You Won’t Be Missed

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For the last ten years I have been blessed to work with incredible people doing amazing things for abused and neglected children and have felt so fortunate to be a part of this outreach! These individuals and organizations do so much to help as many kids as they can, however, there are some aspects that need change. It bothers me to see very little accountability with so many cases of child abuse once a case has been reported. This is happening everywhere and there does not seem to be an effective solution.  I don’t think it is fair to blame one person or organization for this problem.  I do feel more impassioned to be a voice for the voiceless and to collaborate with others to discover ways to create more accountability and in turn, more safety for these precious children.

Recently, I received a message from a distressed fifth-grade child (name and location omitted for confidentiality and safety purposes).  The child expressed to me that she thought she was being abused.  She went on to say that her father does not allow her to eat at home and constantly tells her that it is her fault that things are bad.  She continued to share with me the explicit names her father calls her and my heart broke for this young girl.   She told me that the child protective services people have come to her home many times and that her dad lies to them and tells her that he is going to lie to them so it doesn’t matter if she makes the call or not.  She is afraid she will get beaten if she asks for food. The most staggering part of my encounter with this little girl was that she wondered if anyone would miss her if she committed  suicide as her father told her no one would know or care if she was missing and killed herself. She wasn’t getting the help and relief she thought she would receive from CPS.  This little girl asked me if I would help bring her to a safe place.  Immediately, I called CPS and spoke with her case manager and her case manager’s supervisor. To my astonishment I was told that this little girl was embellishing the story and that they wanted to share the communications I had from this little girl with her family to show them what she was doing. Really? Show a report of abuse in front of her perpetrator?

Now I feel more fearful for the child after contacting people that should be protecting our most vulnerable.  Her case is closing and school will be out in five weeks.  I wonder what will happen to this child.  Will no one miss her?

You can help by joining the stopchildabuse campaign.

Please sign the petition at: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-child-abuse and spread the word to help make a difference.

Kindly,
Betsy Coffeen
PS. Because every child deserves to be safe

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