There is much in the news right now that causes me to set my focus ever so closely on children. The safety, education and protection of kids are the least of what we owe our children. Now, let me define “our children.” The kid that lives next door...he’s “our child.” The child that plays with your child...she’s “our child.” Our children are victimized in America everyday and my heart breaks because many of our children suffer in silence. Sure, they have adults and friends around them most of the time, yet some have absolutely no one they can trust or talk to about issues that plague them.
Just last year, a Lakeland, FL girl jumped from the top of an abandoned cement factory tower because she could not handle the bullying she endured on a daily basis. The two girls who the sheriff said are responsible for terrorizing this young girl were believed to have picked on her for months. Shortly after her suicide one of the bullies, posted on social media how she didn’t care about her schoolmate’s suicide. The bully even wrote that social media message using hateful words to describe the deceased, emotionally tortured child.
Welcome to the darkest world of “our children.”
In 2010, a young, gay, Rutgers student killed himself after his fellow dorm mate videotaped him being intimate with his same-sex lover. Not only did this “bully”, to say the least, video tape the encounter, but he also broadcasted it using a webcam. The victim felt as if he had no other choice but to turn to suicide. He jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. This young man had been an exceptional student and did so much to make his family happy that he most likely felt, he could not face the “disappointment” and “shame” he probably believed he caused his family.
More recently, a child of a Hollywood star is claiming she was abused by her famous adoptive father. All I can think about is: how in the world are we missing the signs of the struggles within our own families? Maybe we are not missing them. Maybe we are just turning a blind eye. We are ignoring the key issues affecting the children who live next door and play right outside in our front yards. Our children live and do what we tell them to do and more often than not, they are only trying to please us; their parents, providers and protectors. Kids believe their fathers and mothers will only do what is right by them and many grow up being abused and we miss the signs. Depression, anxiety and suicide tear our children to pieces and it needs to stop, now, Now, NOW!
There is no reason why our babies, and yes, they are still our babies even in college, should feel as if their only recourse is to permanently end a temporary problem by suicide. Notice, the word “temporary” is used because they must know it will always get better. My heart is broken because the American family in general is broken. Not many parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends are standing on their heads begging to make a change!
Well, it starts here. We need healing. Children need an army standing in front of them ready to strike at the first sign of trouble like the Navy Seal Team 6. Moms, it is time to pick up the torch. Dads, it is time to be the barricade your family requires of you. Neighbors, get nosey! If you’re like me and already nosey, get a little nosier! Children, it is time you know for sure, without reservation, hesitation or question that you are LOVED...ADORED and will be safe in your space, your skin, your personality, strengths, weaknesses and all. You are loved. Yes, you are loved, with ever single flaw you have. Absolutely, positively, loved.
Find that friend, neighbor, teacher, pastor or relative and label them your protector because the days of leaving our families and children unprotected are gone. There is a change on the horizon.
Welcome to a new day!
Written by Rhetta Peoples, owner of Creative Street Marketing and Public Relations Group, a grassroots marketing and crisis public relations firm. She may be reached online at www.oncreativestreet.com.