Where do we go from here?

I am so thoroughly frustrated with this situation. Just to rehash, for those of you that don't click on links (shame on you! (not really)):
Susan Baker is a nut. Two decades ago she said her step-son was stolen from her home while she was napping. He was 3 years old. A massive hunt ensued, but he was never found. Somehow, she wasn't charged, which I totally get, since there may or may not have been evidence pointing her to the crime. She was charged w/ 10 years for the beating of a 6 year old girl in her home, around this same time. Her 10 year sentence was suspended, and she served about 80 days in prison. 80 days.
Flash-forward to now. This crazy bitch hid a 7 month old baby under her bed for five days. Go back and read that sentence again. And again. And again.
Read that sentence as many times as it takes you to place your child's face on that 7 month old. Feel the fear, the rage, the helplessness, the terror. And not just of the mother, but of the 7 month old.
They are saying they are going to charge the mother of the child as well. I'm not sure how this is going to play out at this point. Did the mother want to pretend that her child was gone for the attention? Or did she really want to be rid of her baby girl? And let's not forget that Susan Baker has been calling CPS since the baby was born, complaining that the parents did drugs in front of the child, which CPS did say occurred, but CPS did not feel that the baby was at risk for serious injury. I'm not sure how all of this plays into the scenerio. But what I do know is this:
Something has got to change.
How many more children have to go missing? How many more children have to be found, dead, in city dumps, in boxes floating in the sea, under houses, buried in lonely places not far from home?
I can't even understand how someone felt that her 3 year old step-son's life was not valuable enough to put Susan away for a LONG time. I can't understand how someone believed the 6 year old girl's life wasn't valuable enough to put Susan away for a LONG time.
As many of you know, I worked for CPS for 6 years. I saw a lot. And I loved my job, as much as I hated the awful stuff the children dealt with. I always hoped I was making a difference.
Now I am in grad school, and I am pulled in several directions: who do I want to help? Where am I needed the most? Where can I do the most good? Do I need to go into politics? Do I need to pound on Austin's doors until stiffer laws are made? Where will I be happy and satisfied?
I go to CNN's crime page often. I have done research papers on the laws surrounding child abuse, abductions, and deaths. I find hope in this life, but not when I see all of this stuff, all the time. Sometimes, I admit, I avoid it. I avoid it because I think maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Love will not prevail. Maybe some people should not be forgiven. Maybe I don't have as much faith in humanity as I used to.
I have to believe that someone out there feels like me. That there are thousands and thousands of people out there that feel this way, that are moved to action, that will stand up for these children, that will not watch a child be abused or raped and STAY SILENT, that will scream from the rooftops to the halls of Congress that "Children's lives are of value to us". 
And sure, this stuff causes me to hold my child closer, snuggle her a little longer, watch those around me more closely, and question the random childless person at the playground. Sure, I will do what it takes to keep my baby safe. 
But what about all these other babies? Babies that have parents who don't feel like I do? Babies who have parents fucked up on drugs, or too selfish to give a shit about anyone, or one parent who is busting his/her ass to provide, but just can't keep watch all.the.time??? 

Where do we go from here? 


MommyGeekology said...

I wish I knew. I admit that these stories upset me too much. They make me sick to my stomach and I obsess and I freak out until I want to vomit, so I try to avoid them sometimes, because I feel helpless. I feel inadequate. How can I possibly help everyone else when I am struggling to keep my own child safe every day? How can any of us?

But we need to.

We need to speak up for the children who cannot speak up for themselves, who do not have advocates in their parents.

It takes a village. Now more than ever.

Chris said...

Have you thought of being a lobbyist for an organization that speaks out on behalf of children? I kept thinking how persuasive you would be as I read your post.

Anonymous said...

I can SOO relate!! I too am a social worker and have worked in child protection services for a decade. I worked with a JITS team which was working along side police investigating the worst of serial abusers and sex offenders. I lost the ability to do this work when pregnant an animal told me he would rather have sex with a baby than a child becoz a baby can't talk.

I made a personal choice to turn my back on child protection and now work with parents of disabled kids that want to keep their kids at home.

PS the word verification just happens to be "pregos" - how bizarre!

linlah said...

I agree with Chris, you have a strong voice and as a lobbyist I think you have the best chance to be heard and cause change.

Sarah said...

This is why I don't watch the news. This is why I am completely content to watch nick jr. all day long. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear these evil things being done to innocent children, so I live in a bubble. Kudos to you for making a difference in their sad little lives every day. You rock, Mama. Love your strength and your moxie.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

"Where do we go from here?"

I don't have an answer for your question, but I wish I did. I think it is immensely important for us to continue asking these critical questions.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question...straight to hell?

lane said...

oh my fucking god.

this is why i rarely pay attention to the news. people argue with me and say, "isn't it better to be informed?", but when it comes to this shit, i just can't stomach much of it. it breaks my heart and it depresses me. and if i thought there was something i could do to change all of it, maybe i would pay more attention. but it feels like such a hopeless thing. i wouldn't know what to do or how to help.

when i hear that women like susan get laughably short jail sentences, merely a slap on the wrist, i want to rip someone's head off. i just can't comprehend that. if there is proof that you've harmed a child, you shouldn't get a second chance. that's bullshit.

ugh. that poor baby. i just don't understand. thank god she was found alive and healthy, according to that article. i hope there's a family that will take her in and give her the safe and happy home that she deserves.

oh, and i don't know how you worked for CPS. i would be punching people left and right. you are pretty amazing.

sorry for rambling.