You probably know the saying.
It takes a whole village to raise a child.
But what happens when the whole village fails? A couple of days ago, in Granby, a little town in Québec, a seven years old little girl was found tied up and gagged in her home. Brought to the hospital, she died soon after her admission.
Almost immediately, the little girl’s whole story spilled in every media. Newspapers, tv stations and the internet in general got flooded with all the horrible details of the child’s short life.
Born in a disfunctional family, her mother quickly lost her rights to raise the child. Then, because her father and his new wife weren’t fit to raise her either, she was sent to live with her grand mother for a couple of years. These were the little girl’s ”good years”. But apparently, Québec’s Youth Protection Direction decided that it was better for the kid to be returned to her father’s care.
But… From what I’ve read, there were drugs and alcohol problems, aswell as mental issues in the household, and it is no surprise that the little girl developped problematic behaviours. She sometimes refused eating, spread her stools on the walls and tried to run away from the house. The father and his partner didn’t know how to handle her (I am trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here), and got accused of beating up the girl.
You’d think the child would have been taken away, right? No. The couple managed to convince the judge that it was an isolated event, and they were allowed to take her back. Despite the fact that is was a known fact that the police had been involved many times in conjugal fights. One of the calls to the authorities was even made by the girl herself, who had run away from the house to report that her parents were being violent.
I could have understood that this story wouldn’t have spread in the media if it had stayed ”in the family”. But many people did report possible bad treatments. Some parents even made complaints to the school’s principal, because the little girl was stealing from other children’s lunch boxes, since she wasn’t fed enough at home!
Right now, everyone in Québec is outraged, and pointing fingers… At the father and his partner, at the Youth Protection Direction, at the judge who sent her back in that house… And it really makes me wonder….
How is it possible that in 2019, that a cute kitten video will go viral on social medias within hours, but a little girl can spend years getting beat up and starved, and we only learn about it after her horrible death?? I believe in our justice system, and I think people should always go through the authorities first, when such a case of bad treatment is going on. But if the system isn’t taking action, why wouldn’t anybody take a step forward and make this poor child’s distress public?
We’re not talking about a family that lived in a remote village, where people might cover each other up. Granby has a population of almost 65 000 people.
How can we allow such atrocious things to happen in 2019?
It is beyond me.
Right now, people are focussing on this little girl’s story. It is everywhere in the news. But let’s face it, there’s nothing we can do for her anymore. Personally, I am thinking about the other possible cases of children going through something similar, as I type this.
I hope this story will open people’s eyes. I hope people will speak up if they see another distressed kid, before it is too late. I hope they will report such child abuse to the police, or the YPD, and that they will go to the media, if nothing happens.
It takes a whole village to raise a child. But it also takes a whole village to protect one!
RIP poor little girl.
P.S. I added the blurred picture that is being diffused in the news, not to create more drama, but to show how shockingly obvious it was, that this child wasn’t living a ”normal” life.