I love Freedom. I'm a liberty minded person.
It is interesting how people who claim to be freedom minded use this concept of "freedom" as a protection for those who abuse children and animals.
Did you know you are only entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you're an adult in America? Sadly, that is the way of it.
I've got news for you, though. . .children (and animals) are entitled to decency and a life free of abuse.
This doesn't mean the government has any RIGHT to decide how they are parented (I don't care if you live in a tent and are kind to your child and feed him enough), but what it means is we ALL know there is a clear line where abuse and GROSS neglect takes place. It isn't parental preference. It is a CRIME. We can't excuse these crimes. We can't give these parents ANOTHER CHANCE.
No parent has the right to have a second chance if they abuse and grossly neglect their child. The child's RIGHTS MUST MATTER MORE.
In WV, that is not the case. Most cases of abuse go ignored. Most adoptable children stay locked up in foster care until they aren't adoptable or rehab-able. And so many people are willing to err on the side of caution in the name of protecting a parent's rights instead of a child's right.
On the heels of all I've seen reporting child abuse and neglect I've witnessed in person, in the year I spent as a CASA and from just living in a world where children get bottom of the barrel too often, I already realize that only thing this parent's rights mentality has done for WV is harm children.
"Children are dying from abuse and neglect at a higher rate in West Virginia than any other state, a problem that judges, social workers and others say is fueled by rampant substance abuse and likely to grow unless lawmakers get serious about finding and paying for solutions."
West Virginia had the highest death rate due to neglect and abuse in the nation in 2011.
Overall, we rank 37 right now with many factors considered, but realize, that rank is surely only because most reported cases ARE ignored. Ignored according to what I have seen and to those I know who worked in child advocacy in other states. . .at higher rates than can be imaged. I have made MANY reports, and none have ever been followed up on. Ever.
Imagine if 1/2 of the cases called in that were valid were followed up on? Yet, When they are, they have too few workers giving it a go and system who doesn't advocate for them. The laws aren't on their side.
They are in a system working for their parents, not them. They are in a system that may eventually take them after 3 years in a broken foster system where they are more damaged than before. Then we try to adopt them out, after their grandmother first fostered them and let their abusive parents visit them over and over, after we dragged them through the system until they are unable to heal. That mother they had keeps having more, and instead of those kids being taken at birth, they are allowed to stay until they are broke and abused and destroyed. We rattle about abortion (which I do care about, but we ignore something as brutal we can fix much quicker) and ignore this horror. This is a horror we can really change in few years if we refuse to shut up. But that isn't as compelling for some bizarre reason.
It is insane. Really.
I believe parents have the right to parent outside of government influence. I don't believe the government can tell me anything about anything. . . as long as I do not starve, rape or beat my children or chain them in the yard. You know. That is all really clear. It isn't rocket science.
If you are beating (not spanking), starving or raping your child. . .that is the end of your rights as a parent. We have a system that works FOR THOSE PARENTS. Why?
I have two sponsors at our state legislature saying they will work with me on a bill that may change this as of a few days ago, so lets give it a shot. Laws take time to change, but surely, of all things, this is MORE WORTH it than anything else.