EDITORIAL: It is time to shift prespectives

Nicholas Mercer
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Last week saw the latest chapter in the trial of a Conception Bay North woman convicted on numerous charges of child abuse (see related story on A1).

 

Compass reporter/photographer Nicholas Mercer.

This one opened with testimony from a pair of social services workers before the prosecutor started reading a pair of victim impact statements from some of the nine children involved.

As Lisa Stead read the words aloud, there were tears from many in the gallery, along with the mother.

Their words were powerful as they struggled with the circumstances surrounding their separation from their siblings.

There was hurt, anger, sadness and regret at what their lives have become. There were vows to make it through this less-than desirable situation and come out on the other side stronger.

They were impressive words spoken from the lips of a child who may never know their siblings again.

When the two-hour long session had concluded, the Crown was looking for a maximum of 14 years, while the defense was looking for a lesser sentence of eight years.

As we await her sentencing on Sept. 9, perhaps it is time to close the book on the mother.

Perhaps we should look at helping the children. Perhaps we should look at focusing our energies on making sure they do not suffer any undue tormenting because of this.

One child wrote about being teased in school about the circumstances about their separation from the family.

It would serve us well to remember that we were always taught to show respect to others, to treat people as we would want to be treated.

Their childhoods were ripped from them and their innocence shattered.

We need to speak with our children. Tell them these children, as much as anyone, deserve to be loved. They deserve to have a welcoming environment in school.

They don't deserve to be reminded of what an abysmal situation they were placed in.

They won't soon forget being locked in their room at night or dangled over a bannister.

It won't leave them, perhaps with hours of therapy they will.

Do we really want to add to it?

They should know it is not their fault. They should know love.

Their foster parents will show them the love they desire, but that's only one part of their lives.

If they're being tortured at school concerning this plight, will their home life be any better?

They need our help.

We should give it to them.

— Nicholas Mercer is a reporter/photographer with The Compass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: The Compass

Geographic location: Bay Roberts

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  • Charlene Dawe-Roach
    July 30, 2014 - 23:41

    Well written.........well said and great point Nick. Time for the Greater Community to now focus on protection those Children. God Bless them everyone.

  • alice
    July 30, 2014 - 09:34

    well Said Nicholas ! these Kids are at a time in their fragile lives to have love around them not to be ridiculed and tormented for what their "so called parents " did to them !! These kids don't need the added stress. The parents of the bullies should take a look at their on actions and say " if I don't teach my kids to except others not for what they went through of what was done to them ,but by who they are inside . Am I any better then these "so called parents " that ripped these 9 kid's lives out from under them !!! that's just a thought to ponder !! God Love their little hearts ,each and everyone of them . and I hope they are in a place where they feel safe and loved at last !! God Bess ...

  • Melissa
    July 30, 2014 - 09:14

    This needed to be said, and I thank the author for saying it. There should be no stigma attached to any child because of things that happened that were outside the child's control. To treat survivors of abuse badly is just to continue the abuse they already survived! It's on all of us to help others, and especially children. It's our job to show children caring and empathy by caring and empathizing ourselves. Children learn what they live. I have heard people say these children are ruined for life - no, they are not. Yes, they are wounded, but with help they can and will heal and go forward and live wonderful lives. They just need help - not bullying and bad treatment. Let's be the solution and not extend the problem - not just for these children, but for all the people we meet. Kindness and caring don't cost anything, so why not? :)

  • Melissa
    July 30, 2014 - 09:13

    This needed to be said, and I thank the author for saying it. There should be no stigma attached to any child because of things that happened that were outside the child's control. To treat survivors of abuse badly is just to continue the abuse they already survived! It's on all of us to help others, and especially children. It's our job to show children caring and empathy by caring and empathizing ourselves. Children learn what they live. I have heard people say these children are ruined for life - no, they are not. Yes, they are wounded, but with help they can and will heal and go forward and live wonderful lives. They just need help - not bullying and bad treatment. Let's be the solution and not extend the problem - not just for these children, but for all the people we meet. Kindness and caring don't cost anything, so why not? :)

  • Wanda White
    July 30, 2014 - 08:22

    True. We do need to focus on the children, both the victims of this abuse and of the communities where they live. Unfortunately the kids doing the taunting have to hear it from someone, so unless parents are held as accountable for their kids' bullying, I don't see much changing. Kids are kids and will be mean. Perhaps we should look at total media blackouts of future abuse cases, in fairness to the children.

  • Pearl Bradbury
    July 30, 2014 - 07:05

    I agree with you, Nicholas !!! Those children have suffered enough. Their life should be happy from here on in !!! Focus on the children and not the parents !!! They did what they did and need to pay for it !!!

  • ~Alicia
    July 30, 2014 - 03:58

    Thank you for writing this article on behalf of the children. Very well said and written. These children need the love and support of the community more than ever-unfortunately sometimes children can be cruel. We as parents, just have to keep talking to and telling/teaching our children to be kind to others.

  • Duffy
    July 29, 2014 - 19:43

    Too bad there are no Investigative Reporters on the Avalon and the news people take whatever the government releases as the "story". Ever wonder how many times a teacher reported something and it was ignored, how many times Social Workers were notified and did nothing, or if the Police were notified and did nothing. Good Questions to ask and look into instead of taking the groomed protectionist stories from the police, prosecutors or their mouthpieces.

  • Sara
    July 29, 2014 - 18:26

    Beautiful article. I really hope parents take your advice and talk to their kids about it. As if these poor children haven't suffered enough in their short lives. I love their attitudes that they will come out of this a better person.. I've met these kids a few times and they are wonderful sweet polite children. They should never be teased about something so traumatic and life altering. I hope this changes the way they are being treated