Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Saving Children from Harm.........

Two cases about child welfare and safety have been in the news over the last few days.

The first, involves the removal of 416 children from a ranch/compound belonging to a breakaway Mormon sect linked to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. Law enforcement officials initially swooped in on the compound - in a remote, semi-arid region of west Texas, northwest of San Antonio - in response to a complaint of abuse by a unidentified young woman there.

The second, involves the murder of three children allegedly by their father. The three children, ages 10, 8 and 5 were found dead in their home in Merritt, BC by their mother who had left them in the care of their father . The triple murder occurred days after the father had been arrested and released on two charges of uttering threats to cause bodily harm at the children's school. He had also been involved in two other altercations with police last week. It appears that the police had sought to keep the father in custody over worries he was a flight risk and because of his criminal record, history of mental illness and the fact he had "no clear ties to the community," but his release had been ordered by a justice of the peace. This man appears to have been violent to the family before – and last year the mother of the children had recanted allegations of threats so the prosecution would drop charges against him.

It seems sad that authorities can swoop in en masse to save some children, but that very often, children being raised by a “normal looking” family can’t be protected from someone clearly violent, unstable and ill. Abusing and harming children – something so terribly wrong with our world.

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