Help for Child Abuse Victims Then and Now...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 06:41PM
Dee Smith

Within my lifetime, so much has been done to protect our children.  When I was a kid child abuse was merely parental discipline and the authorities and juvenile courts couldn't interfere unless the child's life was in danger.  Sometimes intervention came too late.  Today, there are many adult casualties because children were completely dependent on parents or caretakers.  No one was on their sideIf one told, they weren't believed.  They had no place to go.  Some children, like me, ended up in the hospital and then in the hands of courts.  I'm old enough today to realize the world was at war, soldiers were leaving their young wives and children and never coming back, and most adults didn't know whether the Japanese bombers would reach our shores.  And, guess what?  War is still alive and well, but relocated to the Middle East.

It is my plan that I interview some of the staff of a few of these organizations and pass along to my readers just what they do for children.  Sometimes neighbors, other family members, or teachers, observe or suspect child abuse.  Where do they go for help but keep their report confidential?  What laws protect children?  How far do parental rights go?

Watch for more to come...

Update on Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 06:30PM by Registered CommenterDee Smith

Here's a hypothetical situation which occurs dozens of times throughout Harris County.

Suppose you are a second grade teacher and your class has one boy who consistently disrupts the class?  One morning, the child is tardy.  You ask if he has an excuse--inwardly bracing for an angry outburst from him--but the boy merely shakes his head and drops his eyes.  Surprised, you sense something amiss and walk to his desk.  A large bruise covers his cheekbone and jaw.  He raises his head and you notice tears streak his dirty face and his nose needs wiping.  The aroma of an unwashed body confronts you.  The little boy who irritates you now becomes a heartbreaking responsibility.  A picture of this boy's probable home environment comes to you immediately.  This is not the first time you've encountered an abused and neglected child in your classroom....  You feel outrage and anger about the injustice to a seven year old child.  Surely there's something more you can do aside from reporting this to the already overburdened child welfare services.  Good news.  There are other ways you can help.

Watch for the next installment coming soon!


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