In the time that has passed since my last blog, more children have been abused and several more silenced forever. It is time for us, as leaders in our communities, to start the long overdue process to end this madness.
I now request that each of you share this blog with all of your contacts because we are going to engage in an online brain storming session to start our work. Our collaboration begins with ideas on two important points. How can we best make the national registry an effective tool, and how do we change state and federal legislation that will insure convicted child abusers are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Another point follows from the last one – we need to have the most effective system in place to insure that people charged with child abuse are charged appropriately, especially in situations where a plea agreement is reached. Each charge should reflect the seriousness of the harm caused the victim. If a child dies as a result of the injuries inflicted, we need to work with victim advocates and others to insure that the prosecution brings the most appropriate charge against the defendant. Doing this lets victims know that our society has their best interests in mind and the sentencing goals of specific and general deterrence might actually come to mean something.
My request for help in achieving this goal reflects my personal philosophy – If it truly does not matter who gets the credit, we can accomplish any goal. Please remember the focus of our activity – to make the national registry effective, and to work with the criminal justice system to insure that those convicted on child abuse charges are not given a wink and a nod for their conduct. Children’s lives are at stake.