What's news?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I thought I might do a weekly blog entry about something that has held my attention in the media for the week. It might be good news, it might be sad news, it might be silly news.

This week, I was all set to write about the kickarse Aussie dollar, and how good it is for me going to the US in 3 weeks, but it was superseded when, on Friday, arrests were finally made over the death of 6 year old Kiesha Abrahams. A day later, it was obvious, that those accused of her murder, were her mother and stepfather. Few of us would have been surprised by this. I think most of us suspected them from the outset when she was reported missing, 9 months ago.

In reading the linked article about her short life, and how she was treated, it reminded me of some of the work I have done in the past. I've not mentioned it much, if at all, but before having my own children, I was employed as a Child Support Worker at a high security domestic violence refuge. My role was pretty multi-faceted. I worked on safety with the children, I gave them recreation and fun again, I advocated for them in schools, court, and with police.

It wasn't an easy job, and it was rarely rewarding. I recall working really hard with one family, feeling I had made a significant difference in the childrens lives. I had them in school, I had behavioural issues correcting, they were in counselling and I had accompanied them to the police to make some pretty hard to hear statements about their life with the perpetrator. It was really a gutting feeling the morning I came to work to find they had done a runner over night. Their mother had taken them back to the perpetrator. It was a hard lesson for me to learn about hope and reality.

Another family I worked with, told of abuse at the hands of their father. Cigarettes held to their faces, burning them, sexual assaults, being locked outside the house in freezing temperatures for hours on end. How's a kid supposed to recover from this stuff? I often wonder where these children are now. This was ten years ago now, they'd be adults. I wonder if they made it?

Reading about Kiesha Abrahams made me think of them again. She was another who was not so lucky. And she had no one to protect her. As awful as this sounds, part of me is grateful for her. It took death, but she escaped the abuse. She's free now. No one can hurt her anymore.

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