In the not too distant past, I am sure you can all remember a time driving in a car while not wearing a seatbelt. In fact, many grown adults can recall a time when, as children, they would crawl around the backseat of the car and even sit in the rear window while the car zoomed down the interstate. Today, I fret, with good reason, as to whether I adjusted the straps of my daughters NASA-approved car seat appropriately to keep her safe while, with my hands at 10 and 2, I cautiously inch my way down the streets of my quiet neighborhood. I say “with good reason” because we know now that seatbelts save lives. Imagine driving down the interstate today and seeing a young child crawling around the back seat of a car — clearly not the norm.
I look forward to the day where we look back and see child abuse and neglect as a thing of the past — something so foreign and inconceivable that we will have to convince future generations that it was actually once “a thing.” I am talking about a cultural transformation whereby the health and well-being of ALL children is the norm, not reserved for a segment of the population. We all have a role to play in this process.
It is difficult to say exactly how many children are abused and neglected each year in the United States, but our best estimates suggest that over 700,000 kids were victims of child abuse and neglect in 2014. Here in Montana, the number reached nearly 1,200. If you are like me, I will not be satisfied until the number of children abused and neglected each year is zero.
[For more of this story, written by J. Bart Klika, go to http://missoulian.com/lifestyl...4a-d8259a557a38.html]