I am an adult survivor of child abuse.
When I was a small child, and my parents were both working full time, my parents were left with very little option but to put me and my younger brother in daycare during days that we did not have school.
Without going into too much detail, I will simply say that one of the daycare workers was needlessly cruel to a number of the children at the daycare center, and in an effort to make me “more appreciative” for my mother and father, punished me in a number of ways. She would make threats toward my brother and in an effort to protect him (and myself) from any worse treatment, she had my constant compliance. When my Mom came to get me one day and saw me caring for the infants, she was so upset and offended that my parents immediately took us out of that daycare center.
But Mom and Dad didn’t press criminal charges against the daycare center. Nor did they press charges against the babysitters that physically abused my brother when he was an infant.
Now, you might be thinking that this news is shocking and offensive, and that my parents don’t care about me and my brother, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth. The fact of the matter is that my father understood how the American legal system worked because he was a state prosecutor. And unless you have compelling evidence that can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you ain’t got shit. So what’s most important at that point is caring for your children’s well-being and getting them out of that bad situation.
See, the first problem with the American legal system is that it is based on a flawed logical concept: that the perception of the jury is reality, when that is sometimes very far from the truth.
The idea that perception is reality is why there are innocent folks that can get convicted based on circumstantial evidence, and why guilty-as-sin motherfuckers can be walking the streets.
It’s also why millions of women believe in the false beauty ideals handed to them by the fashion industry. Dove did a great job of showing us our cognitive dissonance with this concept in their Campaign for Real Beauty.
At the end of the day, our system of law has less to do with justice and more to do with the perceptions of the folks on the jury, which can be as capricious as their choices in dress or in television shows.
Almost nobody listens to kids. Adults assume that they’re making stuff up. And in fact, it’s tough on prosecutors to put children on the stand because asking them to go through their traumas again on the stand causes them to go through their trauma all over again! And then, they get cross-examined, so that the defense can try to make them into liars in the eyes of the jury.
The second problem with the American legal system is that it is designed to show preferential treatment to the rich.
If you are poor and cannot afford an attorney, you are given a public defender who is not given the necessary and appropriate time to work your case. Folks who are rich can afford attorneys to work for them who can use their time solely on their client. Who do you think has a better chance of walking away from a crime they are accused of? Someone who is rich and has an attorney who has worked on only their case for a month, or someone who is poor and whose attorney got their case yesterday?
Because of the economic shift in the last 30 years, it is now required that a typical family, a mother and father with 2 kids – have 2 earners.
If “Mom” and “Dad” are both working, the kids must therefore be at the daycare center or with a nanny if they are not at their grandparents, which cannot be assumed, since their grandparents are likely working to take care of themselves, since they cannot depend on Social Security to take care of them. Therefore, they are more than likely not protected or cared for by a loving family member. You never know who is working there or who is protecting your child, and the ability to pay for quality child care is directly related to how much money you earn. (This matters, simply because I believe that the SuperRich/Corporations are subverting the American way of life and are slowly removing the natural right of any human to breed because we would not have the funds to properly sustain and protect ourselves and our offspring in a way that does not lead to criminal behavior.)
Despite the fact that my parents made sure that every daycare center they put my brother and me in was licensed and bonded, I still suffered at the hands of someone who I later re-met in a mental hospital in 2003. I had checked myself in for suicidal depression. She was there, red-banded (That’s when you’re not allowed out of the ward because you’re considered a harm to yourself and potentially others.), and even said to me that she knew I was there and that it was her fault, and that she was sorry. She was schizophrenic, a prior drug addict, and alcoholic, and was constantly suicidal. She had been ordered in the hospital after being convicted on multiple counts of child abuse at the job.
And I didn’t even remember the abuse clearly until all these years later when I was working with EMDR to help get rid of my seizures! Ha! How’s that for psychology ringin’ the old noggin. At least I forgave her in group back then, and I remember learning all about the horrible things her parents put her through as a child with their abuse and whatnot. Sick lady gave me some bad information about my Momma. She never thought I was that kind of unappreciative. Skewed my whole perspective on the world for my whole life so far. But sick folks don’t mean it bad… That’s what sickness is.
So how do you protect the little folks from big ole meanies like bad babysitters or the Chinese Government, who made sure that 50 million or so of their infant daughters died so that they kept their population under control?
You keep a close watch on them, and you make sure that they know that you love them all the time and that they always know that they should talk to you about anything that doesn’t sound or feel right, and that they shouldn’t ever feel the need to be afraid of you, and if they do, there’s something wrong.
And you protect them when they’re too young to protect themselves.
Please write to your state legislature today, asking them to bring a constitutional convention to pass a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution – one that does not equate the worth of child with limitless potential to a corporation.
We have to close the open hole in our government that could allow China’s policies to hurt our daughters.
They are too precious to lose.