Monday, April 26, 2010 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

How Many Ways Do We Victimize Our Children?

When I think about all of the injustices in this world, it really just makes me sick to my stomach. But I often feel helpless in these situations because I don’t feel equipped or without enough black marks on my own life that could either land me in lot of trouble somewhere or embarrass me. Well it is not enough to stop me for sure, but I don’t even know where to start.
I am going to start by reading about children advocacy and see where that takes me. I feel like there is something that I can do and something I need to do for the sake of children in this world. They are victimized in so many ways. How do we stop this, where do we start? I guess that is the question on the minds of many of us. There are so many children that are victimized within the family structure, as well as outside of it.

As I am writing this, I look over and there is a picture of my late grandmother sitting on my pc laptop, which is open for quick use. It reminds me that my grandmother took in, or a tleast kept track of a young boy whose mother was an alcoholic. He was a couple of years younger than my father, who tells me that he and Smithy had been friends since he was six years old.
Smithy spent many nights at my grandmother’s house and on family vacations with them. My dad always talked about when they would sit down to dinner he and Smithy would sit and eat, they would drink a quart of milk each at one sitting. My grandmother told me that when she ordered milk from the milk man, which came in glass bottles at that time and delivered to your door, she would always order enough so Smithy would have exactly what my dad had.
I don’t know the extent of how she cared for Smithy, but I do know as an adult Smithy thanked her, and often said he would probably be dead if it was not for my grandmother.

This is what is lacking in our society, people, caring for others. There was a time when you didn’t have to be family or blood related to help others in their times of need. Others would see a young mother struggling and step in to help, with whatever they had to offer. Sometimes that may have just been guidance. We are so into our own little worlds these days, and we shut out what is going on around us, so we don’t have feel, we become emotionally disconnected from the pain of our fellow man. I have been guilty, as I think most people have, because we don’t think that we can make enough of a difference. We are afraid to get too involved because then we will lose focus on what we want and believe we need in this life.

We all have seen too any cases where the children in our society are abused and/or neglected, and end up in the foster care system. Many times these kids are placed again in abusive situation, and sometimes are lost in that system. We have read those stories where these kids end up dead in our system. There were a couple of cases in Florida when I lived there, that was beyond appalling. One such case was a toddler had been dead almost a year before her case worker realized that she was missing. Another, when two young kids were placed in the custody of their uncle after their mother's death to discovered that he had been sexually molesting the little girl for about four years, and had started on the little boy. After he was seen with the two children by a lady that knew his history called the authorities. It was discovered that this uncle had been convicted and served time for child molestation in another state. These two children were actually wards of the state of Florida, but the authorities allowed the uncle to care for them, without a complete and thorough background check. How did they not know this man's criminal history before allowing him to take these two young children.

After these cases the state of Florida was definitely under attack, rightfully so, and a number of people lost their jobs. However, no state is adequately staffed for the growing number of neglected children entering the system. I always wondered what could be done, and I had thought if regular citizens could volunteer to help with the overload, how could they be certified to do the job and do it well.

Well there is a program in place to do just that. It is called CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates. . If many of our youth that are serving life sentences in prison had someone there for them, many of them would not be in jail.

The young woman in the video above, Sara Kruzman, would have been one of those children that would have definitely benefited from having a child advocate. Her mother was on drugs so she found that home in Gigi, who was a pimp. Now she will spend the rest of her natural life in prison for fighting back. She is again victimized by the system.


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