if you see something fishy, but don’t go out on a witch hunt for anyone that spanks their kids.  I think if you can stop spousal abuse, you will stop/find most cases of child abuse as well. I do donate $5 to Not-Me every time I do a martial arts meetup in order to help people that have been abused and teach them to prevent further abuse.  Donate all you want, but know what your money is actually paying for.  

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2 Responses to “Stop Child Abuse-Log Off”

  1. Well put. I do not like those pink ribbon campaigns one bit. If you’re a big organization and want to donate money, do so then shut the heck up. Most of us don’t go around bragging that we gave 1 percent of our income to a charity.

    I’ve told this story before but one time I wanted to donate my guitar to a group in New Orleans collecting instruments for musicians who had lost everyting in Hurricane Katrina. My boyfreind said, “you’d be better off going down there yourself and just handing it to someone”. I think he’s right. It’s almost impossible to know what goes on with these groups.

    There are some really awful “parents” out there and I’m sure there’s many factors – but creating an environement where abuse is not tolerated I suppose is the first step. They can’t always hide it forever, hopefully.

  2. I was told, growing up, that child abuse built character.

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