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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Protect and Educate Children: Lovely Bones Movie Review

Went to see the Lovely Bones movie with mother, sister, and her boyfriend last Saturday.

Movie was very depressing. It’s about a girl who was murdered and she’s stuck in the “in-between.” Did find the images of heaven and the in-between area to be beautiful. Had read the Lovely Bones novel by Alice Seabold several years ago so was prepared to see a depressed movie.

Here’s a youtube trailer for the movie. It shows some of the pretty images of the “in-between area.”

Why This Movie Upset Me personally:

Felt upset because this fiction story is so much like the truth.

Have provided recreational therapy services for children between the ages of 7 and 13 at a residential treatment facility in one of the two Virginias. All of the children on this unit have been abused either physical, emotional, and/ or sadly sometimes, sexual, too. Working with this population for nearly a decade has had a strong impact on my life. People hear about stories of abuse that make the news every so often. I hear of these stories every day because I provide services for children who've experienced it.

Believe we, as a society, need to do more to protect children from predators.

  • Education is one concept to protect children.
  • Strong sentences are a second concept.

Here are some of my ideas on protecting children with: EDUCATION.

  • # 1. Teach children assertiveness skills. Have children learn to say “no” and mean it. Many children are under the false impression that they must follow rules and do as adults say. Teach children differently. Here is an example on why teaching children to follow rules is a poor idea. In 2004, an 18-year-old girl was forced to strip nude at work in a back office by her McDonald’s supervisor. The girl followed directions because she had been taught to do as adults say and to listen to people in authority. The manager had received a bogus call from a stranger pretending to be an officer claming that the young girl had stolen something. The faker on the phone told the manager to have the young girl strip down. Would think a manager would have more common sense. Pleased to say the girl was awarded $5 million in punitive damages and $1.1 million in compensatory damages and expenses. Here is a link to the story:

  • # 2. Teach children toTell, tell, tell.” Many children are afraid to tell because they think that they’ll get in trouble or that they’ll be blamed. Never blame the victim. It’s not the child’s fault. I have teach the children to continue telling until someone belives them. The first person may not beleive the child. Always beleive the child to be on the safe side.

Use an interesting book to help teach children at our hospital how to tell because I want them to know this skill before they’re discharged. The book is called, “No More Secrets for Me." My grandmother Carrie Pettry had given this book to me and my siblings as a kid. It says, “to Danny, Jimmy, and Carrie (that’s me and my two younger siblings). At work, I have the children to role-play saying “no” for simple things to help them build practice and confidence.

Absolutely, every adult should get this book and read it to their children.

You can get this book from Amazon here:

Finally, my personal thoughts on protecting children: STRONGER SENTENCES

Life sentences without parole should be mandatory for child predators, offenders, and rapists.

The biggest problem with protecting children is the legal system because it lets dangerous people out. Of course, the predator will argue, “but I served my time.” Sure they may have, but they’re still not safe to be released even with a probation officer. The Jaycee Dugard case is a prime example. She was abused by Phillip Craig Garrido (a known offender) who had been “let out early from his 50 year sentence.” Had he not been released early Jacyee may not have been kidnapped and abused. This is why stronger sentences are needed. For more information on Jaycee, read this article at Wikipedia:

This debate of holding offenders after their time has been served is a major issue. Should they be held longer? In my opinion, “yes, to protect children.” What is to say they wont’ do it again.

The topic is currently in the news. Martin Andrews (at age 13 in 1973) had been kidnapped, raped, then chained in a box and left to die in a field. Fortunately, Andrews was found by a hunter. Today, in 2010, the offender, Richard Ausley is about to be released. What will prevent him from doing the same to another child? I’d more than glad to help Andrews in his advocacy in any way possible.

Horrifying pictures of the box are shown at this CNN article and link:

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