Here is an excerpt from the article:
Asked to gauge the severity of the assault, Reinhardt, who oversees child abuse investigations, said: "Short of a child dying, or a skull fracture, this is egregious. This goes beyond discipline to uncontrollable violence against a child."
Real life stories like this are all too common, not only in Minnesota, but around our country. Regardless of the individuals involved in any case such as this, the adults always have power over the children or victim(s). Our society is built around the benefits that cater to adults: voting, higher education, money, parenting, decision-making, etc. The outgrowth of only catering to the needs of adults in a wealthy society like ours, is that a significant portion of the population goes unspoken for and unprotected. Namely, children.
In 2008 alone, nearly 5,400 powerless and defenseless children were abused and neglected in the state of Minnesota, and the median age of those victims was six years old*. The very same age as the victim in the article posted above.
It will never cease to amaze and frustrate me that those with the power and the access to knowledge, resources, and community, are those who systematically exploit, abuse and destroy the helpless and most vulnerable human beings of our world.
You may be wondering why a post like this is appearing on the blog of a cartoonist. Well, number one, I read a story like that and it angers me as a man and human being. Number two, as an artist, when a story like this appears, I have to ask myself, "What would an artist do?". How can I respond to such cruel and inhumane violence using my talents?
One way is to verbally speak out against this terribly heinous crime, and advocate for the welfare of all children, especially those who are victims of abuse & neglect, as well as those who are at greatest risk of becoming new victims. Hence, this blog and this post.
Another way is to create art, in the form of comics, that helps others to better understand the importance of child abuse prevention and the very real need for the treatment of the trauma that abuse victims will suffer for much of their lives.
The art, of course, takes a bit longer to produce than a quick ten minutes of typing for a blog post, but it will be coming. My goal is to create art that is honest, realistic, non-sensationalized and informative. More importantly, I hope that the art I bring to this very serious issue will inspire others to speak out, to volunteer to help, and to advocate for those who have no power, who have no voice, who have no defense.
To fight for children. Our children.
* Source: Minnesota Department of Human Services 2008 Minnesota's Child Welfare Report.