Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 1 is the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month (as well as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month). Today is “Wear Blue Day” as a way to participate in a national day to highlight child abuse prevention.

According to statistics, 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18. I received an email last week from someone I don’t know who pointed out that a serial child murderer and child rapist died recently of brain cancer in prison. There are other horrible discussions of this man’s life of depravity and crime online. The person who sent me the information reminded me that “Oakland County is Still a VERY SICK COMMUNITY/COUNTY.  Traffickers.” Knowing what I know now, and have tried to convey to officials in Michigan, this is no surprise.

Here is some good news. A bill in Colorado to let survivors of child sexual assault sue their abusers in civil court, with no time limitations, is close to the finish line. A second bill would allow organizations and entities such as school districts or churches that turned a blind eye to the abuse to likewise be sued for civil damages, with no expiration date. The bills would not apply retroactively, but it would affect cases of child sexual misconduct where the victim had not turned 24 by Jan. 1, 2022.

One of the bill’s sponsors explained:

“It feels so powerful to be able to look the survivors who’ve been working on this for so long in the eye and say ‘Look, we believe you,’” said [Rep. Dafna] Michaelson Jenet, who spoke candidly on the House floor about her personal experiences with sexual assault. SB-73 wouldn’t allow sexual assault survivors who’ve been testifying on such legislation for years to sue their abusers, she pointed out, because the statute of limitations has already expired for them. “Truly they were in this to protect the next guy or girl, and it’s been quite a battle,” Michael Jenet said of those survivors. “It’s really painful retelling your story year after year after year. And it’s the honor of my life that I get to work on this bill.”

Of course, the Colorado Catholic Conference and the Boy Scouts oppose the legislation.

Republican Rep. Matt Soper of Delta, Colorado, is one of the sponsors on both bills, partly because one statistic about childhood sexual abuse sticks with him: Victims often don’t disclose the abuse until their 50s. Surprised? Most victims of childhood sexual abuse never report at all.

This is progress. Start by believing victims and by outing those who turn a blind eye or obstruct justice to protect predators. Money is sometimes the only language some people speak. That’s why the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts pay their lobbyists and attorneys so well. Now they know for sure: It’s gonna cost you.

6 responses to “Child Abuse Prevention Month”

  1. Since the public school system and much of the population(in general)these days are so enthusiastic about teaching our kindergarteners/young children about “transvestites” “gender identity” and the like-Why Not approve a program to teach Children/teens more about CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE and give them a number they can call/text if something Bad is happening to them or Give them a person they can go to to turn these abusers/child rapist/traffickers in to. Teach these children that the threats these Sick child rapis/traffickerst threaten them with if they should tell are mere lies. If they(child/teen)should call or tell-they or someone they love Will NOT be harmed as a consequence of them telling. They will NOT be sent to a worse environment if they should tell. They Will Be Helped. ENFORCE a plan to do so(help a child that tells/talks). Just a Thought. I don’t understand how all these other topics are so approachable and even encouraged but the assault and trafficking of our children are swept under the rug.

  2. Every day of the year should be Child Abuse Prevention Month!

    Trauma from unchecked child abuse/neglect typically results in the helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it acts as his/her starting point into an adolescence and (in particular) an adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

    In short, it can make every day an emotional/psychological ordeal, unless the mental turmoil is doused with some form of self-medicating.

    Meanwhile, general society perceives thus treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

    Proactive measures in order to avoid having to later reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention—that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments—maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Child development science curriculum might be one way.

    I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial parenting or child development education by way of mandatory curriculum? After all, dysfunctional and/or abusive parents, for example, may not have had the chance to be anything else due to their lack of such education and their own dysfunctional/abusive rearing as children.

    For decades, I’ve strongly felt that a psychologically and emotionally sound (as well as a physically healthy) future should be all children’s foremost right — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter — and therefore child development science should be learned long before the average person has their first child.

    Also, mental health-care needs to generate as much societal concern — and government funding — as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable.

  3. Bob K

    Something the victims of sexual assault might consider to get around the archaic SOL laws is pressing kidnapping charges (usually no SOL for kidnapping).

    In the Golden Gate Killer case, the prosecution came up with the idea if the victim was moved during the commission of the crime, it would qualify as kidnapping, even if it was only from 1 room to another.

    In this manner they pressed kidnapping charges in 11 of the over 50 known East Area Rapist crimes (same guy).

    Although the GSK took a plea deal and the concept was not tested in court, he did plead guilty to all 11 kidnapping charges.

    This should apply to the kids who were taken to N. Fox Island under false pretenses and sexually assaulted. Also, the kids from the Cass Corridor (or whereever) who were taken to Oakland County for sex orgies. Really, any child trafficked out for sex purposes.

    • Excellent points, Bob. But this would require courage, admission of fault, thinking outside of the box, and a real commitment to sex crime cold cases, which Oakland County certainly has never had the appetite or horsepower for.

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