21 April 2007
I struggled with the title of this post. There are few words that can describe people that abuse children and the ones I've read about in the news lately make me feel sick.
We see and hear some pretty horrific things through the news, but rarely have I felt as sick as I have done reading about the foster mother recently jailed for horrific abuse to the children in her care. The news item is about Eunice Spry, who has been sentanced to 14 years in prison after the 19 years of torture that she had subjected children to. Including forcing them to drink bleach, eating rat droppings as well as physical harm. My first thoughts is that this person had a mental illness, but the fact that she deliberatly chose punishments that were not visible shows that this was something she had thought through. A 14 year prison sentance doesn't come close to the pain and harm she had inflicted on the children in her care.
Whilst abuse as bad as this is quite rare there is still a lot of children that are being abused in different situations. Looking at news stories within a day of this one, there are two other stories about child abuse.
The first is a pensioner jailed after subjecting children to sexual abuse.
The other is of two children forced to fight each other whilst adults watched on and encouraged them. Despite abusing these children the adults have not been given any custodial sentance.
Reading these is sickening, but what can we as individuals do to stop this sort of thing from happening? There is not much that can be done to stop the intial abuse, but the NSPCC and Childline provide a way for children to reach out and to report this abuse so that it can be dealt with. The NSPCC and Childline need both volunteers and donations to keep the lines open, so helping in either of these ways can help these children. You can help these with a one off donation, setting up a regular direct debit, or the way that I donate is through a Give As You Earn scheme (if your company participates).