Terrorizing our children . . .

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Children's Rights
Tags: , , , ,

This post is a continuation of a previous post called  The laws for our children . . .   If you haven’t already read it, take a look.

For the purpose of supporting all of the laws for the crimes against children that I listed in the previous post, the United States has the following number of courts and infrastructure that is responsible for adjudicating legal disputes and dispense justice in accordance with the law.  (It is understandable that the courts in the United States are not just dealing with criminal acts against children.)  Besides the courts there are also  800,000 law enforcement personnel in the U.S.

94      US District Courts (trial courts)
1        Court of International Trade (trial court)
13      US Courts of Appeals Circuit Courts (intermediate appellate courts)
1        Supreme Court of the United States (final appellate court)
1        US Court of Federal Claims
1        US Tax Court (19 judges, traveling)
94     US Bankruptcy Courts
1        US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
1        US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces 
1        United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 
51     state supreme courts
2,992      county courts
16        borough courts in Alaska
64       parishes with courts in Louisiana

 
In addition there are numerous agencies, organizations, hotlines, and departments that exist purely for protecting or assisting children.  Below is a list, but I am sure there are many organizations that have been missed.
     
ALAS Foundation   Irish Children’s Fund
Action for Children   Key Bible Club
Action for Healthy Kids   Kids Help Phone
Alliance for Childhood   Kindernothilfe
Alliance for Children and Families   Komitee Twee of the Netherlands
AmberWatch Foundation   Lawyers For Children
America’s Promise   Living Dreams
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry   MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation
American Civil Liberties Union   Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MCC)
Amnesty International   Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation
Anti-Defamation League   Mikindani Center of HOPE
Association on American Indian Affairs   Millennium Kids
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America   NAACP
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada   Naked Heart Foundation
B’nai B’rith International   National Black Child Developmental Institute
Block Parent Program   The National Children’s Alliance 
Boys & Girls Town National Hotline   National Domestic Violence Hotline
Canadian Feed The Children   National Junior Honor Society
Canadian Mothercraft Society   National Runaway Switchboard
The Carter Center   National Safe Place
Center for Constitutional Rights   National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
User:Captain Nikomus/Sandbox   National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 
Center on Media and Child Health   Neighbor To Family, Inc.
Child advocacy   Nepal Youth Foundation
Child advocacy 360   Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
Child Alert Foundation   Orphans International
Child Care Policy Research Consortium   Otis Smith Kids Foundation
Child Find Ontario   Our Kids Our Future
Child Foundation   PKIDs
Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative   David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Child Helpline International   Parents Anonymous
Child Life Council   Pebbles Project
Child Welfare League of America   Plan Canada
Childhelp USA    Polly Klaas Foundation
Childhope Asia Philippines   Primary (LDS Church)
Childline India Foundation   Put Kids First
Children & Nature Network   Rädda Barnen
Children Parliament Pakistan   Prevent Child Abuse America
Children care international   Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations
Children of Vietnam   Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Children’s Aid Society   Ramifications
Children’s Aid Society (Canada)   Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network
Children’s Defense Fund   The Resource Foundation
Children’s Express   Right To Play
Children’s Heart Foundation   Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation
Children’s Hunger Fund   Rugmark
Children’s Rights Council   SOS Children’s Villages – Canada
Christina Noble Children’s Foundation   Santa in the City
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence   Serving Charity
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers   Society for Research in Child Development
Committee for Missing Children   Stand for Children
Comenius Foundation for Child Development   Street Kids International
Concerned Children’s Advertisers   Students Helping Honduras
Covenant House Nineline   Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Court Appointed Special Advocates   Taruntirtha
Darkness to Light   Tender Wishes Foundation
Doctors of the World   The Hands and Feet Project
Dream House For Medically Fragile Children   The Heckscher Foundation for Children
Dreams Come True (non-profit)   The Memory Project
Early Childhood Australia   The Nurturing Network
Family Justice League   Tiny Hands International
Family Violence Prevention Fund   TreeHouse
Feed The Children   UNICEF Philippines
Feminist Majority Foundation    UNICEF UK
First Focus   Udayan Care
Friends of the Orphans   UNICEF
The Future of Children   Unicef Indonesia
The Global Fund for Children   University Child Development Center
Generation FIVE   Vietnam Children’s Fund
Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation   Vietnam Friendship Village
Happy Hearts Fund   Visayan Forum Foundation
Harold E. Jones Child Study Center   Voices for America’s Children
Healthy Child Healthy India   Women’s Refugee Commission
Hot Peach Pages   World Summit for Children
Human Rights Watch   World Vision
Hide ‘N Seek Children’s Foundation   Worldwide Faith Missions
International Breast Milk Project   Yale Child Study Center
International Kids Fund   Young Lives
Iowa Child Welfare Research Station   Youth Assisting Youth
    Youth Service America

 

[Big Sigh!  Finally to my point.]  So I am sure there is a little curiosity about why this post is including these numerous lists.   For one thing, the lists serve as a resource list.  You are welcome to use it for that purpose.   For me the real reason for showing these lists is to present to you the magnitude of infrastructure that is in place for the protection of children.  Yet why are we seeing the headlines in the news of molestation, abduction, abuse, or pornography, to name a few?  Recently I was watching the news and there was a story about a child that was missing.  The story said there were over 800,000 children missing in the United States.  I was shocked to hear how big the number was.  The following are some statistics that we need to pay attention to:

  • 800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year
  • 2,000 children are reported missing each day.
  • 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
  • 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members
  • 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping.
  • According to a 1997 study, Case Management for Missing Children Homicide Investigation, the murder of an abducted child is a rare event but,  an estimated 100 such incidents occur in the United States each year.
  • During Federal fiscal year 2007, an estimated 3.2 million referrals, involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately 5.8 million children, were referred to CPS agencies.
  • An estimated 1,760 children died due to child abuse or neglect
  •  771,700 children were victims of neglect
  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.

If these number don’t shock you then let’s talk about dollars.  The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 was $104 billion.

This is my concern.  We have laws to protect children and to punish the  perpetrators of sexual abuse, abduction, assault, murder, molestation, etc.  The United States has an intricate court system for ensuring that laws are abided by and if they are not then the perpetrators are given a punishment.  We also have numerous law enforcement individuals that protect the children and catch the perpetrators, so that the court system can identify the offense, determine if they are guilty, and provide a punishment.  And finally we have many public and private organizations who have identified we have a problem and they have made it their goal to help the children that are victims.

My point is, with this whole infrastructure that is in place, how is it that crimes against children continue day after day?  It is my belief there is nothing worse than hurting a child.  Children represent purity and hope.  They bring joy to the world.  They are our future.  Yet, we are obviously not addressing the issues correctly.  I feel like the infrastructure is just putting a band-aid on an open wound, and the wound is spewing blood, which represents the harm being done to all of these children.

I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that the current system is not working and is very reactionary versus being proactive.  I believe we need to work proactively to prevent these atrocities from happening to our children.   

This country hates the word “profiling,” but I think this is one of the steps we need to do to prevent these crimes from occurring.  Perhaps, profiling should be on both the perpetrator and the victim.  This country needs to do everything it can to protect the children. 

Our country is paying billions of dollars chasing terrorists all around the world.  I think we need to put a similar plan within our own country.  These criminals are terrorists to our children.  They exist within the boundaries of our country, within the jurisdiction of the law, and live in the houses in our neighborhoods.  I challenge you to be a part of the change.  Save our children.  Become more aware of how much this criminal activity exists.  Contact your congressmen and ask them to invest in our future and our children by making it a priority to eliminate the terrorists of our children.  Encourage them to create a task force to identify other methods of preventing these crimes against the children.  If you are able, volunteer some time to help an organization that strives to help children.  And probably most importantly, pay attention to the people in your neighborhood or your community.  These criminals live there.  And more importantly pay attention to the children.  Listen to them.  They need our help to be safe.  They need our help to remain children.

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