April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Let that sink in for a moment.
The fact that we still hear about these types of stories is just sickening. The fact that we even have to have a month devoted to child abuse awareness proves that society has a long way to go.
Every day, we skim the news and see another story about Child Protective Services having to get involved with a "family" (yes, I put that in quotes) where someone has taken out their frustrations on a defenseless child, or worse.
Even one instance of this type of behavior anywhere is too many. The fact that ANYONE in a city such as Lubbock, which is working to brand itself as a family-friendly and child-safe destination, could be capable of such a heinous act against a child is abhorrent.
Then, we see stories like this from EverythingLubbock.com, and become incredulous that people like this live among us in Lubbock: Over 2,000 child abuse cases reported for Lubbock in 2020
Over 2,000? In one year?!
According to the article, there are, on average, no less than three confirmed cases of child abuse in the city of Lubbock every single day. One is unacceptable. Three is, well, I have no words. Three children today who will suffer at the hands of a monster for the sole crime of being a child.
You hear excuses such as, 'Well, the little bastard had it coming!' because a child was careless or talked back or something similar. That's what kids do; they push the boundaries. But as an adult, it's your job to teach and take the high road. Not to just haul off and backhand a child because they ticked you off.
I may be extreme, but I'm a firm believer that if you hurt a child, you need to go away forever. No, 2nd or 3rd offense. You go away, and stay away. You've lost your rights to living a quality life at that point. I won't even get into those who abuse children in other ways, because there's a special place in Hell set up for them.
The worst offenders, in my opinion, are those who don't even lay a finger on the child, but yet stand idly by while someone else does the unspeakable. No one is worth protecting if they are so heinous that they feel the need to destroy a child's life. If you see something, say something.
All this said, I felt a belt across my behind more than once growing up. I wasn't a model child by any stretch, and you can say it was a different time. But I knew that when it came time for me to be a parent, I swore that I would never lay a hand on my children, and I kept that vow, no matter how frustrated or crazy they made me feel at times.
Lubbock, we can do better. Much, much better. No child should ever feel fear due to the actions (or inactions) or someone they trust.