In response to Terry Doran’s letter of May 9, I have to say, “Really?”
I am flabbergasted, really!
I wish I could say that I am shocked and bewildered by the statistics, but that was not a shock. It is a sad condition of our society. I was shocked that people like Doran think the appropriate action to address these facts is a memorial museum dedicated to these most innocent of victims. Really?
In reading his letter, one could almost hear the excitement of Doran for having found a way to reduce the tragedy of these stories and move them into the safe category of somber appreciation for their lives. An acceptable solution of paying tribute for failing to prevent the tragedy.
First, Mr. Doran, child abuse and child rape are not tragedies. They are horrors.
Disease in a child is a tragedy. Crippling accidents are tragedies. Child abuse and child molestation are horrors, deep dark monsters lurking out of the most evil recesses of abhorrent behavior. Ask anyone who has survived. Ask anyone who has lost a beloved child to that kind of evil.
Let’s put up a museum for healing, thinking and artistic expression. Really? Let’s answer the call to build a happy place to remember those children we let monsters destroy. Mr. Doran, the real tragedy is that your solution does nothing to help these victims nor prevent future ones. The real tragedy is that your solution only serves to help people feel better about the end results of their inaction, of our inaction.
In our state, if a person beats his dog or cat, the animal is permanently removed the first time. In our state, if a person fails to feed or properly care for their pet, it is permanently removed.
In our state, returning a child to its abuser is the goal of the agency protecting the child. Maybe it is me, but that sounds wrong, to put the child back into the path of a proven danger. Why, in this state, do we protect animals more vigorously than children?
Mr. Doran, you want people to come together to raise money for a building. How will a museum stop a child from being a statistic? By raising awareness? People are aware, they just do not care enough to do anything real toward stopping this horror. Your feel-good museum/wellness center is a perfect example.
Instead of a building to memorialize the victims why not raise money for lobbyists to petition for tough laws and punishment of child abusers and child murderers. Raise money to assist children’s agencies in need or volunteer.
Let’s petition the courts to give as much protection to children as we give to dogs, cats and hamsters. Instead of giving the abuser numerous chances to learn to beat or abuse the child, let’s give the child a chance to learn what it is to live in a safe home.
How many occurrences does it take to turn an abuse victim into a child abuser? Why not stop the violence at one occurrence and see if that doesn’t break the cycle of abuse.
A child only has one chance to have a decent childhood, but we give abusers numerous chances to hurt and kill those children.
If we’re serious about stopping violence against children in all of its horrible forms then why not be serious concerning the protection of those children and punishment for those who violate children?
But you want to build a memorial, help them by putting their names on a wall. I’m sure that will be a comfort to those children as they cower from the violence that will eventually warp or end their lives. You want to turn tragedy into something positive. A special all-groups-coming-together type event to pat each other on the back for how much money and good will you can raise to eliminate your feelings of helplessness and guilt.
I’ll bet those children who spend their nights being beaten, hoping it won’t hurt too badly this time, praying to God knowing that he will somehow protect them, will feel so much better knowing you are building a memorial to them. Really.
Why not use your efforts to stop the horror, instead of creating a place to honor the future victims.
Re: Judith Cox’s guest column, “Most Catholics today refuse to accept hierarchical stand on contraception”: Following Cox’s line of thinking, should the Catholic Church do away with tenets because they are being violated? Similarly, should a church ignore one or more of the Ten Commandments because they are being violated?
James K. Boomer