I was having a pleasant day yesterday when I decided to flip on a movie while I did some sorting in our living room.
As it turned out I didn’t do much sorting because the movie was in french with english sub titles. It looked good so I got hooked and watched it (the plan was to listen while I worked)
As the movie progressed, it went from an average, good movie to one of horror. It was upsetting to me to watch, I had to turn away a few times.
But it got worse, because at the end I found out that it was a true story, about a little girl who died from severe child abuse at the hands of her step-mother and her own father.
She suffered the torment of these people from the time she was 9 until she died when she was barely 11 years old. (her birth mother died of tuberculoses in 1918, Aurore died in 1920 in Quebec)
My own daughter is 9, I look at her and I see Aurore, the misery she recieved instead of the love and the hugs.
What if one person had been able to save her. My heart breaks. Abuse and death are ugly almost beyond comprehension in our pumped up, plastic world.
But it is real. I mourn for a child dead almost 90 years. It’s beyond sanity but how can I not. She was real.
And that is the reason for this post, the sad truth is that this abuse still happens to children today, it is happening to one right now, and many.
Children still die at the hands of their parents.
More subtly, children suffer and shrivel inside when the abuse is not deadly, at least not in body.
What to do? I really don’t know. The system we have right now to deal with it is seriously lacking but could be an option if the situation warrants it. There are good people if you can find them, many times they face the frustration of having their hands tied by a system that needs repair and priority.
What about other family members. Sometimes they aren’t aware, or are able to ignore it behind a veil of ignorance. The veil is lifted if someone speaks up.
The school? If a teacher is made aware, maybe they can at the very least show the child some kindness and encouragement. Keep an eye out. Sometimes one person can make a huge difference in the mind and heart of a child.
I really don’t know what the answer is. But it’s something worth thinking about. And acting on. (volunteers are always needed for family services, women’s shelters etc)
Is there abuse going on in your own home? If there is, you owe it to your child to get help, either for yourself or for the person who is abusing your child (or you). And to protect your child at all costs. They count on you.
Children can overwhelm, but that is no excuse for abuse.
There is help available. I have volunteered for our social service office here on the helpline, there are many good volunteers and councillors who really do care. Contact your local women’s shelter, they really are there for you and can help to hook you up to resources. Or call a help line, they also have a resource file.
Email me, I will help in any way that I can. I have two free books here called “Helping Children Thrive -Supporting Women Abuse Survivors as Mothers”. Email me if you would like me to send one to you. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sometimes the answer is in education and support. And as in all things - action.
This is a website that chronicles some of her life and family, the little girl’s name was Aurore Gagnon.
This is a link to info on the movie with a short summary.
I ask myself, what is the use of crying now. There is no use in crying for Aurore, that is the cold truth. But what about the others?
Hug your children today and be thankful for the gift of their life in yours.
And say a prayer for Aurore, and all of the other nameless children who suffer.
Keep the children safe.