Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What do you do?

The trial against the people who tormented little Nia Glassie finished yesterday.

You'll remember about a year ago I posted about the death of this little girl - killed at the hands of the very people who supposedly cared for her. Her mother was convicted of man slaughter and her boyfriend and his brother of murder. Two other supposed adults in the house were convicted on lesser charges.

New Zealand has an appalling record when it comes to young children. We have the 5th highest child abuse figures in the developed world.

I don't know why. And I guess no one else does because this is one problem we haven't fixed. Every time this happens we get upset and say it must never happen again - but it does.

There do seem to be a few common elements in these cases, but other countries have similar problems.

This was a dysfunctional household. A small child should never have been left there. A few neighbors heard or saw things that they knew were not right and yet no one called the police or authorities.

Cases like this bring out the worst in me. All my tolerance and humanity goes out the window and I just hope that the offenders get picked on in prison so that they get a taste of what it's like when people treat you unkindly and there is no one around who cares enough to stop your tormentor.

That poor little girl was treated appallingly until finally a kick to the head killed her.

It just leaves me feeling so sad and helpless - hell, I'd dob someone in at the drop of hat if I believed they were ill treating a child - but I never see anything.

How do we help these littlies? They're invisible until one day you switch on the television and hear there has been another Nia Glassie or the Kahu twins or ... any New Zealander can recite the list going back.

It saddens me so much to live in a society we're any one of us can treat a helpless child like this.

5 comments:

the Bag Lady said...

I hadn't realized the problem was so large in New Zealand! This is definitely something that gets my back up as well. What is wrong with people who abuse children?! And I agree wholeheartedly with you - I hope they get worse than 'picked on' in prison!
My heart goes out to that poor child, although, if you believe in that sort of thing, it sounds like she's better off where she is now than she ever was on this cruel earth!

Leah J. Utas said...

How horrible. I don't understand why this happens and why so many societies turn their backs until someone dies.
We can't tell people "You are not to have children" but I sure do wish we could.

Leah J. Utas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrie Farley Moran said...

We just had a similar case adjudicated here in New York. It breaks my heart to hear of such things. It makes no sense, yet it continues to happen.

Terrie

Dawn said...

Bag Lady - Yes we do have a problem with child abuse in NZ. My own feeling is that it has got worse over the years but maybe it is simply more exposed.

I'd love the offenders to get a taste of their own medicine.

Leah - One young man admitted he saw her being put on top of a rotary clothes line and swung round until she fell off. He turned his back and went inside.

I think people who do this should be sterilized. Surely having children is a privilege.

Terry - I don't know which countries have higher stats than us with this, but 5th highest in the developed world is way too high.

It kind of destroys your faith in people for a while.