Silence Can Be Deadly
The bus we are traveling and living in used to be a school bus. After completely stripping out and cleaning it there was one final piece of paper that was folded and tucked away at the front of the bus that no one had bothered to look at. That is until one day during the transformation we discovered some rust. Gutted, Cam (who provided the budget for the bus) sat down in the driver’s seat to ponder how we should move forward. For the first time he noticed this piece of paper and opened it. This was the picture – the last remaining item from our Hino’s school bus days.
Here’s the thing, we live in an age where we are all proud to stand for a cause – to protest our own rights. Which is awesome! These are things that need to be addressed.
But what about the rights of our most vulnerable.
Why is it so hard for their voices to be heard?
New Zealand has one of the worst child abuse rates in the developed world. 1 child is killed every 5 weeks. What is not included in that stat is the number of suicides resulting from child abuse. Studies suggest that victims of child maltreatment are 3 times more likely to suffer depression and have suicidal thoughts. The thousands of child abuse victims who survive (most of whom we will never hear anything about in our media) have to somehow pick up the pieces and live up to everyone else’s expectations of them despite the many bruises and scars (mentally and physically) that they will carry their whole life.
Why is it that child abuse is still such an awkward topic?
Why is it when people ask us what Stop the Bus is – we often have to be tactical in our language to keep the conversation engaged. The words ‘child abuse’ are often met with glazed eyes and people sometimes even physically back away.
I know I will get stick for this one – but why is it easier for us to address neglected animals (and of course we should) than it is to address neglected and abused children? Are kids not cute enough?
Why do we remain silent?
Do we not understand the impact of our silence?
Anger, abuse, worthless, depressed, terror, outrage, hurt, invisible, stupid, bruises, fear, pain, shattered, dumb
This single sheet of paper blew our minds
All words that describe feelings and ongoing effects of abuse and our silence.
Never mind the rust, we can fix that. Whatever our hurdles, these children are worth our effort.