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Category : Child Issues

Church is not an institution, it's a family...

 

Like many American Christians, I grew up going to church, and my idea of what church is and how it works has changed over time. I used to think of church as a big building where everybody went to talk to God. Then, I realized that the real church was every believer in the world put together, not a building at all. Over the past several years, my understanding of church has changed even more, and I think it all goes straight to the core of what we do at Child Refuge - protecting children from sexual abuse, even within the church.

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The McMartin preschool child sexual abuse trial made a lot of history. Not only did it become one of the longest and most expensive criminal trial in the history of the United States, it also attracted tons of media and public attention. After all the wrongful convictions, pain, suffering, costs, and loss, it’s unfortunate to know that majority of those involved have never recovered and live on normal lives again.

The seven people who were charged with child sexual abuse and assault became financially broke. Not only was the McMartin school closed, many other preschools also followed suit, fearing that the same fate might happen to them. This landmark case even became a precedent. Immediately after the first accusations were publicized, the same type of allegations and prosecutions swept through the entire country. It seemed like the McMartin case was te sparkplug of them all.

And all of this is largely because of the media reaction. The kind of reporting and coverage done by the press was so biased that it became evident the McMartins will be convicted. But of course, it was known in the end that they were innocent. All the accusations were a product of mass hysteria and manipulation.

Based on the experience on this case, we can see how influential the media and the common public sentiment can be. In fact, when the trial began, millions of Americans have started to believe that their children are already abused without them knowing it. Of course, that kind of sentiment was proven to be false in the end.

Child molestation and sexual abuse is a serious crime, that’s a fact. However, the gravity of the crime should not be considered as a barometer to assume that an accused is already guilty of it. We of all people should remember that due process of law and the rights of the accused must be upheld in a democratic country. Even if it is so disturbing to just even think that there are people who consider sexually exploiting children as fun and gratifying, not all of those accused are guilty and evil.

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Compared to the number of validated claims of sexual abuse, false allegations are comprised of a very small number. However, this doesn’t tell us that we are ought to ignore it. In fact, more and more people are becoming victims of false allegations of child molestation each year. Although there will always be a greater number of those who are actually abused, the number of children fabricating their stories is also disturbingly rising.

While some falsely accused persons escape and prove the allegations as wrong, there are still others who are unfortunately convicted. The recipe for wrongful conviction is composed of several related events and scenes that have been practiced and tolerated by the criminal justice system.

Formula for Conviction

Complain from the alleged child victim – the major ingredient for conviction is the accusation coming directly from the supposed child victim. As soon as a child tells someone that she’s been abused, rest assured a public outcry will soon follow. But what if the child was actually forced to accuse someone? What if the accusation isn’t true? For the wrongly accused, the burden of proving otherwise is on his side. He has to prove to the court and to everybody else that he did not sexually abused the child. But who would believe him?

Report of the alleged abuse by anyone who is required by law to report any known case of child abuse – every citizen of this country is require to report to the proper authorities any suspicion of child abuse, be it substantiated or unsubstantiated. Since the law also protects the ones who report from counter litigation and harrassment cases, everyone, even those who have a revengeful motive against someone can easily manipulate a child and make up a child molestation story.

Biased investigation – whenever a case of child molestation or sexual abuse is filed,  certain agencies of the government like child protection offices or services conduct  an investigation. But the problem here is that these offices are created so as to protect children. Thus, their sentiment is towards the alleged child victims. What happens therefore is that even though an investigation is conducted, the outcome is always the same – the accused must be prosecuted.

Equally biased medical report – medical personnel who examine alleged child victims are also part of the child saving industry. Therefore, it is common for them to alter the results of any medical examination just to connect and link the accused to the molestation.
Syndrome evidence – the syndrome evidence is presented in trial by a child psychiatrist. It is a way of convincing the court that the child actually manifests all the emotional, physical, and behavioral signs of being sexually abused. As soon as this is presented, the falsely accused meets dead end.

The things we enumerated are a sign on how bent the justice system is when it comes to false allegations of child sexual abuse. Yes, crimes committed against children are the most inhumane and immoral, but it doesn’t mean that all accused are guilty. There are other people who have different motives in falsely accusing another person and this angle must be taken into account in court. The child saving industry has a very big influence in falsely convicting the accused. But that should not be the case. Every person still has the right to an equal and fair trial, no matter how grave and severe the crime is.

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In all cases involving accusations of child molestation, telling the truth is the most difficult part, especially for the one accused of the crime. There are several reasons why this is true, but among them, two stand out. The first one is the common misconception that children do not tell a lie. Persons who are quite concerned about child's welfare and protection are convinced that a very young child is incapable of lying, especially when it is about a complex issue such as exploitation or molestation. The second one is the tendency of the courts to favor the alleged child victim and err on convicting the accused even without convincing physical evidence.

 

Yes, children may not know how to lie, but if there is someone who manipulates them to do so, then it’s possible. Being wrongly accused of child molestation is quite common in divorce cases. Wives use and manipulate their children and accuse their husbands of molesting them. The purpose is to gain custody. Obviously, this is a very evil way of ending a family. Not only is the husband deprived of his right to take care of his children, he is also wrongly accused of committing sexual abuse and is at risk of being imprisoned.

 

Moreover, children also lie because of either pressure or fear. The threat of risking their safety or their own lives will definitely force them to lie about molestation. Sometimes, even their own parents manipulate them to extort money from a wealthy individual or perhaps exact revenge to an enemy. But whatever the reason is, the sad thing is anyone can be victimized by false allegations. And when that happens, there’s a slim hope for the accused to get his way out.

 

The second issue is about the bias of the courts towards the alleged victims. This fact is supported by the idea that a crime committed against children, especially those sexual in nature, is a crime committed against the whole society. It is an act generally regarded as unforgivable. This is why anyone accused of child molestation instantly becomes a subject of curse and prejudgment from the people that have an interest in the case. Additionally, even the courts heavily lean towards convicting the accused without proper evidence. In the end, the same thing happens – the accused loses the right to get his way out.

 

While it should not be the case, what happens in the court is that the accused is the one who needs to prove his innocence. The principle of presumption of innocence unless proven guilty does not really apply in reality. He ends up trying to prove that the allegations are false and find the best explanation to disprove the fabricated events.

 

Of course, as we've said before, the reason why there is such a heavy inclination to put an alleged molester in jail is because it really is a common problem in society and is truly a heinous act. It's important, however, that the pursuit of justice does not become a witch hunt.

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Child sexual abuse is a very emotional and sensitive issue among Americans. Most parents these days tend to be very cautious when it comes to the people who make contact with their children. Even close relatives and friends cannot escape the doubtful and wary minds of concerned parents. However, child sexual abuse cases do not always tell the truth. There have been several false accusations that have ruined the lives of the wrongly accused.

Back in 1985, there was a notable case in Rosedale, Maryland. An ex-marine named Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted of sexual assault, rape, and murder of a nine-year old girl which allegedly happened a year before. After trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to death row. Without any physical evidence, the court found him guilty based on the statements of five witnesses who saw him with the young girl before she disappeared.

Luckily for him, the early 90s saw the revolutionary development of DNA testing. The new technology found out that the DNA in the semen found in the girl’s underwear did not match to that of Kirk. Finally, in 1993, after almost nine years in prison, Kirk Bloodsworth was released. But the problem is, his exoneration will never restore the life he had before. The experience in prison and in death row will forever change his future and will never bring back the things he should’ve done if he was free.

Bloodsworth’s case is a clear example of how the criminal justice system favors the alleged victim, especially when it is a young child accusing someone of molestation. The accused at this point is considered guilty even though there is no valid proof such as physical evidence or admission. While it should be noted that child molestation is a heinous crime, it must also be pointed that the accused must still be deemed innocent unless proven guilty by a competent court with proper evidence and due process. The same as other criminal cases, guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

However, hearsay evidence and appeal to emotion by the victim are usually enough to convict a person who is wrongly accused. And for those unlucky people, their conscience becomes their sole weapon. It’s like you’re going to war where your enemies carry guns and cannons while you go out there bringing your sword.

Unfortunately for the wrongly accused, the proof of innocence is so hard to present since the eyes of the media, the people around you, the court, and even the whole justice system is already putting one of your hands in cuffs.

While it is a long shot for all those who are already serving their sentence for the crime they did not commit, those who want to avoid suffering the same fate must realize that the threat of being wrongfully accused is so real. So if you are a person who is close to children, you have to take extra measures in ensuring that you avoid having unnecessary physical contact with them, as this may be interpreted by other people as molestation. Furthermore, you must also avoid being with a child alone, as this may be considered by others as manipulation. In any case, the best way to avoid being falsely accused of child molestation is to have a clear conscience and a cautious way of making sure that when you’re with a child, there must be other persons around as well.

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The kind of attention the public puts on child molestation cases has definitely changed the rules of the justice system. We know for a fact that crimes committed against children are the most immoral, inhumane, and wicked. But this doesn’t mean that anyone who is accused of doing so is already guilty of it, especially when there is no evident proof. We all have to remember that the basic principle of the criminal justice system is that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. However, this is not the case when it comes to false accusations of child molestation. We go back to the landmark trial of the McMartin preschool.

The McMartin preschool trial was a child sexual abuse scandal in the 1980s where members of the McMartin family, owners of the school, were accused of molesting and sexually abusing a number of children who enrolled in their school. This case is very notable for various reasons. It is one of the first Multi-Victim Multi-Offender (MVMO) child abuse cases in American history. It is also the longest criminal trial and one of the most expensive ones. It cost the state $15 million dollars and the entire duration, including arrests, arraignments, and the trial lasted for six years. Lastly, it also became a media hot topic due to the weird and sometimes unbelievable accusations by the alleged victims such as satanic ritual abuse and that the accused were capable of flying.

After six long years, the cases were dismissed but not after some of the accused were already wrongly imprisoned for five years. The court was quoted as saying that part of this delayed justice was because of the media stereotyping. Before the case even started, the media and public started to label the McMartins as guilty considering the number of alleged victims who testified.

The McMartin case is just one of the many instances where individuals are imprisoned and punished for the child crimes they did not commit. The worst part is when the courts and all those people involved create a premeditated decision that whenever someone is accused of sexual abuse against the child, that someone is automatically guilty.

Why Do We Have This Kind of Bias?

This trend is referred to as the national child molestation hysteria. Any case involving sexual abuse of a child gains a lot of attention, not only from the media, but from the government, legislature, and the entire public. Most of the population is programmed to think that there is a child offender or molester in every single block of the neighborhood; that our children are at a continuous risk of being abused. As a result, anyone who’s accused will always be deemed guilty, notwithstanding the kind of evidence that is yet to be presented in court. The consequence: hundreds of innocent people behind bars for the child sexual crime they didn’t do.

 

The most troubling part is that there is a risk of our children being abused. Landmark research by the CDC in 2006 found that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before reaching age 18. This is an undeniable fact. Still, we have to strike a careful balance when it comes to dealing with accusations. Every accusations must be taken seriously, but we as a society cannot act as if we have the whole story from the beginning.

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The Latin maxim “dura lex, sed lex” (the law is hard, but it is the law) literally fits to the current state of the Federal Law on Child Abuse prevention. Prior to 1974, the majority of child abuse cases in the United States were either concealed or seldom reported to authorities. This is because at that time, there was no definite law that brought the issue to the public. When the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was passed, each state in the nation was forced to act accordingly and instructed that they formulate their own state law providing strict child abuse laws. If any state does not seriously comply with the integration of the new federal code into state law, funding will be suspended.

As a result, the entire American public is now very much aware of the current state of child abuse in the country. There are laws on each state that provide definite and maximum punishments for sex offenders and pedophiles. While CAPTA is obviously formulated to keep children safe from sexual abuse, it is also the main tool used by other people to advance their interests in falsely accusing innocent individuals of child sexual abuse. How does this happen?

There is a certain provision in the law that gives immunity to persons who present reports in good faith about alleged and suspected scenarios of child sexual abuse. This means that if ever someone believes that his neighbor is abusing a child without any substantial evidence to prove it, he can still report it without risking himself of being brought to court for false allegation and harassment charges. Since there is immunity from prosecution, people with bad intentions can use this law to their advantage. If they hold a grudge over a person, they can simply make up stories; convince a child to make an accusation, and then report that fabricated story to the authorities. Definitely, for those who are wrongly accused of child sexual abuse, the law may be harsh, but it is the law.

SAID Syndrome

It’s not always the case where children become victims of sexual abuse. There are times when they also become victims, but of a different kind of abuse. SAID syndrome is a term coined by medical experts that means sexual allegation in divorce. This scenario happens when marriages fail. What usually follows in a divorce is the custody battle for the children. Wives who are in danger of losing custody of their kids are capable of doing drastic measures just to win the battle. As a last resort, they try to manipulate their kids into falsely accusing their father of sexual abuse. And since the courts are unfortunately in favor of children, any allegation, even if it’s substantial, will always get merit from the jury or the judge. At this point, we have to point out that the father/husband is not the only victim, but the kids as well. They are victims of a kind of abuse called manipulation. It is not their fault when they are forced or convinced by their moms to accuse their dad of abuse. They are simply confused.

As we can see in the scenarios mentioned above, the horrible nature of the crime of child molestation and sexual abuse is slowly swallowing the essence of justice for those falsely accused of the crime. It seems like whenever someone is accused, he is already guilty even if there is no trial or evidence provided to prove it.

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It’s no surprise that thousands of children are abused around the world every day. In fact, the number keeps rising each year because the advancement of communication and technology has also put the children under increased vulnerability towards sex offenders and criminals. Additionally, of all the crimes that infest humanity, it is those that are directed at children that gain attention and scrutiny the most. Thus, anyone who is found to have sexually abused a child is cursed and persecuted by society. But what about those falsely accused?

False allegations are a sad fact. Just like the trauma and pain experienced by child victims, victims of false accusations are also subjected to injustice, pain, and lifetime suffering.

In 2008, a man was released in prison after serving twelve years. He was supposed to serve a life sentence but was eventually liberated because of a new break in his case. Some few years back, he was accused and convicted of sexually abusing a then 3-year old girl. The facts relating to the case were a bit sketchy at the time of the trial and there was no trace of physical evidence. Nevertheless, he was convicted primarily due to the public outcry. The alleged abuse happened in a small farming town. But when it was revealed later that the victim admitted that she was actually forced to make up the abuse story, the years of imprisonment and the emotional and psychological torture attached to it will never cease to exist in the person of the one wrongly accused of the crime. Although the man is now literally free, the freedom from the trauma of the experience is almost impossible to attain.

Coercion is just one way of forcing a child to lie about sexual abuse. There are other reasons why children make up stories that they have been abused. But one thing is for sure, this trend must be stopped or many more people will become victims of false allegations themselves.

There are several motivational factors for manipulating a child to make false accusations. One of them is revenge. There are several instances where a person seeks revenge by using a child to accuse another person of sexual abuse. Usually, the child is close to that person and the accusation is supported by a fabrication of a series of false and unreal events. Another trigger is emotional revenge because of a failed marriage or relationship. Women who separate from their husbands frequently use child sex abuse allegations against the husband in order to gain leverage in future custody battles. Lastly, the most commonly driven factor is extortion. In this case, perhaps a group of persons or a syndicate uses a child or a number of children to accuse a prominent and rich individual of child molestation. The purpose of course is to extort money from the victim.

So these are the reasons why children lie about being sexually abused or molested. False allegations are somehow equally alarming to that of real cases of children abused. The biggest issue here is the tendency of the criminal justice system in favoring the accuser and prematurely labeling the accused as being guilty even without any proof or evidence.

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The number of child abuse cases has dramatically increased in the past decade. This increase coincides with the fact that children these days are becoming a lot more vulnerable because of their constant and leveled exposure to venues of abuse such as the internet and television. Nonetheless, we should also take into account the number of instances where a person is wrongly accused.

An American father of two was convicted of first-degree sexual offense way back in 1986. As a punishment, he was given two life sentences for the immoral and gruesome crime he allegedly committed. Then a sudden twist of fate happened more than a decade after. His alleged victim, his own daughter, confessed that her father never really touched her and the accusation was false. Going back to the merits of the case, it was found out that there was really no physical evidence proving that sexual abuse took place. The only thing that convicted the father was the emotional testimony of the daughter.

Although the father in the case above got his needed redemption, nothing can repay the pain he suffered by spending more than ten years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Much worse, the one who accused him was his own blood. When asked why she did it, the daughter simply admitted that she wanted a way out of the very strict and harsh upbringing her father imposed on them.

Most of the time, people tend to forget that the scenario is not always the same. Even if children don’t know how to lie, they still are capable of fabricating stories and making accusations especially when they are put in a tight and pressured situation. What happens here is that the accused becomes the victim of false accusation. While being sexually abused entails lifetime trauma, being falsely accused of the same has an equally irreparable trauma as well.

It is unfortunate to note that false accusations of child molestation are a common occurrence in the criminal justice system, especially in the United States. When a certain person is imprisoned because of false conviction, his entire life is ruined, not to mention, his whole family as well. This is especially true when the accuser is another member of the family. But if we try to dig deeper, there are actually several motives that drive children to lie and pretend that they’ve been abused. We will be tackling them in another post. But what’s really discouraging is the fact that courts (and society, for that matter) are more inclined to favor the accuser rather than assuming the accused is innocent until proven guilty within the boundaries of law and justice.

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Time is an essential aspect of a child or teenager’s life. Not only should parents value it, kids must also learn how to manage it. Time management is quite difficult to teach but parents don’t have a choice.

Kids and even teenagers fail to keep up with it and most of the time, they take it for granted. They never think of wisely spending every hour of the day since all they care about is enjoying every moment of it. But these kids cannot be blamed since they’re simply too young to understand the value of time.

Nonetheless, parents must find a way to teach kids the significance of time management. There will always come a time when it becomes a lot harder to wake them up, do their homework, or go to school on time. This kind of behavior is natural but it should never be tolerated as well. Careful planning, convincing, and a lot of talk are needed for a parent to instill the value of time to their kids.

Careful planning means doing the teaching at the earliest possible time. As soon as you think your child is ignoring its essence, you should be there to intervene. You cannot allow that negative mentality since children may soon carry it when they grow old. So lessons of time management must be done early so that they can also begin to get used to spending time wisely until they are old enough to realize how crucial it is.

Convincing on the other hand is all about setting example. You as a parent cannot possibly teach your children how to value time if you yourself cannot set a good example. It is not good to tell your kid to wake up six in the morning when you are not awake at that same time.

Lastly, there is no better way of teaching your children anything of value than talking to them. You cannot talk to them when you don’t have time for them. By the time you establish a constant and open communication, they will realize that you’re making a good effort of spending time with them even though you are busy with other things.

 

Doing all of this will also ensure that they don't get trapped so easily in addiction to social media, pornography or into a bad relationship with a potential sexual offender. Remember that love is a set of actions, not a feeling. If you actively choose to show your child how much you care about their life, they will respond.

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Even in progressive and developed countries like the United States, money is still an issue for most families. It’s not like because you live in America, you can have all you want. It is therefore very crucial for parents to know exactly how to teach their kids to value and identify the importance of money. This can help lead a child to identify the value that individuals have inherently.

Since money is responsible for giving children the material things they want such as toys, clothes, gadgets, food, and others, most of them begin to ask for it even at such a young age. However, one important responsibility a parent must perform is ensuring that their kids will not be spoiled by the desire to get and ask for anything they want, though it may not be a necessity. Unlike adults, young people, especially kids, still don’t have the right kind of understanding on the amount of effort and difficulty it takes to earn money. So as a parent, it is your job to teach young ones the value of money.

Leading by example must be your first step. You have to show your kids how you wisely spend money by doing little things like making priority lists for shopping for groceries or refraining from purchasing stuff that is not of immediate need. If you always give in to your own pleasure and wants, your children will do the same.

Reward system is another effective way of teaching your kids the value of money. Remind them to religiously perform the chores assigned to them.  As a reward, you can give them their allowances. If they fail to do so, you can suspend the allowance until they start doing their chores. This method helps them realize that money cannot be obtained without any hard work.

The next method is saving. Teach your kid to save even small bills from cents to a dollar or two from their allowance. However, don’t try to make it compulsory since they may think that you’re just trying to take away their money. This process is slow and gradual but in the end, you’ll realize how significant it is for your kids when they grow up.

 

So then, how does this relate to the sexual exploitation and sexualization of our youth in America? On of the main sources of our problems in this nation is that we live in a soceity of consumers that are trained to work for more, more, more. More money, bigger houses, better cars, larger 401K's. In this type of environment, people are easily viewed as commodities rather than human beings made in the image of God, hence the viewing of people as sex objects. Valuing money leads to a value of hard work, which leads to a valuing of the work that others do. If we begin to value each other, perhaps we will learn to stop victimizing each other.

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The news is not always about finding new information around us. Though we keep up with the rest of the world by simply watching news in television, the same can cause several negative effects for children and teenagers. Parents must be specifically aware of the fact that too much exposure to the news may influence the behavior and thinking of their kids.

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Children are the most susceptible and naive group of individuals. Their young age makes them vulnerable to various types of abuse and exploitation. It is therefore a collective responsibility for all adults to secure their safety and ensure that they are protected. But the problem is, not all people and countries prioritize the advocacy of child care and protection. In fact, a lot of them even encourage or at least tolerate the exploitation of children in different fields that include labor, prostitution, and military.

Although it is non-existent in the United States and many parts of Europe, children in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are continuously subjected to real time violence and war. Being a refugee in war torn countries is common, but what’s more disturbing is to learn that millions of children are taught how to hate and become violent through religious, racial, or political indoctrination.

This scenario is prevalent in the Middle East. In the Palestinian territories, children are raised to believe that Jews are inferior beings and that they should be hated. This explains why we see Palestinian kids adoring freedom fighters while they are on the news. You can even see some carrying weapons and flags. Aside from racial profiling, other teachings that lead to violence and aggressive behavior are the glorification of the holy war and the necessity of death as a servant of Allah. There are even cases where young teens are recruited as suicide bombers. These innocent young individuals are led to believe that what they are doing is a form of sacrifice in the name of the country and religion.

There is a certain point that we must respect the kind of culture we see from other nations and territories. But there is also a boundary for everything. Whenever a child is raised to become a violent individual, it is not part of culture anymore. It is more of false and deceitful indoctrination that advances the personal interests and perverted ideologies of the leaders of these nations. While some blame religion as the one responsible for promoting this kind of treatment towards children, such an issue is still debatable considering that there are other nations with the same religious belief that condemn the use of children in war and their indoctrination towards violence.

 

Thankfully, we don't have this exact kind of indoctrination happening in our western world, but there is an indoctrination going on nevertheless. What do we teach American children to value in themselves and in others? What do we impress upon them as the purpose of life? I would suggest that there is a great deal of indoctrination towards a life of consumerism, where one's value and purpose is found in how much stuff you can acquire and how much money you can get in your bank account.

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Education in this generation is considered a basic necessity for young people, especially children and teenagers. While millions of individuals fail to finish a degree or a college course, there are still many who live on with successful careers and lives. But what’s of major importance is basic education, i.e. high school. In the United States for instance, it's against the law for kids not to go to high school.

Unfortunately, lack of access to education is a very prevalent issue in other countries. There is an estimated 100 million children that do not have the chance to go to school. The cause of this is pretty obvious – that parents as well as governments are more concerned on other important things like finding food, shelter, and water for the families.

There are certain factors that contribute to the lack of access to education. Poverty is of course the most common. But aside from it, there are others like geographical location, lack of interest, and conflict. Geographical location includes things like severe weather conditions, terrain, and lack of transportation. For instance, children in the Philippines have to walk miles before they can reach the nearest primary school. Some areas in India meanwhile are just too stiff to climb and for transportation to pass. Thus, many parents prefer not to put their children at the mercy of climbing rocks and hills just to reach school.

Another factor is the lack of interest on the part of the child. In remote areas of the world, children who belong to the indigenous population are more trained at finding food and livelihood for themselves rather than focus on education. Because of this, they don’t value the importance of education as they grow up.
The last emerging factor meanwhile is conflict. Child refugees caught in war and conflict spend the majority of their young lives in refugee camps. As a result, they don’t have a chance to go to school and be educated. Instead, they are caught in the middle of chaos which they do not deserve.

Finally, we have to admit that education is only second in priority to basic survival needs. But this doesn’t mean that we just acquiesce to the reality that not all children can be educated. The objective should be the elimination of poverty. As long as the primary needs of children such as food, health care, and shelter are addressed, then education is possible.

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Comments

Deborrah Cooper said,
  Jill Watson, you sound delusional. You also sound very defensive, like a pimp at  
Jeannie said,
  how do I find out if my niece is lieing about being molested by my husband? What  
Bruce Nelson said,
  How about publishing it in epub format - readable on many other ereaders? Why?  

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