This page is dedicated to what others have to say about child abuse. These opinions provide a forum to intellectually discuss information which others can use to educate themselves regarding deeper aspects of child abuse. For example, it may be used by high school and college students to offer new thoughts, questions and possible answers to this national tragedy.
Preventing & Ending Child Abuse
It doesn't surprise me to hear that the facts and figures regarding child
abuse are fairly easy to come by yet the problem is in preventing and ending
abuse. The answer, as I'm sure you're aware, is sadly that as long as there are
human beings we can expect some abuse to bewith us. In the same way murder is
a reflection of the human heart and therefore not something which can be ended
altogether, child abuse is a sad fact of life. That's the bad news. The good news
is that much good can be done. Here are my thoughts.
I believe a good analogy for the positive progress which can be made in
the fight against child abuse is that of drunk driving. Though drunk
driving continues to be a huge killer from what I've read the incidence of
and deaths from drunk driving have plummeted approximately 40% within the
past 10 or 20 years. What made the difference? Has the propensity for
alcoholism been reduced? In my opinion the answers are twofold: awareness
and intolerance. I can remember twenty years ago watching on TV and seeing
instance after instance of "the funny drunk" who said he was "going to
drive home because he was in no condition to walk". That doesn't happen
anymore today. Nowadays the idea of driving drunk is unacceptable. It is
simply no longer tolerated. There is even a new phrase which has been
added to the American vocabulary-- "designated driver".
I think the same needs to happen in the case of child abuse. I'm reminded
of a funny, successful movie from the 70s named "Airplane". One of the
characters in the movie was a pilot who, quite obviously, was sexually
interested in children. There was a so-called funny line he uttered to the
effect of "Billy, have you ever seen a grown man naked?". Have we
progressed beyond this in our entertainment? Has our society made a turn?
Not necessarily. Within the past year the American Psychiatric Association
allowed publication of a paper suggesting that "in certain cases" sex
between an adult and a child "may not be harmful to the child". There is
at least one well-known organization (NAMBLA) which promotes pedophilia.
The U.S. Attorney General has advocated reduced penalties for child
So what can be done? We can start by making people aware that child
abuse is rampant-- that it invades every sector of our society. We can make sure
children are taught to speak up if ever they are touched inappropiately.
We can report any abuse we witness-- and we can stigmatize that person who
fails to do so. Very importantly we can "humanize" child abuse by showing
its real consequences so that the would-be perpetrator finds it much harder
to rationalize his deviant behavior. We can give a forum to the Survivors
of this world so that they can share how childhood abuse has affected every
aspect of their life. We can show the world the incredible loss society
suffers since rather than complete successful educations and go on to
productive lives as doctors, researchers, scientists, pastors and teachers,
so many individuals spend 20, 30 or even more years of their lives just
dealing with the pains of childhood. We can show no tolerance for the
perpetrators of abuse.
Director, Day of the Child
We welcome all constructive ideas, responses and rebuttal