Kids are kids

For the last few days I have been sneezing like a cat, and looking after a cat who was sneezing.  We have been quite the team but I am hoping that things change for the better sooner rather than later.  I seem to be over the worst of things and my sinuses are settling down. 

I have also been the beneficiary of abuse for trying to keep children safe.  The refrain I hear from parents, and other irresponsible adults, of neglected children is that "kids are kids".  This ditty to their minds absolves them of all responsibility to their children.  The saying that should go with that is that is that adults should be adults but I do not hear that.  It seems to me that abusive parents are all about what is best for them.  What is best for these parents is that society should pay them for having children while caring for them too.

With the neglect and abuse of children increasing at alarming rates, the occasional article includes poverty as a trigger for neglect.  In Australia I find the excuse that children live in poverty bizarre.  Parents have never been so well looked after financially.  You can earn more having children with no expectations on either parents, for years at a time, than most people earn working full time.  Childcare is subsidized for working parents and paid maternity leave exists for women that work.  Students and single unemployed without children living on $11 000 to $13 500 AUD per year are the ones living in poverty.

The other charming statement that gets flung my way is the implication that I am somehow less of a woman, indeed less of a human being for not having a child.  Apparently pregnancy and moral superiority, according to these neglectful parents, go hand in hand.  The statistics on parental neglect including murder of their children suggest that being a mother and being a paragon have a tenuous grip:

"The Western Australian figures shed light on who is likely to abuse children in families and are in line with overseas findings. The data show there were 1505 substantiations of child abuse in WA during the period 2007-8. Natural parents were responsible for 37% of total cases. Of these, mothers are identified as the perpetrator of neglect and abuse in a total of 73% of verified cases." (http://australianmensrights.com/Domestic_Violence_Statistics-Child_Abuse_Australia/Women_who_murder_their_Children-Australian_Statistics.aspx).

"Other U.S. data from various state departments of human resources suggest that, in most cases of child abuse and neglect, the mother is the perpetrator (Webb 1991; Wright 1992) and this is consistent with research reports by various advocacy groups for non-custodial parents and their children (Anderson 1990; Burmeister 1990). A study of all state child protective services agencies by the Children's Rights Coalition (a child advocacy and research organisation in Austin Texas), found that biological mothers physically abuse their children at twice the rate of biological fathers. The majority of the rest of the time, children were abused because of the single-mothers' poor choices in the subsequent men in their lives. Incidences of abuse were almost non-existent in single-father-headed households (Anderson 1990)."http://jointparenting.org/increased_risk_of_child_abuse.htm

If you think that I am making up the increase of neglected children, these statistics make interesting reading:

"In 2012–13, there were 272,980 notifications to Australian child protection services – more than six times the number of notifications recorded in 1989-90 when national data collection commenced. "
http://theconversation.com/abuse-and-neglect-australias-child-protection-crisis-32664

It is interesting to note that single parent families in 1988 were one in twenty families.  In 1989 this exploded to one in three, it has since reduced to one in four when mutual obligation for single parents was introduced in 2005 after the government tried voluntary engagement by parents (ABS, 2011 Census statistics).   In 1989 a massive national building program of public housing began with those most vulnerable the most likely to be housed.  I could find no other cause for the massive jump in single parent families.  Being a single mother has been shown to make children more vulnerable to abuse and more likely to be neglected and abused in Australia and the United States of America: "it follows that the relative risk of sexual abuse of children in a female single parent household is over seven times the risk in a two natural parent family"
(http://jointparenting.org/increased_risk_of_child_abuse.htm).

Abuse and neglect of children is increasing according to the ABS, SMH & ABC:

  1. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/cee2ca577f26de24ca2570eb00835392!OpenDocument
  2. http://www.smh.com.au/national/child-abuse-cases-start-to-rise-again-20130307-2fp0u.html
  3. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/child-abuse-children-safety-neglect-video/4968066

If you have concerns about a child you can report them to your state police and department of child safety for your state.  If a child is in immediate danger contact police, if it is an emergency call 000 (Australia) or 911 (USA) and place an emergency call with police.

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