Child Abuse is an Accident?
Last comment by JimmyMack 1 year, 6 months ago.

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I feel compelled to write in regard to the front page article, "Balloon release sheds light on child abuse" in the Courier's Wednesday, April 3rd edition of the paper.
I think that the balloon release was a wonderful tribute to Andraia Boles whose young life was cut tragically short by the abuse at the hands of her so called parents. It's important that the awareness of child abuse and neglect is increased not only in our own community of Liberty County, but throughout the country and the world.
However, I take umbrage at the comment by Pastor Richard D. Hayes who said, "We realize the unfortunate, tragic accident that took place not long ago concerning Miss Boles..."
Accident? Really? So, Pastor Hayes believes that child abuse is an accident?
Don't even get me started on the fact that he calls this 3 year old child "Miss".
Pastor Hayes would do well to read up on the statistics and definitions of child abuse, because he certainly wasn't listening when Leah Poole presented some of those facts.
And if what happened to "Miss" Boles is not considered child abuse in Pastor Hayes' eyes, what other 'abuse' does he consider 'tragic accidents'?
More than 78% of reported child fatalities as a result of abuse and neglect were caused by one or more of the child victim’s parents.
Social acceptance of myths silences victims and encourages public denial about the true nature of this silent epidemic. Accurate information is key when confronting and preventing child abuse.
I would suggest that we all do our part to educate ourselves on this silent epidemic and do our part to protect the children who cannot protect themselves.
And I would ask Pastor Hayes, in the future to watch the words he uses. Child abuse is no accident.

Latest Activity: Apr 03, 2013 at 11:16 AM

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sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Gypsy: Your comments provide food for thought. I just re-read the article and - not intentionally trying to come to Pastor Hayes' defense - I'd offer these two points:

*The article says that child abuse is the "suspected" cause of death, and while the parents of Andraia Boles may stand accused, there has been no trial and no conviction. In the absence of a conviction based upon evidence beyond a reasonable doubt - if I were Pastor Hayes - I'm not sure I would jump to a conclusion and publicly endorse "child abuse" as the cause of death. It was certainly an unstated charge, done so by linking the little girl's death with the event. However, at this early stage after the death, had Pastor Hayes referred to the cause of death as "child abuse," I'm sure the that PC Police (and perhaps even some lawyers) would be all over him for convicting the accused before a trial was even conducted.

In other words - I'm not sure what to call the death at this point in time other than a "tragic accident." It was certainly a tragedy, that's for sure. Calling it an "accident" is probably what the Pastor thought was best - considering the cirumstances.

*It is my understanding that the courtesy title "Miss" is a "diminutive term" that is widely used to refer to young women and girls - particularly in a "formal environment." The event where Pastor Hayes was speaking was certainly not "casual," and in the absence of using the term "Miss," I suppose he could have just said "Andraia." But here again I think to critize him for using "Miss" is another example of politically correct hypersensitivity.

For me, the bottom line is this: As the article states - the event was designed to "bring attention to Child Abuse Awareness Month, which is recognized in April." Further, the tragic death of Andraia Boles under apparent circumstances of child abuse unfortunately concided with CAAM, and provided an opportunity to honor her memory. However, I think it is unfair to criticize the Pastor for not convicting the parents before a trial, or for using what may have been a possibly inappropriate (albeit widely used) colloqial courtesy title to refer to the little girl.

To make the criticisms you did - in light of the tragedy and the visibility that the event was supposed to bring to the cause of child abuse - sort of misses the whole point, doesn't it?

Gypsy commented on Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 16:06 PM

Point well taken in defense of the Pastor, sebekm.
I would like to point out the fact that one of the earlier articles in the Courier described the tragic death of the 3 year old child, as well as her parents tendency to leave her locked in the bathroom while the father went to work and the mother went to school. From what the paper reported, Andraia died after her father entered the bathroom after the child inadvertantly flooded the bathroom due to filling the toilet with bathroom tissue, and he 'disciplined' her by placing her in the bathtub and dumping the toilet water over her head. Each time she tried to get out, he knocked her back in.
As far as the "diminutive term" of "Miss" here in the Southern states - it is used typically as a form of respect to older adult females. Or that has been my experience over the past 30 years of living in the southern states. Thanks for your comments.
Respectfully ~ Gypsy

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 19:20 PM

Thanks to you too. I understand. We are on the same page. From the articles I've read (and you cited), it DOES look like we probably have a case of child abuse here. But I just thought we shouldn't fault the Pastor for being careful in his wording.

All the best.

HMJC commented on Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The sad part is, we used to have a way of dealing with pieces of trash like that. As arcane as it sounds, a little what is good for the goose is good for the gander is suitable for this situation. Pat Benatar wrote a beautiful song called "Suffer the Litte Children" that regards child abuse. It seems we latch on to I dare say "little" things but turn a blind eye to real tragedy. We all have a responsibility to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Hear, Hear!!! HMJC

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