Missing children–a growing epidemic with no end or answers in sight
I just posted an update to the latest search for Jennifer Kesse. Considering the fickleness of the media and the attention span of the public, it is remarkable that the Kesses’ have been able to keep their adult daughter’s face and story in the news for 4 years. That they’ve accomplished this with grace and dignity, is a miracle.
It’s all the more amazing when you consider just how many children (and adults, too) disappear without a trace every year. The sheer volume of missing children means that most of them barely get a mention in the news before they fade quickly into obscurity. Of course, these kids don’t fade away for their families. For them, the search never ends, and the horror of not knowing the fate of their child is an ever-present nightmare. Add to that the daunting task of keeping the news media focused on helping get the word out, and the public focused on looking for their child, and you can begin to see what a huge burden they face every day of their lives.
It says volumes about the world we live in when the only stories that actually make headlines or have staying power in the media ( and therfore in the consciousness of the public) are the ones that are sensationalized. The back-story must be compelling–even titillating–or the family must be outrageously inappropriate in order for the media to deem a particular case newsworthy enough to keep it front and center. Sadly, it falls mostly on the family to keep their child’s story alive by whatever means they have. For many parents those means are meager, and their children may never make it into our stream of consciousness. If they do, it’s barely a blip across the TV screen, or buried in a sea of mundane articles on page 6 of the local newspaper.
I did a blog a year or so ago about what makes a particularly child gone missing more newsworthy than another. You can read it at the link below if you are interested:
“Missing children-What makes one child’s story worthy of a media blitz while another child slips under the radar?” LINK
I still think it’s the truth with very few exceptions. For example……..
She disappeared 4 days ago.
Have you heard anything about him?
He disappeared about 5 weeks ago.
Or Jason Vu from Philadelphia, Pa.?
He went missing on December 24th of last year.
These are just 3 children out of 1000’s that remain unnoticed and unfound. Thank God for honest-to-goodness legitimate groups like The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children LINK, and America’s Most Wanted LINK. God bless their efforts to try and help find these kids who, for whatever reason, are considered “un-interesting” and therefore, “un-newsworthy”.
What’s the answer? IS there an answer to this problem?
Well, the obvious one is to put measures in place that would reduce the volume of child abductions. Fewer children to report on means more news coverage for those that need it. Putting stronger deterrents in place so that those monsters that think it’s okay to take a child (for whatever reason– be it a stranger abduction or a custodial battle), will think twice before they act could help. IMO, I say no second chances for stranger abductors. Give them the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The child dies– the killer FRIES. If the child is found alive, the kidnapper gets life in prison with no chance of ever seeing the light of day again.
Second, we need to watch our children more closely, and we need to teach them more carefully. (I’m NOT talking about parents like the Kesses’ here) So many kids are left to fend for themselves while their parents (if they are around at all) do their our own thing. These little ones are being neglected not only in the body, but in the spirit. They are not being taught right from wrong, or good from evil. God is not in their vocabularies other than as a curse word, and the only assurance they have is that they will, if they survive, grow up to be just like their bad role models.
It’s a mystery to me how we can truly change that.
Loving, responsible parents only have to turn their heads for second to lose their child forever, yet so many parents are doing more than just turning their heads–they are turning their backs. Lacks-a-daisy parenting has reached epidemic proportions, and the results of that irresponsibility is becoming more apparent every day. Whole generations of Casey Anthonys’, Misty Croslins’ and Elizabeth Johnsons’ are popping onto the radar. It’s too late to save them–they’ve already been lost, but, is it too late to save their children?? The Caylee Anthonys’, Haleigh Cummings’, and Gabriel Johnsons’ of this world might say it is.