I as inspired to write this article in response to the shooting at PHHS.
"Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving 6 million children; that’s because reports can include multiple children. The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths."
http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics - The following are statistics from this page, the National Child Abuse Statistics website.
According to the stats since 2010, five children die a day from child abuse. There is a pie chart on there showing the types of abuse that are causing these deaths with ther majority being in the form of neglect, physical abuse and medical neglect.
- A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
- More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse and approximately 80% of those children are under the age of 4.
- Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across all ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
-About 30% of abused and nelected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the cycle of abuse.
- About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
- The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the US for 2008 was $124 billion.
- Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy and abused teens are also less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at risk for STD's and pregnancy.
- One-third to two-thirds or child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.
- Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times as likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to neglected than children from non abusing families.
- 14% of all men in prison in the US were abused as children
- 36% of women in prison were abused as children
- Children who esperience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a jugvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
That site has plenty of supporting articles and references for you to look at if you so choose.
1. In 2008, one out of every 601.4 children were victims of physical abuse, with parents of victims accounting for 80.1% of abusers.
2. 2.34 children out of 100,000 die from injuries relating to their abuse, with 80.8% of deaths occuring in children four years or younger.
3. For every incident that gets reported, it's estimated that two others go unreported. (Probably due to the shame the victim feels and doesn't want ANYONE to know)
4. Neglect is by far the most common form of child abuse, accounting for more than 78% of all cases.
5. Physical abuse accounts for 17.8% of documented child abuse cases each year. (I suspect this number to be way higher in reality due to children being afraid to come forward)
6. One-fourth of all girls and a sixth of all boys are sexually abused by an adult before the age of 17.
7. 8 out of 10 sexual abusers are someone in the family or someone the child knows.
8. Every month, at least 100 babies are born to drug using mothers.
9. Of kids who have a parent who uses drugs, one in 13 is physically abused regularly.
10. Abused children are more likely to abuse alcohol and become addicted to drugs, and one third will later abuse their own children.
11. Of all prison inmates, 84% were abused as children.
(There are also resources on this page to back up these facts if you so wish to read those.)
Another great website with information on this. Some quotes tht may relate to the shooter;s mindset:
5. It is a search for power and control
By becoming an abuser, someone who has been abused can play the role of the more powerful person in the relationship, in an attempt to overcome the powerlessness they felt when they were being abused.
7. They feel very angry
People who have been abused carry a lot of anger about what happened to them, and abuse can be a way to express that anger.
8. They may try to hurt others before being hurt
If abuse and hurt feels inevitable, people who have been abused may view sexual relationships as preditory, and try to "kill before being killed."
I don't think sex played any part in the shooting, but the point is still valid IMO.
Another wonderful site, this time an article. Some quotes from a list of effects child abuse has on children and adults:
Anger and rage.
Aggressive, disruptive and sometimes illegal behavior.
Conesquences of emotional abuse:
Destructive to others
Demonstrates compulsions, obsessions, phobias, hysterical outbursts
Cruel to others.
This site is also very informative.
"According to NCANDS whose latest statistics are for 2005 an estimated 3.3 million referrals of child abuse or neglect were received by public social service or CPS agencies. Of these referrals, 899,000 children were confirmed to be victims of abuse or neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007). That means about 12 out of every 1,000 children up to age 18 in the United States were found to be victims of maltreatment in 2005 (USDHHS, 2007).
Where Do We Get Our Information?
Reports of suspected child maltreatment come from multiple sources. In 2005, over one-half of reports (61.7 percent) were from professionals who are considered “mandated reporters” (USDHHS, 2007). Mandated reporters are required by law to report suspected abuse and neglect. The most common mandated reporter referral sources in 2005 were social services personnel, legal professionals, law enforcement, criminal justice personnel and medical and mental health professionals (USDHHS, 2007).
Types of Maltreatment Children Suffer
Maltreatment can take many forms, and some children can suffer from more than one type. Since 1999, the majority of children confirmed to be victims of child maltreatment experienced neglect. The following are the percentages of children who experienced maltreatment in 2005 (USDHHS, 2007):
Physical abuse 16.6%
Sexual abuse 9.3%
Emotional/psychological abuse 7.1%
Medical neglect 2.0%
The ‘Other’ category listed above includes abandonment, threats to harm the child, congenital drug addiction and other situations that are not counted as specific categories in NCANDS. The percentages here add up to more than 100 percent because some children were victims of more than one type of maltreatment."
Read more of that article for more information.
An article out of Britian speaking of unbelievable stories of children as young as 10 who have become vicious abusers themselves.
This site talks about how abused children grow up to be child abusers.
"One example was a father who raped and sodomized his daughter the moment she first had her period, causing a great deal of tissue damage in the girl. The mother of the girl responded by putting the daughter on birth control pills, so the father could continue to rape her without fear of impregnating her, and then giving her a copy of a novel to read about a female child who was born evil and committed various heinous crimes."
Here is another interesting article telling about how most men keep quiet about their abuse to do not report it. THis is even more telling that a significant amount of abuse cases are not reported and the reported unumbers are already beyond unacceptable.
Another article about how abused children become unhealthy adult, physically unhealthy as in diseases and such.
Another article talking about the cycle of child abuse and it's links between being a victim and becoming and abuser.
..and finally, a site discussing a study showing family violence and neglect are important risk factors for abused kids becoming abusers of others as adults.
I know, some of these articles are old, but I consider that irrelevent since this issue has only gotten worse over the years and people simply refuse to acknowledge it because the general population, as a whole, are completely ignorant when it comes to basic psychology and the effects that child abuse has on the brain of a child, whose brain absorbs information like a sponge.
Having been someone who was abused in justg about every way growing up, I have struggled my whole life with these issues and an educated guess of at least 90% of people I've known in my life experienced some kind of abuse as a child. As for me, I decided to break that cycle of abuse and go a different direction with how I try to treat people. I do not have kids yet, but I will before I die.
The way all of this connects to the PHHS shooting is that NO ONE digs into this child's family life. I want to know what was going on at home and I want the parents to be responsible when abuse it found to have occured. No teenager, who has led an abuse free life would do such a thing to someone else. Not one would.
I think people severely underestimate both the effects this kind of abuse has on a child, usually life long effects that prevent them from excelling in life or they themselves become abusers and the future rapists and murderers we have to put in jail and pay $30 grand a head for. It's a good thing we have so many none violent drug offenders clogging up our prison system, isn't it? No room for these real criminals, so they are allowed back on the streets. I've seen this so many times it makes me puke in my mouth a little especially when it comes to rapists.
So, what kind of abuse did Mr. Gladden suffer as a child that would cause killing someone to even enter his mind in such a premeditated way? Should the parents be punished for this as well?
You want to know what real epidemics are? You want to know where all the strippers, murderers, whores, child molesters, child abusers and wife beaters, and burglers come from? It's these people and no politician wants to touch this issue. We are so ignorant as a society when it comes to these things. It's like people believe it doesn't happen and in complete denial.
Child abuse and the result of such abuse is, IMO, the BIGGEST epidemic this county has to offer and NO ONE wants to touch it, acknowledge it or do a damn thing about it. Maybe potential parents should have to have background checks, maybe we should stop allowing 14 year olds to have children, why are these things not an option? In this day and age, IMO, 14 year olds should be on some form of birth control. I don't mean the pill, I mean something that lasts awhile that they can't conveniently "forget" to take. I think too many people are having kids that don't have a clue of how to raise them because they themselves have unresolved issues which they ultimately take out on their wife or children.
It just blows my mind how many people just don't see this as a threat or even an issue. I have listen to thousands of episodes of the radio show "Loveline" back when it was popular between 1995-2005 and magically, a caller calls up with a problem and they know exactly what their abuse history is without even asking because human predictability is such an easy thing when you are trained to see it. Certain kinds of abuse to children causes certain kinds of consequences as adults. This show ran for 10 years until Carolla left, but Dr. Drew was a board certified physician, addiction medicine specialist and had much knowledge about psychology both from listening to lectures, studying himself and his experiences doing Loveline for over 20 years.
I would bet a lot of money that Gladden's home life was a mess, but do the media delve into that? Noo, of course not. It's probably the TV he watched or the music he listened to or the video games he played. The violence in the things I just mentioned do not cause those things in society. These things arfe in society because society is fascinated with violence. In this country, violence is glorified especially when it comes to war. We are a country that is obsessed with violence and that is reflected in he media we watch and consume. Look at Gansta Rap, for a great example of how violence is glamorized.
This very serious epidemic needs to be spread around because I would bet screwing with the minds of children who grow up into adults is THE leading cause of crime in the country especially child abuse. I believe that child abuse is the leading cause of problems in our society. Sure, there will be people who are abused who do not abuse others, but they are the excepion to the rule. Bullying is just another aspect of all this.
I will leave you with something that makes a lot of sense to me. It is an article written by Marilyn Manson in 1999 in response to the Columbine shootings being blamed on him. Despite his appearance and adversion to religion, this article is genius IMO. For anyone who has read his autobiography, you will know he is a very intelligent man who was abused himself as a child. I don't agree with everything he says, but I think this makes a lot of sense when it comes to violent crimes in this country and the necessity of "scapegoats." Please, don't let "Marilyn Manson" scare you away from reading it, please do read it. I think you will be surprised how smart the man is. He, like myself, do not believe in organized religion though unlike him, I very much know there is a God and believe strongly in him. Here it is, I insist it's worth the long read:
"It is sad to think that the first few people on earth needed no books, movies, games or music to inspire cold-blooded murder. The day that Cain bashed his brother Abel's brains in, the only motivation he needed was his own human disposition to violence. Whether you interpret the Bible as literature or as the final word of whatever God may be, Christianity has given us an image of death and sexuality that we have based our culture around. A half-naked dead man hangs in most homes and around our necks, and we have just taken that for granted all our lives. Is it a symbol of hope or hopelessness? The world's most famous murder-suicide was also the birth of the death icon -- the blueprint for celebrity. Unfortunately, for all of their inspiring morality, nowhere in the Gospels is intelligence praised as a virtue.
A lot of people forget or never realize that I started my band as a criticism of these very issues of despair and hypocrisy. The name Marilyn Manson has never celebrated the sad fact that America puts killers on the cover of Time magazine, giving them as much notoriety as our favorite movie stars. From Jesse James to Charles Manson, the media, since their inception, have turned criminals into folk heroes. They just created two new ones when they plastered those dips**ts Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris' pictures on the front of every newspaper. Don't be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols.
We applaud the creation of a bomb whose sole purpose is to destroy all of mankind, and we grow up watching our president's brains splattered all over Texas. Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised. Does anyone think the Civil War was the least bit civil? If television had existed, you could be sure they would have been there to cover it, or maybe even participate in it, like their violent car chase of Princess Di. Disgusting vultures looking for corpses, exploiting, f**king, filming and serving it up for our hungry appetites in a gluttonous display of endless human stupidity.
When it comes down to who's to blame for the high school murders in Littleton, Colorado, throw a rock and you'll hit someone who's guilty. We're the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we're the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them. I think it's terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don't really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends or The Real World. I was dumbfounded as I watched the media snake right in, not missing a teardrop, interviewing the parents of dead children, televising the funerals. Then came the witch hunt.
Man's greatest fear is chaos. It was unthinkable that these kids did not have a simple black-and-white reason for their actions. And so a scapegoat was needed. I remember hearing the initial reports from Littleton, that Harris and Klebold were wearing makeup and were dressed like Marilyn Manson, whom they obviously must worship, since they were dressed in black. Of course, speculation snowballed into making me the poster boy for everything that is bad in the world. These two idiots weren't wearing makeup, and they weren't dressed like me or like goths. Since Middle America has not heard of the music they did listen to (KMFDM and Rammstein, among others), the media picked something they thought was similar.
Responsible journalists have reported with less publicity that Harris and Klebold were not Marilyn Manson fans -- that they even disliked my music. Even if they were fans, that gives them no excuse, nor does it mean that music is to blame. Did we look for James Huberty's inspiration when he gunned down people at McDonald's? What did Timothy McVeigh like to watch? What about David Koresh, Jim Jones? Do you think entertainment inspired Kip Kinkel, or should we blame the fact that his father bought him the guns he used in the Springfield, Oregon, murders? What inspires Bill Clinton to blow people up in Kosovo? Was it something that Monica Lewinsky said to him? Isn't killing just killing, regardless if it's in Vietnam or Jonesboro, Arkansas? Why do we justify one, just because it seems to be for the right reasons? Should there ever be a right reason? If a kid is old enough to drive a car or buy a gun, isn't he old enough to be held personally responsible for what he does with his car or gun? Or if he's a teenager, should someone else be blamed because he isn't as enlightened as an eighteen-year-old?
America loves to find an icon to hang its guilt on. But, admittedly, I have assumed the role of Antichrist; I am the Nineties voice of individuality, and people tend to associate anyone who looks and behaves differently with illegal or immoral activity. Deep down, most adults hate people who go against the grain. It's comical that people are naive enough to have forgotten Elvis, Jim Morrison and Ozzy so quickly. All of them were subjected to the same age-old arguments, scrutiny and prejudice. I wrote a song called "Lunchbox," and some journalists have interpreted it as a song about guns. Ironically, the song is about being picked on and fighting back with my Kiss lunch box, which I used as a weapon on the playground. In 1979, metal lunch boxes were banned because they were considered dangerous weapons in the hands of delinquents. I also wrote a song called "Get Your Gunn." The title is spelled with two n's because the song was a reaction to the murder of Dr. David Gunn, who was killed in Florida by pro-life activists while I was living there. That was the ultimate hypocrisy I witnessed growing up: that these people killed someone in the name of being "pro-life."
The somewhat positive messages of these songs are usually the ones that sensationalists misinterpret as promoting the very things I am decrying. Right now, everyone is thinking of how they can prevent things like Littleton. How do you prevent AIDS, world war, depression, car crashes? We live in a free country, but with that freedom there is a burden of personal responsibility. Rather than teaching a child what is moral and immoral, right and wrong, we first and foremost can establish what the laws that govern us are. You can always escape hell by not believing in it, but you cannot escape death and you cannot escape prison.
It is no wonder that kids are growing up more cynical; they have a lot of information in front of them. They can see that they are living in a world that's made of bulls**t. In the past, there was always the idea that you could turn and run and start something better. But now America has become one big mall, and because of the Internet and all of the technology we have, there's nowhere to run. People are the same everywhere. Sometimes music, movies and books are the only things that let us feel like someone else feels like we do. I've always tried to let people know it's OK, or better, if you don't fit into the program. Use your imagination -- if some geek from Ohio can become something, why can't anyone else with the willpower and creativity?
I chose not to jump into the media frenzy and defend myself, though I was begged to be on every single TV show in existence. I didn't want to contribute to these fame-seeking journalists and opportunists looking to fill their churches or to get elected because of their self-righteous finger-pointing. They want to blame entertainment? Isn't religion the first real entertainment? People dress up in costumes, sing songs and dedicate themselves in eternal fandom. Everyone will agree that nothing was more entertaining than Clinton shooting off his prick and then his bombs in true political form. And the news -- that's obvious. So is entertainment to blame? I'd like media commentators to ask themselves, because their coverage of the event was some of the most gruesome entertainment any of us have seen.
I think that the National Rifle Association is far too powerful to take on, so most people choose Doom, The Basketball Diaries or yours truly. This kind of controversy does not help me sell records or tickets, and I wouldn't want it to. I'm a controversial artist, one who dares to have an opinion and bothers to create music and videos that challenge people's ideas in a world that is watered-down and hollow. In my work I examine the America we live in, and I've always tried to show people that the devil we blame our atrocities on is really just each one of us. So don't expect the end of the world to come one day out of the blue -- it's been happening every day for a long time.
(May 28, 1999)