All of the major religious texts in the world today stress the inherent value of children, but to many people throughout the world—including the United States—children are disposable. They are beaten, raped, and murdered by family members, bullied to death by peers, and enslaved.
Brutality in families:
In the United States, according to government documents:
- In 2009, 1,770 children died as a result of child maltreatment
- In over 75% of these cases, a parent was the perpetrator
- In 2010, 63,527 children were sexually abused
Probably every reader of this post either was bullied as a child or knows someone who was bullied. If so, it is likely you remember the incident(s) well.
Bullying is another symptom of a culture of violence, a culture in which brutalizing children has too long been ignored. To learn more about bullying in the U.S. today, view this graphic. Better yet, print it, send it around, and use it as a basis for discussion.
More people are slaves in the world today than at any previous time in history—and many of these slaves are children. Watch this video for more information.
What do you think are the effects on children of growing up in a culture of violence in which they can be exploited and brutalized? We will consider some of these effects in our next post.
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology