A religious sister with a doctorate in clinical social welfare writes from her experience with young people in the Kyeongyang magazine. She has worked with problem youth since 1988 and since 2000, she has worked in a center preventing abuse of children. Dealing with battered children she laments on the condition of many of our families, society, and country; this abnormal condition of society has moved her greatly.
She has many stories to tell about the abuse of children. After installing a telephone line for the reporting of abuse of children the first child was a nine-year-old girl, skin and bones, with spots on her left hand as large as a coin where her father with cigarettes burned her hand.The next day three girls were brought in with black and blue marks on their back. The father appeared at the center with abusive language and threats, wanting the girls back.
A third grader in elementary school came to class, and the teacher noticed he was in pain. No signs on the exterior were seen; the teacher raised his upper outer clothing and saw the bruises all over his body and called the center.
"I am alright; my father must not know this. I told my new mother that I would not mention what happened. I have no trouble with the pain." The father denied beating the boy but when the bruises were shown to him, he broke down crying. Sister was upset more by the third grader not acting his age and trying to cover over what happened.
There is no reason to continue the retelling of these stories we know they exist. She continues with the results of this abuse among the young. The aftereffects of the abuse put the young into a world of darkness. Children are too young to have the inner strength to overcome the effects of abuse and serious mental problems arise.
She finishes her article with a wish that the Church become more active in this area. Jesus was concerned about the young and wants the Church to change the way they think about prevention and solutions to the problem. She gives us three proposals.
First, we should not accept this situation in society and be patient. Talks and efforts need to be made. Secondly, the church needs to open its door to all that are hurting. We need to change the image that we have of church as a place for the saved. Thirdly, education is needed for all the parishioners on ways to prevent abuse and violence in the family. Invite specialists to come to give talks on violence in the home, abuse of children and the elderly. These problems, important to remember, are not only seen in families with mental aberrations.
Both in society and church, persons that have emotional problems and have difficulty in controlling their anger need to receive help. Christians know the help Jesus, and his teaching has for us, and the need to draw nearer to him. A famous psychologist is quoted as saying, more die from problems we have among ourselves than all the many natural disasters. The bomb that we have in ourselves has to be defused.