Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Turning a Blind Eye

I just finished reading a book that really disturbed me. Don't get me wrong; it's an excellent book. Very well-written. It disturbed me because of the content, and because Alex Sanchez presents the main character of Bait so strongly that I felt what Diego was feeling. And it sucked.

I won't give away what happened in Diego's past. It was horrible, I'll say that much. And the worst part was that his mother refused to believe it. She pretended it wasn't happening, or that she didn't suspect.

Unfortunately, that happens a lot, in fiction and in real life. In my Reality Shift series, Shanna's father knows that Shanna's mother yells at her, and probably suspects that things are even worse than just yelling. But he doesn't do anything about it. Shanna speculates that maybe her father is afraid of her mother too, and that may be. Whatever the reason, Mr. Bailey just turns a blind eye to what's happening to his daughter.

I had a friend in high school who was molested by her stepfather for three years before she finally told someone about it. When her mother found out, she threw my friend out of the house and blamed her for what had been happening. Then she admitted that she'd suspected something "not right" was going on. But she hadn't wanted to believe it, so she'd turned a blind eye.

There are too many kids and teens being abused in situations where no one is willing to help. No one is willing to acknowledge that anything's going on. They don't want to believe the abuse is happening, or they figure it's none of their business. Maybe they're even afraid that they, too, will be hurt if they try to stop the abuse.

No one deserves to be abused. When I do school visits, I tell kids that if they or someone they know is being abused, they need to tell someone they trust. And if necessary, they need to keep telling until someone listens and helps. I'm asking the same thing here. If you're dealing with abuse, please talk to someone. And if you know, or even suspect, that someone you know is being abused, please don't turn a blind eye.

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