I want to thank everyone who called the show. I wasn’t sure whether people would talk about this. I also want to thank Gus. He has lived his life with courage and strength.
A couple of callers had important points I wanted to pass along. One caller who had a long term relationship with a girl who was sexually abused and the abuse ended at the age of six noted when they started living together she suffered extreme bouts of depression. This pain never can be erased. It affects every aspect of a person. We need to incarcerate pedophiles forever. The goal must be to protect society’s most vulnerable population.
Another caller, an elementary school principal from a Buffalo Public School, said they make the mandatory reports and parent’s come after them. The end result is that nothing gets done. Children are not removed from dangerous homes. Sadly he is right. We have a mammoth bureaucracy in place that is employing adults! I spoke with a CPS worker here in Buffalo and “Taking a child away from a parent is so traumatic that it is a last resort; we really try to work with the parent”. This must stop! The ordinary citizen is the child’s only hope and we must begin to act.
Perhaps the most striking call was at the end of the program. He had found out that four of his children had been sexually abused by an older sibling that had moved back into the house. His advice is excellent and I am going to heed it. I think you should too. Sit down with your children and tell them that sometimes adults get children to do things that they shouldn’t do and it makes kids feel ashamed or guilty. Tell them that you will promise them two things: that you will forgive them for whatever they have done no matter what it is and that you will protect them from the person that did it no matter what it takes; they will never be hurt by that person again. He recommended missingchildren.com as a website that offers a pamphlet for law enforcement officials to use when interacting with a child who may have been abused. I am going to order one today and you should too.
The final thought I want to convey is to never ignore your gut instinct. If you think something is not right it probably isn’t. Make a call. You should also visit the CNN.com website and watch the story about an ordinary hero; Tracy Dean. This could be any of us. Know your children well enough to know when something has changed. Keep your eyes open in all of your activities and you may be able to rescue a child.
Please see my listing of important Keep All Children Safe Links:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Sex Offender Alert Registry
NYS Child Abuse Hotline
Shelly Schratz, Amherst Town Council
Megan’s Law Call for Action
America’s Most Wanted