Child Abuse News: Essential or Extraneous?

by JWC

Child abuse is evil. Child abuse news reporting is not. In fact, in the opinion of this writer, child abuse news reporting by all forms of media has helped to reduce the total incidents of child abuse. The media has also helped to bring offenders to justice.

None of us enjoy reading child abuse news articles with headlines such as "Pope apologizes for Australian child abuse" or "Lewis couple indicted on charges of child abuse and rape" or "Child abuse cases exceed expectations." In fact most of you, like me, are appalled with such child abuse news headlines. Only the very, very sick would find entertainment in such headlines.

However, numerous child abuse news stories about parish priests molesting children were partially responsible for the Catholic Church's acknowledgment of these offences and their subsequent attempted cover ups by moving priests from parish to parish. This cover up resulted in other children being molested and in providing a safe haven for molesters.

Although we are unable to accurately measure the incidences of child abuse, either in the Catholic Church or in society as a whole, visible steps have and are being taken to reduce the abuse of children, steps such as changing state laws that act to protect the most vulnerable of our society: children.

People constantly vilify the media for only reporting bad and negative news, but I would argue that sometimes it is necessary; and reporting child abuse news is one of those necessary times.

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Article titled "Child Abuse News: Essential or Extraneous?" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Jul 22, 2008
Two specific laws...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Thank you JWC for your thoughtful article on this topic.

Although there are numerous laws that have been passed in recent years in various states in the USA as a result of highly publicized child abuse cases, for the benefit of my visitors, two that come to mind are the passing of Oklahoma's Kelsey's Law (see Toddler's Death Results in New Oklahoma Law on this site) and Pennsylvania and California's Megan's Law (where police are required to keep a registry of sex offenders). Tragically, children died before these laws were enacted.

While most of us don't find joy in reading such appalling and downright depressing headlines, I agree with you JWC: We must take the blinders off if we have any hope of protecting our children, our most precious assets. Children abused today may well become the abusers of tomorrow: abusers of their children, their spouses, and even their own aging parents.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jul 23, 2008
Thank God for the News
by: Anonymous4mysiblingsSake

Child abuse had always been such a hush hush subject. It had always stayed in the family. The more the public is aware of domestic violence and child abuse, the more it can identify it and find help for the victims.

I suffered from long term abuse as a little girl. I was molested by both parents, abused physically to the point of bloodshed and sutures, and tortured psychologically, mentally, and emotionally.

I had never ever thought of reveiling my secrets to the public as a child. The devil you know is much safer than the devil you don't.

When others know they are not alone, I believe they are empowered.

I think the media does hurt a lot of subjects but when it comes to child abuse, it really does help the victims who are voiceless.

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