By David E. Smith and Daniel T. Zanoza
Government Bureaucracy Fails To Protect Children
There are many forms of child abuse...verbal, physical and perhaps the most abhorrent is sexual. The stories of teachers who are having sexual relations with their students is a case in point. Just 20 or 30 years ago, such crimes were rare. Today, they are so numerous, many are no longer reported on by the media. Also, children fall prey to sexual abuse from stepparents, foster parents, big brothers, big sisters, even parents themselves (in some cases), and other authority figures. Those who sexually abuse children violate a sacred trust and scare innocent lives.
The increase in these crimes are arguably a result of the proliferation of pornography and sexually suggestive marketing in our culture. Even children are made into sexual objects by commerciality. They are depicted as sexual beings, far before their time, forever destroying their innocence.
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The fact is child abusers go where the children are. The stories of children who have been sexually abused are many, but there's a common denominator that often exists between them. Child sex abusers find jobs, volunteer for organizations and prey on children by manipulating a situation which frequently puts them in contact with the most vulnerable in our society.
There is an explosion of child sexual abuse in America. There are many factors which have led to this tragic situation. Some may assign this to the break down of the family, the lack of parental guidance, the fact that children are often left at home alone to their own devices. FBI statistics indicate that most crimes committed by minors (or against minors) take place in between the time when children are let out of school and when their parents or guardians return home from work.
There is also another component. In the past, income from one family member could support an entire household. However, today, with higher taxation and other societal factors, it takes the income from two parents to support a household. Therefore, the latch-key phenomenon of the 1960's has become normative in our culture.
Probably the most significant contributor to not only the sexual abuse of children, but to the sexual abuse of women as well is the rampant spread of pornography...from soft porn -- which can be seen on our televisions, on billboards, in shopping mall displays and in our theaters every day -- to sadistic adult and child pornography which permeates the Internet. The result? Millions of Americans are now addicted to pornography. Sadly, even women are falling to this addiction which has literally "Gone Wild" in our country.
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I recently learned of a disturbing situation from former gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski in which our state government has miserably failed to protect children. He pointed out that according to a report issued by Illinois Auditor General William Holland, 90 addresses of day care facilities were identical to the addresses of individuals who are on the statewide sex-offender registry. Holland's report does not indicate these sex offenders actually own or work at the day care centers, but they live in these homes where children receive care. Shockingly, at least one convicted sex offender was actually receiving payments from the Department of Human Services -- the same department that licenses these day care facilities.
To say there is a crack in the system would be an understatement of the highest magnitude. One license issued to an address where a convicted sex offender resides is one too many. But in Illinois, according to the Illinois Auditor General's report, we have 90 sex offenders living in homes where parents drop off their children.
Until a change in Illinois law goes into effect on October 1st, 2010, the Dept. of Human Services is not allowed to match up addresses of day care centers against the addresses of those on the convicted sex-offender list.
Here is the operative question regarding the above: How many children have been victims of sexual abuse in day care centers where pedophiles reside? The answer to this question will probably never be known.
Will the state of Illinois admit that a government bureaucracy designed to give sanctuary to our nation's most precious commodity, our children, dropped the ball regarding this issue? And what else don't we know about the government licensing agency which, seemingly, put the privacy issue of sex offenders, some of whom are pedophiles, above the protection of innocent children.
Part 2 in this series will address the current law which can only be considered as madness in its implementation, function and purpose and what can be done to rectify other problems, including licensing of facilities which have to do with the welfare of children.