The past two years have been eventful for the world. First, Covid dominated the news. Now, the tragic war in Ukraine (with 115 children killed, 140 injured, an untold number orphaned, and 1.5 million made refugees) is a major focus .
The following events have, also, taken place. They demonstrate that evil never rests:
Incest — Gucci heiress, Alexandra Zarini, has alleged that her stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo, sexually abused her between the ages of six and twenty-two. Her lawsuit has fractured the family, and confirmed that wealth is no safeguard against child abuse .
Catholic Church Sex Scandal — Retired Pope Benedict XVI (former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) has asked forgiveness from victims for his mishandling of four Catholic Church sex abuse cases . Ratzinger did not in so many words apologize or accept blame. He continues to deny personal responsibility for the rapes and sodomy perpetuated by his failure to curtail the ministries of pedophile priests when complaints first surfaced .
Elder abuse has become so common that older adults write into public forums for advice .
Adult children moved back in with parents with increasing frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic . Less than 25% of parents asked that their children contribute to increased household expenses such as food and utilities. This has strained some relationships, both financially and emotionally.
Other abusers may include partners, spouses, relatives, neighbors, friends, volunteer or paid workers, lawyers, and individuals intent on theft or fraud [3A].
Forms of Elder Abuse
As parents grow more frail with age, they become increasingly vulnerable to abuse. Abuse can range from rudeness and disrespect, to financial mismanagement, threats, intimidation, and outright violence. Continue reading →
Taurus 669 handgun, Author Philippe Kurlapski (CC BY-SA 1.0 Generic)
WARNING: Graphic Images
Sadly, it is not difficult to find stories of violence and abuse in the news.
Messiah Taplin, a 4 y.o. Texas boy, was allegedly shot to death by Zantyler Foster-Hooks, a partygoer celebrating the New Year with a firearm inside an apartment .
A Michigan man, Latravion McMillon, is being sought in the murder of his 6 y.o. stepson, Jaylen Worthington . The boy sustained head trauma, broken ribs, and a punctured lung before being pronounced brain dead.
A 7 y.o. Illinois girl, Natalie Wallace, was fatally shot in a drive-by, while visiting her grandmother [3A]. A 20 month old boy and a 10 y.o. girl were among those shot to death during a single Chicago weekend [3B].
An Arizona woman, Michelle Boone, has been charged with assaulting her children for not wearing masks, after the children tested positive for COVID-19 . The children range in age from 5 y.o. to 14 y.o. Boone struck one child in the face, picked another up by the throat, and kicked a third. Police believe she may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The little ones are always the ones at risk. But the scars of such abuse – assuming the children survive it – can last a lifetime.
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven’ ” (Matt. 19: 14).
African children with donated school supplies from Develop Africa, Author DevAfrica (CC BY-SA 4.0 International).
According to Save the Children, one billion children worldwide are currently out of school because of coronavirus lockdowns [1A]. Roughly half these do not have access to distance learning.
Children kept home from school are likely to lose learning and fall behind. They are, also, more vulnerable to abuse, as there is no one to intervene on their behalf.
Expenditures on the coronavirus (and increasing poverty as a result of the lockdowns) are expected to create a $77 billion gap in education funding for the world’s poorest children, over the next 18 months [2A]. Those living in overcrowded migrant camps and conflict zones will be the hardest hit [1B].
As many as ten million children will not return to school at all, forced into the labor market or early marriage [2B]. These will be mostly girls, further deepening the educational divide which already exists along wealth and gender lines.
Indications are that the coronavirus pandemic is increasing domestic violence [1A].
Arrests for domestic violence rose by 27% in Portland,OR in March. Domestic assault and battery reports rose by 21% in Seattle, WA and 22% in Boston, MA during the same period. The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline has experienced its highest call volume in 20 years.
“Domestic violence is rooted in power and control, and all of us are feeling a loss of power and control right now.”
-Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of National Domestic Violence Hotline [1B]
With stay-at-home orders in place across the country, the isolation victims typically endure has only been heightened. Fear of infection, job and financial losses exacerbate the stress on victims and abusers alike. The fact that gun sales have spiked is not helping the situation . Continue reading →
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to ravage the globe, the world applauds the efforts of healthcare workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. Those who care – whether the context is war, crime, natural disaster, illness, or abuse – rarely receive the credit they are due.
But they make a world of difference for the rest of us.
The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for psychiatric treatment or psychotherapy. The victims of child abuse are encouraged to seek advice and support from duly licensed professionals.