This is another great writing prompt I found at www.plinky.com
If you could wake up tomorrow and find that one thing had changed about the world, what would you have that one thing be?
I would stop all child abuse:
We all know that abuse is wrong and that it is a terrible thing, but those are very general statements. We hear those statements mostly from people who haven’t ever experienced it in their lives, either personally or inside their own families. This is becoming extremely rare now though. I am not sure what the actual statistics are now and they are not completely accurate because there are still many cases that are never reported but more and more children are being abused than most people would think is even possible.
It goes a lot deeper than child abuse just being wrong and terrible though. Any type of abuse to a child, whether it be neglect, physical, sexual or verbal abuse changes who these children are and doesn’t give them a chance to become who they would have been otherwise. Their innocence is taken away from them. They do not get the chance to experience the world in the same way that a child who has not been abused does. If you ask an adult who was abused as a child what they remember from their childhood, I am guessing that some of their biggest memories and emotions would be fear, anger and pain instead of toys, birthday parties and summertime fun.
I want to be clear though. I am NOT saying that a child who has been abused can not or will not grow up to be a wonderful, successful person and it doesn’t make it okay for them to grow up and become a criminal or a drug addict, etc. I did NOT have an excuse to use drugs and become the addict that I was because I was abused as a child. That was still a choice I made as an adult and even though I write about both issues on my blog, I want to make it clear to anyone who visits it that my intention is not to link the two together in any sort of way to make an excuse for my behavior.
However, what I experienced as a child was not my fault and not my choice just as it is not any child’s fault or choice. It is hard for children to understand that and that is another reason as to how abuse changes who they are. These children suffer from false guilt and this guilt can last a lifetime for some. It doesn’t matter how many times they are told that its not their fault, they will feel like it is. That is the way a child’s mind works. How could we expect anything different? Imagine how confusing it even is for adults who are abused. Now think about how much more confusing it must be for a child.
Since there is child abuse in the world, I think we should have stronger punishments for it. My father only spent one year in jail because he agreed to a plea agreement and he was protected while he spent his time there because he had been a police officer a few years before he was convicted. He was also granted work release, even though he still didn’t pay his support to my mom. After he was released from jail, our county did not follow through with part of the plea agreement, which was for him to be in intense counseling and to not be around any other children until I turned eighteen-years old. He quit counseling and I know that he spent time around my younger cousins. He was getting ready to go back to jail for something unrelated when we were told he took his life.
That is just a small example of how I personally believe our system makes mistakes. Child molesters spend very little time in jail and continue to commit hideous crimes. A drug addict gets convicted of using drugs and can get sentenced to several years in prison, not just jail. I personally see a problem with this. If I could, this would definitely be changes I would make in the world.