Society Fails America’s Children --
Leaving Them To The Hands Of Their Abusers
NEW YORK , January 14, 2006 – Every day the media reports another story of a child who is a victim of child abuse or who we lost to child abuse. These are the children who are forgotten – the children America has failed.
These child victims live in every state of our country. Their fate is in the hands of the adults who abuse them – because we as a society are afraid to help them.
When people hear stories about children being abused their hearts break and they are stunned. Yet they do nothing. No one should be stunned! They should be angered! Angered so much – that they get involved!
People hear the term “child abuse” and they go into denial because of the vision it conjures up in their minds. Family, friends and neighbors keep silent because they’re afraid of physical retribution or being sued.
The latest tragedy was 7 year-old Nixzmary Brown of Brooklyn , NY . Tortured, beaten and killed at the hands of her stepfather while her mother watched, this sweet little girl was sexually molested and starved – weighing only 36 pounds. Animals are treated better.
While New York City ACS has gotten better over the years, it still needs improvement. And there is no question that ACS should never have dismissed Nixzmary Brown’s case as “unfounded.” But where were this child’s family, friends and neighbors? Her school took action but should have followed up more.
Nixzmary’s neighbor saw her with a black eye. Did anyone call the child abuse hotline or the police? Another said he wanted to call the police but Nixzmary didn’t want him to. Who was the adult?
This is not acceptable! It’s time to break the silence!
It’s time for family, friends, neighbors and everyone to report even the slightest suspect of child abuse. NY State has a hotline 800-342-3720 that people can call and even remain anonymous if they wish. For cases out of NY State the national child abuse reporting hotline is 800-422-4453. People can also call 911.
No one did enough to save Nixzmary Brown or the 1100 children we lost to child violence last year. Few ever do enough to save the many children who are tortured and terrorized at the hands of adults.
The problem doesn’t exist just in New York . New Jersey , Florida , Indiana and many other states must make immediate improvements in their child protection systems.
Child abuse has reached epidemic proportions in America. While advocates work to educate parents and lobbyists work to change laws to protect children, there is much we as a society can do.
We can no longer stand by and allow children to be harmed. As a society we are to blame when we do nothing!
We cannot bring Nixzmary Brown back, but we can help the more than 51,000 New York children and over 3 million children across our country who are victims of violence and abuse every year, so that they don’t have to endure the nightmare that Nixzmary lived through.
It is up to every one of us to report child abuse immediately and as often as necessary - - without fear for ourselves – but instead, with fear for our children!
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