Fill in with whatever cliche you’d like: “It’s an uphill battle;” “Like paddling against the current.” Any way you look at it, child abuse and neglect are cultural issues. Most apparent in the great number of Adrian Peterson supporters that stood by his side after he whipped his son with a switch. Whipping a child is NOT discipline, and it’s NOT acceptable – even if that’s how a person was punished as a child.
Enforcement of child abuse and neglect laws is failing because we, as a community, are hesitant to label such abuse as abuse. The system is stressed, bulging and seeping at the seems. And that’s why families like ours must live in fear of running into our son’s abuser in public. The accounts are too great. Prosecutors prosecute (when they can). Judges sentence. And then they slip through the cracks in corrections. Now the woman who abused our son is home, watching her own children with nothing but a GPS anklet. These violent crimes repeatably go unpunished, while drug offenders fill up our jails.
Child abuse and neglect are cultural issues. Now how do we change such values?