Sunday, December 05, 2010

Stop Child Abuse-Log Off

Facebook or people on facebook, more likely, are in the midst of a campaign to change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood in order to raise awareness about child abuse. 

I am not a fan of awareness campaigns in general.  Mostly they are a waste of donated money.  I think they are mostly cop outs for people who feel guilty about them, but don’t really want to do anything about it.  I mean, look at the infamous pink ribbon campaign.  I am officially aware of breast cancer.  I don’t know if I am any more aware of it than before I ever saw a pink ribbon, but how can I not be aware of it.  I know the pink ribbon branded stuff donates money to breast cancer research, but a lot of that money gets thrown back into promoting the pink ribbon. 

A friend suggested donating to a child abuse prevention organization instead of changing your profile picture.  While donating money to stop breast cancer makes sense because medical breakthroughs cost money, donating money to stop child abuse is like donating money to stop drug use; it will mostly be PSAs.  I can see an abusive mom with an extension chord in her hands, arm drawn back to strike, when a PSA comes on with a sad looking child saying “stop the abuse.”  I then see this mom hitting the cowering child harder to prove that they can’t tell her what to do. 

Abusive parents, like other people that do morally deplorable things, generally don’t see themselves as bad or doing wrong.  They actually think they are doing the right thing or that the child deserves it.  It doesn’t make sense to me, but my mind isn’t warped.  Child abuse is cyclic, but is also more common in homes where there is drug and alcohol abuse.  So, where do you spend money to prevent this?

The only solution I have is to promote self awareness.  Don’t beat your own kids, and watch out for other kids you know.  I hated being grilled about my daughter’s broken thumb in the emergency room (she had wrecked her bike), but understood why they were doing it. Pay attention to the kids next door and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  There is verbal abuse that is just as harmful and you can hear that.  Neglect is also a form of abuse, so turn off farmville, log off of facebook and pay attention to your kid(s). 

Parenting styles may vary and people that are little more harsh on their children than you are may not constitute child abuse.  Be careful and have your facts straight before you call social services on someone.  I know someone falsely accused and his life was hell for a couple of years (they made him rearrange his furniture even). 

In closing, don’t beat your child, don’t verbally beat your child, and don’t neglect YOUR child.  Pay attention if you see something fishy, but don’t go out on a witch hunt for anyone that spanks their kids.  I think if you can stop spousal abuse, you will stop/find most cases of child abuse as well. I do donate $5 to Not-Me every time I do a martial arts meetup in order to help people that have been abused and teach them to prevent further abuse.  Donate all you want, but know what your money is actually paying for.  


DEZMOND said...

actually I guy who started the campaign of putting our fav cartoon characters as our profile pics on Facebook is a young student here from Serbia. He did it because he thought it would remind us all on our childhoods and that it would bring warm memories to all of us. But Facebook took down his profile because they thought his action is dangerous. They gave some stupid and silly explanation. Our public is currently signing petition for the poor guy.

According to many rumors, secret services in USA didn't like this campaign because it apparently made their control over people around the world more difficult without the real profile pics.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well said, Budd.
I'm not even on Facebook, either.

SQT said...

I posted a link on Facebook from an article that said the awareness campaign was bogus. It was originally a meme with the simple goal of getting people to change their profile pic. Then someone added the child abuse tag later-- perhaps cynically to see if it would gain more traction.

I really think stuff like this is meaningless. The pink ribbon thing isn't my cup of tea because they use money taken in, ostensibly for breast cancer, and donate to other non-related organizations that I would prefer not get my money. They don't tell you that up front and I wonder how many people would be angry to find out where there money is really going.

I think the Facebook thing is really about people patting themselves on the back for doing nothing. It's about as effective as those bumper stickers that say you shouldn't shake your baby. Really? Shaking your baby is bad? I would have never known that if I didn't see it on your bumper sticker! *Eye roll*

Facebook is getting increasingly annoying in my opinion. I've been thinking about taking down my account so I don't have to deal with all the sanctimony thrown my way on a daily basis. I know I sound cranky. But man, it gets old.

SQT said...

Ugh. I actually just had an anonymous poster try to give me a guilt trip for not mentioning that the ridiculous Facebook meme is supposedly to raise awareness on child abuse. Like I support child abuse if I don't change my avatar? Are these people for real? She (I assume it's a women) actually said "for shame." See what I mean about the sanctimony?

Budd said...

@Dez-I am with the secret service and that is my true motivation. J/k.

@Alex-I am on facebook, but I don't repost things or change my profile picture.

@SQT- For shame! I have heard it reffered to as Slactivism.

SQT said...

Oh, I like that term. Do you think I'll offend people by using that? Naaaah.