Thursday, April 19, 2007


When we hear about children being abused two things generally happen. Either we are enraged and want to do something about it, or we want to shut our ears and our eyes to the abuse.

I am disheartened by those who wish to shut their eyes and ears because it is uncomfortable to think about. Many people are comfortable in their own lives and they do not want the negativity that this issue brings - they do not want it to allow to enter their psyche, their universe. What people do not realize is the damage that is done to a child when they are abused and neglected and what the long-term effects can be. They don't think that their own precious children will be sitting in a classroom next to these abused children, they will go to college with them, they will work with them, they may even marry one of them.

Those of us who are enraged oftentimes have good intentions but then those good intentions go by the wayside as we move on with our daily lives - waiting for someone else to fix the problem.

America - this is OUR problem. It is not someone else's problem to solve but our own. Until we stand up and unite as a nation to stop the needless abuse to our children it will continue. Children will continue to die needless deaths. This is the reason the Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse was founded. It is a coalition that is needed to stop the horrors we not only have heard about in the past but that continue to occur today!

Children are our future

Everyone has heard the saying "Children are our future" but how many have taken the time to really think about what that means. We, the adults, are responsible to care for our children - to care for all children. When we see a wrong, we need to right it. We need not wait for someone else to take care of something that someone else may not see. If you witness abuse, report it. If you have an opportunity to direcly help a child, help him or her.

Children today - thousands of them - are being housed in residential treatment facilities, therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, behavior modification programs, positive peer programs, wilderness programs, positive peer culture programs, Christian programs, mental health facilities, day programs - the industry has taken off and turned into a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY as a result of parents who are stressed by today's demands and who lose sight that they have what it takes to raise their own children - they just need to tap into their own inner resources.

Today's broken marriages and broken families are producing broken children. Take those broken children and put them in to a broken system and we are facing a disaster. It is time we as parents take a stand and put our children first! Taking the easy way out by sending your child away to some program away from home, often hundreds if not thousands of miles from home, then allowing someone to lead you to believe it is in the best interest of your child that you not speak to him or her for months and that you do not see him or her for months, or years, is absurd! If you don't believe this happens, think again!! It happens every day in our country.

Parents who have been sold this type of program have been mislead. Thousands of children in these programs have reported being abused, neglected, and too often we read about those who have died.

Wake up, America!!!

Isabelle Zehnder
Founder and President
Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA)

© 2007 Isabelle Zehnder (CAICA)