Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Abuse and Neglect of Children is not Your Problem

We are all aware of cases of abuse and neglect of children as the most horrific and shocking incidents still manage to capture newspaper headlines or lead evening news broadcasts. There is, however, an ongoing effort towards minimizing the exposure of such incidents as well as downplaying the significance of childhood abuse and neglect.

For years we have been aware of the prayers of child victims of the world's largest and most structured pedophilia organization -- the Catholic Church. Millions of donors still make regular financial contributions at churches on a weekly basis to help fund the Church's efforts to minimize exposure and liability. High priced attorneys seek to silence victims through payoffs and confidentiality agreements while public relations agencies develop marketing programs for the Catholic Church to discredit the victims and increase financial contributions.

This reprehensible program of deceit and sexual abuse which has gone on for decades is an indicator of the immorality of the billion plus worldwide participants who find the truth to be an inconvenience to their purported beliefs. As much as that raises my ire there is a more contemporary effort now underway to minimize and obfuscate the existence of childhood abuse and neglect.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to view a television broadcast -- basically hear background noise while I slept. What upsets me this time is the blatant effort to deny the existence of childhood abuse and neglect. Although not directly denying the existence of such the effort none-the-less has the same effect.

If you were told that the worst act that a spouse could engage in was negligently arriving home late thereby missing a rigorously prepared dinner, sexual infidelity would likely not enter your thoughts of bad acts. Most of us would rightfully feel that an act of sexual infidelity trumps tardiness for dinner and that elevating such tardiness to the pinnacle of bad acts is to deny the existence of sexual infidelity. Equally, portraying a trivial inconvenience as the pinnacle of harms that can befall a person is to deny all such other harmful acts.

So here is the statement that implicitly denies the significant physical and psychological harm caused by ritualistic childhood sexual abuse or abuse and neglect generally -- "There's nothing worse than going to the post office and waiting in line." As a regular seller on eBay I am in line at the post office on a consistent basis. In my mind there is absolutely no similarity between the perceived inconvenience of waiting in line and suffering the physical and psychological trauma of being sexually abused for years. To say that waiting in line is "the worst" event which a person could be subjected to is to deny that harmful acts such as childhood abuse and neglect, crippling diseases, the trauma of severe burns or any of the litany of physical or emotional pains that people experience actually exists.

Concepts such as 'Good and Evil', 'Pain and Pleasure' or 'Happiness and Sadness' are all relative measures. In a society where starvation is common, civil war invades most communities and health care is nearly non-existent the simple event of a rainstorm may be perceived as a blessed event worthy of reverence and celebration. To the contrary in a society where people flow from crime-free gated communities by curb-to-curb taxi service, electronic devices keep us in constant contact, food is delivered to us at any location within minutes and thousand dollar suits are common a simple rainstorm may be seen as an inconvenient event worthy of scorn and condemnation.

These subjective measures always find equilibrium in the middle. To say that waiting in line at the post office is the worst event in one society could easily correspond to being the best event in another society. It is all subjective and balanced by the available opportunities or resources in the community.

Saying that waiting in line at the post office is the worst is to deny what any moral person would gauge as a worse event or act such as the aforementioned abuse of children. Yet, there are those who want exactly that. Commerce, particularly the enthusiastic consumer spending on goods and services is dependent upon elevated mood. This is one of the reasons why mood regulators and anti-depressants are so heavily pushed upon adolescents.

A person who is in a depressed state or experiences hopelessness is less likely to spend than those whose mood is elevated. This is confirmed through spending trends among the Northern regions where the arrival of Spring produces a warming, more comforting climate that elevates mood -- spending follows.

Shutting off our minds to the harm of childhood abuse and neglect does not stop the abuse. The harmful effects are actually perpetuated by the lack of recognition and treatment offered to the victims. Denial is what companies like want. Instead of helping these childhood victims and being exposed to the saddening stories of their lives wants us to ignore them and instead jubilantly spend money. When we do so -- especially from the comfort of our homes -- retailers are going to use the postal service and that means more money for

This is not a sole indictment of but rather their commercial just happened to catch my attention as something that exemplifies a greater trend amongst the corporate world and society at large. There also exist a societal trend towards eliminating the harms that do not directly affect us from the consciousness of society. I intentionally still use the terms such as "abuse" and "neglect" because those are attributable. If a child is being neglected we know that a parent is not providing the basic needs for his or her offspring. The non-attributable phrase "needs not being met" is being pushed by those who believe that individuals should not be held accountable for their actions. That phrase does not direct fault on an individual but instead simply states a condition -- the child has not had his needs fulfilled.

If you use or engage in business with any company that uses that service then consider the moral depravity of doing so and the harm that further befalls the children who suffer additionally when their pain is ignored. There are many things in this world far worse than waiting in line at the post office. Don't let yourself become part of the attempt to silence or deny these victims by using

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©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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