Merely days ago I was wondering what type of person it takes to sit in your lounge watching TV while your child lies locked up in the next room, starving to death. This pondering was based on an actual event and much of the musing in that post was triggered by this story and this story.
Well, whatever I was wondering about then barely compares to the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach after reading this article. This puts a whole different spin on motive and reason. On the one hand you have an ignorant, selfish b***h of a mother but on the other hand... my naive little mind is having to acknowledge the reality of deep, severe malice. Hatred, vitriol, cruelty and evil-hearted intentions.
In this article the authors cites Ania Wilczynski's research into parent's who kill their children and notes that she:
"identified 11 reasons why parents kill, including revenge, jealousy and rejection. However the most common reason is an effort to discipline".
I'm going to take some blogging license here and really generalise, but from what I've heard, read and experienced about abused children, they are usually children afraid of their own shadows.
I think its because I'm clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe its because I'm crazy
I try not to act too proud - Suzanne Vega, Luka
Abused children are often obsessed with keeping the balance, not upsetting the parent(s) and being quiet or invisible. To write this off as primarily disciplinary in nature or to give any credence to a parent's claims or justification that it began as discipline, is a huge disservice to children. It sets the fight against child abuse back 40 years.
Children are helpless, innocent and fragile. Humans look after their children for over 10 years because a child would most likely not survive out in the wild alone. Sure there are feral children, but for every feral child there are probably 10 or 100 that have died of starvation or exposure. Our duty towards children is to protect them, to nurture them and to love them unconditionally. Believe it or not, love is actually necessary for the human child. In babies' homes for very young orphans, volunteers are called in to simply hold the babies. Human babies struggle to thrive without milk, warmth and human contact. You just need to read any one of Torey Hayden's books to see the miraculous effect that a little love and guidance can have on a damaged child.
My rather drawn out point is that we are the adults. We are here to protect the children, we are not here to abuse them. There is no excuse for abuse and "discipline" simply does not describe a campaign of methodical neglect, malice and violence.
I ask one more time. How do you sit in the next room while your child is in the next room (or closet) starving to death?
And finally, because I'm turning 35 this year, I'm going to exercise my right to post really sad Whitney Houston lyrics from my youth (sad as in... wow, how could I?)
I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be - Whitney Houston, Greatest Love of All