Today’s headline news at La Nación reports that 150 children here in Costa Rica suffer every day from family violence. These children are victims of abandonment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, child labor, and sexual exploitation. The official number of complaints against such child abuse jumped from 49,000 in 2012 to 53,000 this year. Who knows what actual count really is? This is simply horrible!
Who cares for these defenseless kids when loved ones or caregivers are the ones responsible for this abusive, vicious acts? We are not only talking about physical well-being here. Child abuse leaves a deep imprint on the soul. The emotional, psychological, relational, and spiritual damage can be irreparable. A child’s future can potentially be ruined, unless he or she receives the right kind of help. I know. I myself was sexually abused by a nanny when I was four years old. Therefore, news like this is absolutely revolting to me.
Unfortunately, child abuse happens all over the world. In fact, this is not a contemporary social illness. Two thousand years ago, wise men visited Bethlehem in Judea, searching for the “newborn king of the Jews.” The reigning king then, Herod, was so insecure about this news that he ordered the slaughter of all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under (see Matthew 2:1-18). Such brutality against children continues to this day, you would think that there is a conspiracy against them.
The La Nación article also reports that, on average, a social welfare professional handles 212 cases of these child abuse a year. That is too much for a person to give proper care and guidance to affected children. Something needs to be done to care for and protect these children.
I appeal to my fellow fathers–let’s help stop this vicious cycle of maltreatment of children. Let’s start at our own homes. I appeal to my fellow pastors–let’s help families to accept and share the unconditional love of God. I appeal to my fellow human beings–let’s help care for our children and work hard for their well-being. Conspiracy or not, this abusive behavior against children must stop now.
May the eternal, unconditional love of God fill our hearts so that we will never lay hands on our children except in love.
(Photo credit: La Nación)
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