Tag Archives: child abuse

Foster Homes: Better the Hell You Know

foster parents, foster homes, children, family services, child abuse

Universal's Despicable Me is a film where fostering goes right

Yet again one of Canada’s ministries of children’s welfare is in the news because a child in their care died under questionable circumstances. This one’s in Alberta and after taking a four-month old baby from the mother the child died within a week of removal. The ministry, or department, seems to keep itself steeped in secrecy and obscuring the facts. These ministries were set up to rescue children from terrible situations in their families lives and give them a chance at a normal and healthy life.

It is even the stuff of movies and books; the child removed from the abuse at home and put into a foster home. The foster home becomes one jumping off point after another, because of neglect or a host of abuses. The child grows to be a teen, often on drugs, into prostitution and on the street. The teen grows to be a criminal adult. Those fictions and tropes are unfortunately built on fact. The movie Despicable Me is about a villain who takes on foster children as a cover. The results are hilarious and fun and with a turnabout that gives the children a good home. It’s a fantasy in many ways, but a good foster home is not something all children get.

There are good foster parents who do give a child a loving and stable home in their life. There was a case in Alberta a few years back of a foster mother who lost her right to foster, not because she was bad (in fact she had fostered many children well) but because she was a lesbian. Yet ministries in various provinces have time and again placed children in homes where the people were abusive (physically or sexually), alcoholics or drug users.  And of course the worst cases are where the children lost their lives due to being placed in a home possibly more horrific than the one they were in.

Imagine the nightmare of being a child and thinking you are saved to find the situation worse, or to be torn from the dysfunctional beings that you still love and placed with monsters who care nothing for your well-being. Sad and unfortunately no exaggeration for some. For Alberta last year, six children died and five of those were Aboriginal. Makes you wonder where the ministry is placing these children.

I know of someone whose mother was a foster parent. This woman, an only child, was placed in foster care at times by her own mother, because the mother could make more money raising other people’s children than her own. Eye witnesses report that this mother would be quite verbally abusive to a child she was caring for. I also know of a couple who rescued their relation from an abusive sibling. The sibling was unfit for several reasons to be a parent and they are giving that child a stable and loving relationship that he would not have recieved from his own parent.

There are good and bad foster homes but the governments who oversee these services need to screen the foster homes far better than they do, and get their facts straight. They need to charge the people who are killing the children and they need to clean up their own acts so that they can truly rescue children from a dire situation and put them in a safe environment. I guess I’m lucky that I only had my own dysfunctional family to deal with and didn’t have to face a foster parent as well.

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What I Really Think About Sex

I have posted some very strong-minded articles in regards to sex and sexual abuse. I’ve mentioned that I was sexually abused and rather than be a victim I’ve pursued a healthy mindset and not let the past or the perpetrator control me (I hope).

I’ve commented on how I am somewhat skeptical (and a bit disgusted) with the whole genetic sexual attraction thing, and though I could see a small percentage of people maybe truly just falling in love (or physically lusting after) their relative as adults, I still think that there is too much room for power over. Not to mention the cultural guilt and taboos, and of course children of such relations limits them due to the narrowing of the gene pool and the increase of genetically damaged results.

I’ve commented at least to friends on the subjugation of women in various countries where wives and girls are treated as possessions and don’t have equal rights. I’ve made strong statements about child abuse of any sort and abuse of animals, if I haven’t mentioned it before is extremely disturbing and wrong. Any living creature that can’t give its consent or understand the full impact of what is being done to it or her/him should not be coerced into sexual activity. Laws are there to protect the innocent.

So, with these opinions, it might also seem that I’m pretty hard-edge, straight and narrow on the whole topic of sex. But I’m not. I am for eliminating abuse and for equal rights, and when it comes to sex I’m all for it.

What I mean by this is that it is neither my job nor my right to snoop into someone else’s life (be it a politician’s, a movie star’s, a neighbor’s, a relative’s, a friend’s) and make judgements on how or who they have sex with (unless it is of course the aforementioned animals, children or subjugated people). I don’t care if someone does it doggy style or hangs from the rafters in a bat costume. I don’t want to know if they yodel during coitus or exchange fluids from which my imagination runs screaming. It doesn’t matter if they have sex with the same gender, five people at the same time while chanting Monty Python, or pay for it.

When we get right down to it, it is nobody’s business but those involved. Humans are sexual creatures and we like to have sex. We are also not set into a mating cycle like most animals and therefore can have sex whenever we want. Like bonobos, we do it for fun as well as procreation. It is in fact human nature.

Now I also think that people need a sex education, starting in school, that goes beyond “these are ovaries–they produce eggs, this is a penis–it (and the scrotum) produce sperm. Babies can form…etc.” They need to understand what sex is, how the process of excitement and arousal works, how to achieve it, what the results are. There needs to be a healthy wholesome attitude about something that everyone (or nearly everyone) does at some point in their lives. Instead of telling people that masturbation is bad and dirty, tell them it is healthy and normal. Instead of shushing any talk about the sex act, explain it.

I strongly believe that if we took the mystery and “dirtiness” out of sex, (this idea perpetrated by too many religions) that we would have less sexual perversion. I’m not saying no perversion but if it’s suddenly not dirty and wrong, where is the illicit thrill? Granted sex has its own thrill but it’s our society’s constraints on sex that causes some of the illness surrounding it. And prostitution should be legalized. It would take it off the street, remove the stigma from women and johns, keep it clean and safe, improve other neighborhoods, and gosh, give the government revenue. It’s only the moral religious backwardness that prevents this and makes it “dirty” as well.

At some point the greater majority of humanity has intercourse, and some of it pleasurable. However, the majority of people will not kill someone (war in some areas is still not the majority of the planet). So then why is it bad, naughty and X-rated to even see full frontal nudity, let alone intercourse, but on any prime time night you can see someone beaten, strangled, cut, shot or otherwise mutilated? HBO has shifted this somewhat but on average there is more violence than sex on TV. Is it any wonder we have a sick and atrophied culture when violence is okay to view but sex and naked bodies is bad? What a sad state. And here the Glenbow Museum’s ad (in Calgary) was banned by Calgary transit. What was the subject of the banned picture? A baby’s head and umbilical cord. Oooh, now that’s really disgusting.

But I digress. North American culture has so many sexual hangups that a nude person on a beach is wildly titillating and sex is something done in the dark and not talked about. It’s time to wake up, teach people about the joys and pleasures and wholesomeness of consensual sex (notice that important word–consensual) and stop getting all aghast when it happens near you. Don’t judge, just accept that it’s part of normal life.

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Brutal Indifference to Child’s Plight

I’m sure if I talked about sex or the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, then more people would read this as it seems to be what titillates humanity most. But unfortunately this is more important, sadder and tragic than some woman selling her virginity. Oh, I know. I should just title this Virgin Sells Body for Charity. Now that would be something to talk about.

I have a friend who works ECOMM, emergency 911 calls. On January 10, the following occurred here in Vancouver, leaving me appalled and horror-stricken.

At 10:30 pm a woman and her child were walking home in the pouring rain and slush when  a barefoot, 12-year-old Asian boy (I mention the race because maybe it’s important, maybe it’s not) in pajamas came running out, pleading for help. His parents were fighting. The woman refused to help and didn’t even guide the boy to some phone or another place but just pointed to the care home nearby. Fifteen minutes later when she got home, perhaps guilt gnawed at her because she called 911.

When the police came, they checked at the care home where no one had answered the phone. The duty nurse, someone who is supposed to care for people, had said yes, the boy, soaking wet, crying and begging had come to the door. But they didn’t help or let him in because it was against their policy. They told the police that yes, they had called 911 but in fact the dispatchers confirmed that they had not. They left the boy, late at night, soaking and cold, to fend for himself.

The police then sent units up and down all the streets, including canine units but there were too many people who had come and gone by then. My friend, along with the call taker, checked houses within a radius to see if any had past histories of disturbances/abuse. Nothing showed up.

When the duty officer arrived on the scene, he sent the police door to door from the care home. In fifteen minutes they found six witnesses who had seen this boy trying to stop traffic in the street pleading for help. All the cars swerved around him. No one stopped. Not one of those six witnesses helped or called 911.

The police searched for three hours that night. They never found the boy.

Who knows what happened. Did the boy go home to a resolved fight? Or did he go home and get beaten for trying to involve others? Did he get frostbite, hypothermia, pneumonia? Is he dead somewhere? Worst of all, this boy, should he survive this will have lost all faith in humanity and will probably grow up to prey on others as he has seen nothing but a cold and uncaring world. It makes me cry just thinking of this. All these coldhearted people should consider the child abuse that they perpetrated.

We like to think the big cities in the US have this problem but it’s right here, on your doorstep and it will get worse if no one cares. The police should commended for trying their all. The rest of us should wonder if we live in a civilized society.

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