Suffering children, their helplessness and a powerful way to help.
Child abuse is one of the biggest failures in the world. Children are innate carriers of happiness and innocence, that soften many hearts. They are welcome and accepted almost everywhere. Their actions are a delight to so many. Their effortless ability to brighten spaces attracts the attention and sensibility of people around them. However, Many children suffer greatly every day at the hands of their adults.
Every day we hear stories of children suffering abuse and neglect that takes different shapes and forms. Some dying of starvation, physically beaten and misunderstood. Other children are left on high chairs, car seats or cribs for a very long time until they are inevitably hurt. The list is painfully long. Sexual, emotional, verbal abuse and neglect happen way too often in the United States and the World. Statistics indicate that younger children are the most vulnerable and that, in most cases, the abusers are their parents.
If they are so adorable and loving, why do they suffer? How does this happen? Why do some parents abuse their children? Children suffer when parents or caregivers fail to provide a healthy, safe environment to meet their needs. For a child, a healthy environment is a clean home with a safe space for him/her to sleep, play and eat. Most importantly, a safe home has parents that are loving, nurturing and provide good examples of life living that the child can learn from.
The reasons why parents and caregivers are abusive varies. For parents, there is an apparent disconnection between intention and action that happens after the child is born. Stress, overload, and frustration are among the most common culprits. However, at the top of the list is the business that comes to parents with hefty lives that have full-time jobs, big families and other responsibilities.
Parents are merely stressed out from long days at work, the responsibility of having a family, and the frustration from lack of time to perform. So many possible scenarios; single parenting, parents that suffered abuse as children, physiological sickness and substance abuse are just some of the reasons, yet nothing justifies hurting a child. The behavior of an abused child is often full of fear, disconnection and lack of trust. Children unwittingly adapt to the conditions that they are exposed to and for the most part, accepts and cope with everything.
Recently an unfortunate incident involving a toddler that fell into a deep, narrow, illegal well gave me an idea of the helplessness of a child in an abusive situation. His name was Julen Rosen, a two-year-old from a rural area in Southern Spain. While he was playing near his home a few feet away from his dad, Julen fell into a small deep well that could fit only somebody as little as him. His dad quickly ran to his rescue, to hear him cry as he descended and suddenly his crying stopped. The size of the well made it impossible for rescuers to go down and get him
Julen could not be seen, even after a camera was inserted in the hole. He was completely covered by the earth that came off when he was falling. With no image of Julen, the rescuers proceeded with the hopes that he was still alive. They work hard day and night for ten days. The well was on a mountain of steep terrain with a combination of different types of rocks and soil. The plan to rescue him was to build a parallel hole followed by a hand made gallery connecting the two holes. They faced many obstacles. While drilling, they came across concrete that needed explosives to bypass. Deviation and resizing issues also took a lot of work and time. This incident moved the hearts of people who prayed and waited desperately for good news. After many difficulties, the committed rescuers retrieved the lifeless body of Julen from the well.
Julen was not an abused child, but his helpless condition reminds us of the helplessness of an abused child. He could not help himself. To get to him, committed rescuers drilled tirelessly through rock, hard terrain to come to reach him ten days later and sadly find him dead.
I respectfully compare, that like Julen, abused children fall into a deep invisible well where they can’t do anything for themselves. The lack of knowledge os a possible abuse is like that little well where we can’t go. Once there is some suspicion, there are many difficulties because we are afraid to say something wrong and hurt a family. Indeed those fears and doubts are like the rocky territory of the mountain where Julen was. Sadly, many times we find out the truth only after they are gone.
Before this predicament, what can we do? How can we help these vulnerable human beings that desperately need us and yet, we don’t know who they are or where they are?
The problem is that we know these things are happening but how do we know who is suffering?, Shall we walk suspicious of every parent and judge everyone? These problems are undefinable, above us, and require more than any physical actions we can take. Before situations like these, we must realize how helpless we are in trying to stop abuse upon a child.
The Power of prayers and thoughts
Prayers are our way to connect to God and ask for wisdom and help. Through prayers, we reflect and trust, we bypass the futility of our present condition and hope for what we can’t get on our own. Elevating our deepest problems, like child abuse, to God, placed us in a mysterious, yet valid position. A position of trust and trust is a necessary part of life. Every day, the human race exercises trust whether aware of it or not. We trust for water, air, food. We trust that our children are safe in school, that the food from our favorite restaurant is prepared in sanitary conditions and so on. Life can’t coexist without trust. Therefore, let us continue to consciously trust that child abuse will one day end.
Also, please know that expressing our thoughts is powerful. Use your imagination to give love and protection to kids in need. Picture them smiling in a safe environment. In your mind, give them all they need to be happy and safe. Be consistent and do it as much as you can.
Please do not judge these helpful methods. Step outside your comfort zone and believe. Remember that every day children are suffering. Be hopeful, for hope is the expectation of goodness that will come to those who wait for it.