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Face book activity has been off the chart lately with the regressive policies being signed off by the 45th president of the USA, the seg...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Who is accountable for the rise in neglect?

I was checking all my various social media sites today and came across a post asking to share against child cruelty which I did.  Someone asked if it was abuse to leave a child on the street and I replied yes it was. I was then asked a question regarding this, which gave me food for thought.  I was asked who was to blame for this type of abuse and it was also stated that the ones that survived today would be raised in abuse and thus turn out to be tomorrows problem.  

This saddened me that this is what is thought of about children in care today.  I will admit that not all children respond to their new carers well, however I will also admit that not all carers are adept at caring for a child that has been through so much at such a young age.  I will start at the beginning however and try to restore some faith that the children in care today can be your leaders of tomorrow with the right help.

My response to the question  “was it child abuse to abandon a child on the street”  was not based on personal feeling, I am passionate about the subject and as such have read through as many laws and legislations as I can to understand it.  My response was thus based on the following legislations and laws.  Cruelty to Children Act 1889 and 1904 alongside the Children and Young person’s act 1933 including all up to and including 2014.  As well as these I also based my response on the definition of child abuse from the UN convention paraphrased below.  The UN convention it states  “Key child protection articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are Articles 9 (family separation), 10 (family reunification across borders), 11 (illicit transfer of children), 16(right to privacy, honour and reputation), 19 (protection from violence, injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation), 20 (alternative care), 21 (adoption), 22 (refugee children), 23(disabled children), 24 (harmful practices), 25 (periodic review of alternative care), 32 (economic exploitation), 34 (sexual abuse and exploitation), 35 (abduction, sale or trafficking of children) , 36 (other forms of exploitation), 37 (juvenile justice and protection from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), 38 (protection in armed conflict), 39 (recovery and reintegration) and 40 (children in conflict with the law).  This is also available on their website in more detail below” (Unicef, 1992)  

All of the above acts would consider the abandoned child as neglected which causes numerous other forms of maltreatment in the process.  Although I do also see this as a form of neglect and thus child abuse I cannot honestly answer or respond to the question asked in a few lines.  The situation is much more complex.

I have to admit that I was not expecting the response that I received “I was asked who was to blame for this type of abuse and it was also stated that the ones that survived today would be raised in abuse and thus turn out to be tomorrows problem”.   I genuinely worry that this is the standard thought process about children in care today.  Many of these children have been emotionally scarred because of stresses and trauma in early childhood and it takes a particular type of person to take a child in and care for them.  I have known several kinship and foster carers and all have their strengths and they treat the children they care for with respect and understanding.  They work closely with professionals to try and resolve some of the mental issues caused in early childhood.   From all of the children I know or have met, none of them look, to me, as though they will be tomorrows problems.  Actually, it is quite the opposite, I see children being rebuilt, children understanding a lot more than they should and children who will continue to grow stronger as their carers continue to understand and remain dedicated to helping them. 

These children, I believe, will grow up to be team leaders and managers, supervisors and inspirations.  The logic behind this thought is that these children have dealt with stress ten times more dangerous to them than making a snap decision on the shop floor.  These children are the most logical answer to our stagnant economics and failing businesses.  Not only can they deal with stress, but they will remember how all they wanted when they were younger was to be listened to or to be treated fairly or not to be scared.  Given the right care, they can be the person that listens, treats people with dignity and doesn't choose to frighten their staff but rather, motivates them by using loyalty and dedication. 

When asked who is to blame however, this takes deeper thought.  In our time now, I could look to the government starving its population enough for a young girl to abandon her baby because she just does not see a way to make ends meet.  It could be that sex education carried out by schools isn't a big enough deterrent as serious issues like HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are just briefly touched on because of adult embarrassment of the issues. It could be that the parents didn't follow up on the sex education to highlight the important factors such as STD’s, pregnancy and what motherhood is all about.  It could be culture, the girl may be disowned if she dishonours the family with a child out of marriage.  It could be that the girl is too ashamed of her situation and she just wants it forgotten and no one else to know about it (many girls have been known to go through pregnancy unnoticed, birth the baby and abandon it without anyone knowing).  In these cases we must stand back and look at the girls situation, what made her so desperate in that situation.  Can we blame the people around her, the state, or do we blame her for being scared of the consequences.  I am aware there are girls that abandon their baby for more selfish reasons but these are minimal compared to the girls that are terrified of the consequences from the people around them.  Can we realistically blame the people around her however? 

I feel that there is a lack of education out there about motherhood, responsibility, living with the consequences or even the help they can get if they knew where to look and that’s how we can lessen the amount of abandoned babies, as well as lessen other forms of cruelty and maltreatment such as neglect.  There is a rise in tolerance of various forms of neglect as they are now seen as normal, such as seeing your friend leave her baby in the baby walker all day, this is neglect and can damage limb development but so many youngsters do not know this and think it’s ok.  A good understanding of child development and their own expected life changes is required in schools and at home but it is not forthcoming as we stand and let governments dictate what we can and cannot teach, what we can and cannot learn so in this scenario, we are all to blame, because we do not fight to change things any more.

I thought it was an exaggeration but this is the Conservatives’ handbook!

It’s not the sort of book I normally would read but after reading 1984, I am keen to read his other works now too.  I had heard so much about George Orwell’s’ book 1984 and so many people telling me how the government of today were using it as an instruction manual, I just had to read it and judge for myself.  

I can say there is not much that I cannot relate to in some way or other, the two way TV screens that watch your every move and hear your every word, well our internet resembles that factor of the government spy network of its citizens.  The fake war that never ends and the reasons behind it (of this I will not say too much, as it is a piece of realization that should only be given by Orwell himself) but there have been several wars as of late that have been wrought with allegations of being illegal but the reasoning behind these wars is very convenient, to add to this there is further food for thought in Orwell’s revelation of this.  

The proles in Orwell’s book are left to their own devices, classed as natural inferiors, they are very poor and not educated enough to let them see what was going on, so as they would never revolt. They resemble the 99%, the proletariat of today. The way I describe stratification of our very own education system in a previous article is very frightening to consider, when you look at Orwell’s fictional world and how it resembles our world so very closely.  There were also no medical facilities for the proles that were mentioned either, much like our own NHS being dismantled right now. 

There is also the daily two minute hate sessions that are held.  The population of the outer party are brainwashed to hate one man, ‘Big Brothers’ opposition.  Under our government, the population is being turned on the poor, the conservatives opposition, very much like the German population of 1933 when Hitler took over as chancellor.  The government in Orwell’s tale control the media and news to a degree not thought possible, they change the news on a daily basis to match what they want the population to know.  Our own government also controls the media and can control what we do and do not see.  Any of these resemblances can be found in governments acts passed by our very own government on the government website and yet day by day people are drawn into Orwell’s vision unconsciously.

One final haunting thought that this book leaves you with are the great purges at the start of the reign of ‘Big Brother’, you cannot help but remember the purge of World War Two but this was based on the purge caused by Stalin when he had 11 million people slaughtered in cold blood.  Although our government is not as obvious as this, we are now sitting at an estimated death rate of around 20, 000 elderly and disabled since 2010.  After reading this book I can, with a clear mind state that I believe our own UK government and possibly even the US are using this as their handbook.  George Orwell is a great visionary, but I pray this vision comes to a halt before it becomes as blatant as his fictional vision.

I will say that I will have to read the book again as I soaked up every chapter so fast, I am sure I missed more resemblances and for those that have not read it yet I would recommend this as a really good read.  I understand that this, however, is a book of fiction based on some very real background history that the author experienced, the Spanish Civil War under the oppression of Franco and Russian Communism during the years of Lenin/Stalin. He decided to write some fictional novels about his experience, which are good reads on their own, however when added to today’s predicaments add a haunting note to his tale. 

For anyone wanting to delve further into todays policies I have put the link below: