Child abuse in America has been going on for years, but not just in this country, but all over the world. If we are to mature together as a collective people, how long are we going to stay mired in our reactive state? Time and time again, the media, nonprofit organizations, and yes, even our campus organization, The Men of Weber, are trying so desperately to "rally the troops" to bring awareness to the very crimes that people get so upset over after a death occurs.
April was Child Abuse Awareness month and if I may ask my readers this question, "what proactive activities did you engage in for the month of April to help bring awareness to child abuse prevention activities? Did you take the time to call Prevent Child Abuse Utah to say hello to Anne, Trina, Gina, Karen, and Michael? Did you even take the time to digest the recent sexual abuse article in the Standard-Examiner with statistics on child sexual abuse?
Now that little Ethan Stacy was killed in Layton allegedly by a stepfather, the bandwagon mountaineers are screaming at the top of their lungs. Did you take the time to digest the Standard-Examiner article on stepfathers and mothers' boyfriends being the most likely perpetrators to kill a child? Do you have female relatives with children who are involved with violent men?
Now speaking analytically and with much critical thinking, what good does it do to visit the apartment where the little boy may have been killed? What good is being accomplished by joining his Facebook page to "honor" his memory?
Now if we really want to honor little Ethan's memory along with other "still-living" children that are next in line to be thrown into a casket, we could rally our local Parents Teachers Association to come out in full force for Prevent Child Abuse Utah's Walk Against Child Abuse and Sexual Assault on Oct. 2, in Salt Lake near Sugarhouse Park, the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness month. Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault will also be co-sponsoring this walk.
Will your family take part? Please take a listen to Martina McBride's Concrete Angel music video.
Do you really want to do something more substantial in the way of child abuse prevention? If the Men of Weber were to invite the WSU public to come to an all-day letter-writing campaign at one of our computer labs on campus, would you come? You can get on the computer, sign an attendance petition, and write a letter to that judge in Florida who allowed Stephanie Sloop visitation rights to little Ethan. If she had abandoned her family before, what psychological principles were applied by allowing an unfit mother visitation rights?
You get the opportunity to "show your angst" against judges who make bad decisions without the input of a social scientist. You can ask this judge in your letter if he/she consulted with a social worker, a psychologist, a sociologist, or even a psychiatrist before he/she made their decision.
You could approach the political science and criminal justice people, who dominate the ruling power structure in America, to consider input from the social scientists such as psychologists, social workers, sociologists, and even psychiatrists (medical doctors) who appy social sciences principles.
If you are really "sick and tired of being sick and tired" over all these parental deficiencies, let us make some noise to our judges and legislators. Let's show the political force who really owns the government. If your senator or representative on both state and federal levels does not acquiesce, we have power over them when the next re-elections come around.
Instead of reacting when a child or a woman goes missing or killed, why not rally the troops in your family and neighborhood circles.
My wife and I did not experience the "joy" that comes with the birth of a child, but neither will we experience the "grief" that comes with the death of a child. Every parent has a possibility of burying a child in America.
So parents, are you willing to become more proactive in keeping your child safe and alive?
Lee Johnson resides in Ogden. If you want to walk in little Ethan's memory on Oct. 2 or get involved in a public letter-writing campaign, you can contact Johnson at 801-626-8617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.