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A CHOICE IS YOURS

Story ID:1962
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:OurEcho Community
Location:Anywhere All states USA
Year:2007
Person:Sarah
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A CHOICE IS YOURS
By Fred Wickert


I received an e-mail that I believed to be worthy of forwarding. I received a reply. The person shall remain anonymous. I sent a lengthy reply and received a short one in return. I am placing it in its entirety before the readers of Ourecho. I ask the reader to consider it and to make their own choice.


The e-mail I forwarded is as follows:

I have taken out of this chain letter some unnecessary rhetoric about you if you donít pass this chain letter on. Make no mistake. It is a chain letter of sorts, but it is a good one. I believe that according to Snopes, the incident described in this poem is not a factual one. However, there are things like this that are happening every day all across America. Most often the abuser begins with torturing, maiming and killing animals. Then they graduate to children and women. It is one of the saddest and for the most part hidden problems in America. Then when someone is finally brought to justice, there is no justice for the victims because they keep slapping them on the wrist and let them go. It doesnít stop. It just escalates. Many have been let go several times, only to murder a spouse or a child or both. Please send it on, just to make people aware of it, and whenever they get the opportunity Ė do something about it.

Fred


Subject: Blue Ribbon Against Child Abuse



My name is Sarah

I am but three,

My eyes are swollen

I cannot see,

I must be stupid,

I must be bad,

What else could have made

My daddy so mad?

I wish I were better,

I wish I werenít ugly,

Then maybe my Mommy,

Would still want to hug me.

I canít speak at all,

I canít do a wrong

Or else Iím locked up

All the day long.

When I awake Iím all alone

The house is dark

My folks arenít home.

When my Mommy does come

Iíll try and be nice,

So maybe Iíll get just

One whipping tonight.

Donít make a sound!

I just heard a car

My daddy is back

From Charlieís Bar.

I hear him curse

My name he calls

I press myself

Against the wall.

I try and hide
From his evil eyes

Iím so afraid now

Iím starting to cry.

He finds me weeping

He shouts ugly words,

He says its my fault

That he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me

And yells at me more,

I finally get free

And I run for the door.

Heís already locked it

And I start to bawl,

He takes me and throws me

Against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor

With my bones nearly broken,

And my daddy continues

With more bad words spoken.

ďIím sorry!Ē I scream

But its now much too late

His face has been twisted

Into unimaginable hate.

The hurt and the pain

Again and again

Oh please God, have mercy!

Oh please let it end!

And he finally stops

And heads for the door,

While I lay there motionless

Sprawled on the floor.

My name is Sarah

And I am but three,

Tonight my daddy

Murdered me.



There are thousands of kids out there just like Sarah. And you can help do something about it!! So all I am asking you to do is take some time to send this on and acknowledge that this stuff does happen, and that people like her dad do live in our society, and pray for child abuse to wither out and die, but also pray for the safety of our youth.

Please pass this poem on as a Blue Ribbon Against Child Abuse because, as crazy as it might sound it might just indirectly change a life.

Please forward if you are

AGAINST CHILD ABUSE


From one of the recipients of the forwarded e-mail, I received the following message:

You place to much power in e-mails. While I think both you and the writer have their hearts in the right place Ė to pass non Ė factual occurrences is not productive in my opinion. There are many incidences of cruelty to children out there. Letís pass those around though sadly the abuser will not see him or herself in them.

That in turn provoked the following response from me:

I don't place power in e-mails. E-mail by itself has no power as far
as I know. However, it is a method or mode of communication. If the
communication of awareness and ideas can touch just one person, or to
get just one person who has knowledge of something going on that should
not, and has a change of heart, who instead of saying to themselves
they donít want to or are afraid of getting involved, and pick up the
phone and call the police, social services hot line or a relative that
might be able to intervene, then maybe - just maybe one or more spouses
and one or more children and one or more pets/animal might be saved.
Saving the children is the most important of all because children who
grow up in these situations are the ones most likely to abuse animals in the neighborhood as they grow up. They are in turn the ones most likely to be abusive to their own children when they have them. They are the most likely to abuse their spouses when they become adults.


The ones with parents who have drinking problems or drug problems are
the most likely to be afflicted with depression and to grow up with drinking and drug problems of their own.


If an e-mail like this reaches the right person and gets them thinking,
and as a result, events are put in motion to save one family, it is
well worth it. By saving that one family, you also save numerous
animals from abuse, you save numerous future spouses from abuse and you
save numerous future children from abuse. A thousand people could read
that e-mail in time. If it only touches one person to make them act
and take that first step, it will have done some good. The only way to advance on any journey is to take that first step.


You also scoff at that poem, saying you prefer to hear about true and
actual events. Anyone who could write that poem, had to have had
knowledge of such an event in real life. The person who wrote that may
very well be feeling a great deal of guilt because they had knowledge and did nothing to intervene.

When I received it, I took out all the phony baloney chain letter
malarkey about what dire consequences might befall you if you didn't
send it to X number of people in so many hours or whatever. That is
bunk and I took it out. The message however is a good one. It can do
no harm, and very well might do some good.

I also know from having been a police officer for many years, the real
factual cases are not likely to become common knowledge. People in
those circumstances are more often than not, afraid to talk and afraid
to come forth. You have no idea the fear these victims are in.
Furthermore, time after time the abuser expresses remorse and promises
never to do it again. The victims hope against hope that they will,
even though deep down they know they wonít won't keep their promise. There is also love there. I don't know how many
times wives have refused to press charges or have the next morning,
dropped the charges, because in spite of all the abuse, they love the
guy and donít want him to get in trouble. Further, if they act it
probably results in the breadwinner losing his job. When this happens
he blames it not on himself but on them. They also have no idea how
they will survive without the income he earns and provides their support with. This fear alone is great.
They are ashamed and embarrassed in front of other people and will lie
and cover up as to how they receive their injuries, never revealing the
injuries to be at the hands of an abusive spouse or parent. It is
extremely difficult to help them because they don't allow themselves to be helped.

On the other hand, if some mother in the type of situation described in
the poem, reads that e-mail and it plants the fear in her brain that it
could happen to her child, it just might force her to take the
necessary action for the protection of her child, when she would never take action to protect herself.


The large majority of cases, even when they reach court, are done in
Family court. Not open criminal court. The media is never aware and
does not keep reporters hanging around waiting for something to happen
in Family court. There also is much done in negotiation between
lawyers, so these cases never reach the public eye. In the old days, communities were smaller and closer knit. The gossip mill spread this kind of news throughout the neighborhood and the people who did this sort of thing were ostracized by their peers and they changed their ways. Now nobody knows most of their neighbors.
Communities are no longer small and close knit where everyone knows
everyone else as well as their personal business. There is a very tragic epidemic of this sort of thing and anything that can be done, no matter how small, in my view, should be done.


To simply say that because this poem is not a true story and because
e-mail isn't going to do anything and therefore do nothing, is in my view allowing it to continue, just because even though it is a very tiny thing, I did nothing when I could have done something. I could have done it without any cost other than my personal time. A few
minutes of my time. I have wasted that much time many times over. Why not spend this time by forwarding the message, in the knowledge that just maybe, it might reach the heart of some one along the way who will be touched by it to do some good. I'm sorry, but apathy is not one of my faults and whether it pleases you or not, I will continue to forward
these things.

There is another reason by the way, that you do not learn of the actual
and factual cases of this nature. This nation has become a culture in
which lawsuits will occur in the blink of an eye. No one wants to make
these things public in fear of getting sued.

There is no doubt in my mind that the person who wrote that poem did so
based on knowledge of an actual tragedy closely related to the content
of the poem. I do not believe it was the figment of some ones
imagination. Someone knew the fear and the tragedy of some little girl
who suffered a similar fate. Her name was not Sarah, but this person writing the poem was very familiar with the fears and thoughts given
to Sarah in this poem.

I can not nonchalantly delete such a message. I can not be apathetic
for whatever excuse. I believe most of the ills in our country and in
our society today is apathy. Nobody wants to get involved. It is high
time we do get involved. I am not personally aware of any family where
this is going on at the moment. When I was a police officer, I became
aware of many more than I cared to, but I did get involved and I did so
beyond that required by my job as a police officer. I have been out of
that field for many years now, but continue to get involved when I see wrong doing, and I always will. I can not do otherwise.


You can make your own choices. You can be apathetic and delete it if
you wish. The choice is yours. I have made my choice. I will not be
apathetic. I believe to do so would be irresponsible on my part. I
will appreciate it if you do not like and/or disagree with things I
send of this nature, that you merely delete and go on about your business, rather than to take it upon yourself to criticize what I do or think or to even attempt to influence my thinking, just because it doesn't agree with yours. For me, it is unimportant that it is a poem
and not a factual case history. It may even be that. We have no way
of knowing. Nevertheless, the problem does exist and gets worse
instead of better, because nothing is done to break the cycle. Each
person should let their own conscience be their guide. I have
done so. What you choose to do or why is your own business and not
mine. Just don't try to soothe your conscience by trying to bring me
around to your point of view because it will never happen. You have your freedom of choice. I have exercised mine.


To that I received the following reply:

Fred, I donít think I need to be lectured on the scary incidence of child and animal abuse. I am glad that you think this is an avenue of hope. I just donít agree.



I leave it to you, the reader Ė to make your choice. Am I all wet, or is it really hopeless? Or is there some small tiny window of hope?
You decide. Then act accordingly.