If you don't report abused/neglected children, you are just as much to blame!
What you see is what you get
I've heard many stories in my (almost) 37 years, about children being abused and neglected. These stories are highlighted in the news, in newspapers, and these children are our neighbors. I've also known a couple of people who have lost their children to the state and Foster Care, due to neglect and abusive situations, and typically drug use by the parents. I've spoken with people that had lost their children, forever, because they couldn't/wouldn't commit themselves to a better life in order to parent their own babies.
This is an unbelievably sad epidemic in this country. Mothers and fathers dumping their newborns in garbage dumpsters behind unlit buildings in the middle of the night. New parents dropping their children off at hospital Emergency Rooms within 72 hours after their births, by parents who have chosen not to take responsibility. We've all heard the heart-wrenching stories of babies being left on peoples front porches in the dark of night, sometimes with a note from the parents, sometimes nothing.
I personally have called Child Protective Services on a few people in my lifetime because I knew for a fact that the children were in danger. I saw it with my own eyes, therefore I did what God would expect anyone to do in that situation, I made it known that these children were living in unloving, horrifying, disgusting, and abusive conditions. I never felt bad for once second, after all I was trying to save the children some sadness, I could care less about the parent, they are adults, they make their own choices, the children have no choice. They didn't choose to be born to some drug-addicted, selfish, greedy, invalid that could care less about their well-being.
Why should I involve myself in their business?
Let me ask you this, how could you sleep at night knowing an innocent child was being neglected and/or abused, and do nothing? I couldn't.
Many people don't want to get involved in other peoples busines. They don't want to seem like a tattle tale or nosy. In many cases the parents are drug addicts and someone who may want to call CPS on them, is worried that the parents will retaliate. They deem that they can't afford that type of attention on themselves because they're either afraid, or they're dug addicts themselves.
I don't care who you are, if you see children living in these in conditions, in squalor, in filth, amidst obvious drug-addicts and others who could care less about the welfare of these children, you call the police or CPS. They will make sure these children get the attention they need. Sometimes it takes a couple of different people to call CPS on one family, or the situation has to be very serious for them to do something immediately. But if you know something is wrong and children are at risk, you do everything you can to help them. You recruit others whom you know have been in the home, to call CPS as well. The more information they have, the quicker they will respond. But of course like so many other agencies, one bad apple ruined the whole bunch so they have to make sure you're not some scorned ex-boyfriend/girlfriend just trying to cause drama in the parents lives.
If your story is legitimate enough and you have some type of proof of the living conditions of these children, you must act! NOW!
Signs of abuse that should lead you to take action:
- Children that are always outside playing, rarely with adults, if ever.
- Do they look sad? Are they always staring at the ground? Do they have a hard time playing with other kids?
- Are their clothes soiled, do they have bruises? If you see bruises on a child often, this is more than likely abuse and should not be taken lightly. Try to speak to the parents but if they come up with some lame story like, "she fell", pay attention to the chid and the parent. Children don't fall every day and they don't bruise from it every time. Use your gut, your heart will eventually pick up on these little things.
- Pay attention to their yards, do they have toys, are they dirty, are they ever picked up?
- Who are the people that hang out at their homes? I'm not saying you should completely judge somebody based on tattoos or the car they drive, but what is the traffic at the home like? Are there people going in and out all hours of the night? Have you witnessed arguments, the law, or any other suspicious activity at the home?
- Have you spoken with the children or parents and had bad feelings or intuitions about the situation? Do they seem to be lying about certain issues, how do they present themselves? I think most of us can tell when we're being lied to, especially if we're watching the situation closely and already have those intuitions.
- Once you know the names of the parents, do a background check on them. Yes, many people can change, but many people don't. Have they been accused of abuse or do they have an extensive criminal background?
- At some point, try to get them to invite you into their home, or if their child is wandering the streets alone or without an adult, bring the child home and try to sneak a peak at their living conditions. What do you see?
- If you see filth and mess and insects and there are bad odors coming from the home, they're more than likely being neglectful and not taking care of their children.
- Do you rarely ever see the children? Are they locked up in the home? So many times I've seen stories on television about children that are locked in rooms while their parents do drugs and live their lives, and they're rarely let out. They're left to urinate and defacate on themselves, they eat the carpet and wood from the floors and door jambs. This seems outrageous but it is not. It's happeneing somewhere almost every day.
If you witness these conditions, what will you do about it?