We call it child abuse
When an adult strikes a child.
“Spare the rod and spoil them,” says the abuser
As he/she justifies violence with a quote and a smile.
But the rod in the quote was used as a guide
Never did the shephard use it to whack or beat the sheep
Spare the guidance and you’ll spoil the child was the true message
Beating powerless children into submission is for cowards and creeps
And contradictingly we teach them to turn the other cheek
While our own actions teach that the powerful can use violence
And instead of educating them to work out their differences
We habitually use force to make the weak to comply in silence
And what happens when they get too big to be beat?
What have we taught them about handling disagreements in life?
How do you think they will relate to their children?
And their friends or enemies or husband or wife?
Violence continues because society secretly sanctions it
Saying, “We were all spanked and we turned out just fine.”
“Anyway, spanking is essential to their development,” they say.
“How else can you get kids to behave and mind?”
When your child abuses another child, it’s minimized
Because you simply refuse to see your own child as a bully.
He’ll grow out of it and you brush it off with, “Boys will be boys!”
Naïve or do you really not understand the implications fully?
“No child should be labeled as violent,” some say.
Many were abused and that’s why they are so tough.
And others simply say that they are not trying to raise a sissy.
“There’s nothing wrong with him; he just plays a little rough.”
“He’s a good kid, he is just misunderstood.
It’s natural for boys to fight.
It’s part of the masculine development.
Just ignore it, and he’ll be all right.”
If the violence is directed against a stranger or neighbor
It’s called assault or perhaps battery.
If it’s done on a highway in our cars, we shrug it off as road rage.
Accepting violence as normal is just insanity.
If it’s directed toward another religion or race
It gets another label; now it’s called a hate crime.
Every fifteen seconds a woman is abused
And we’re becoming more apathetic and violent with time.
If it’s on the playstation, or field, or in the ring
We call it entertainment, a sport, or a game.
Society even pays money to see more of this violence.
And the strongest of these “entertainers” rises to fame.
If it’s directed against a leader who’s powerful and not an ally
And there’s a plan to kill him, it’s not murder but an assassination.
And we call violence against another country patriotism or war.
And somehow this is okay, is this a humane response or ignorant indoctrination?
Violence is just violence.
Power over another is its primary goal.
The perpetrator gets his/her adrenaline rush
By hurting others and keeping them under their control.
Violence is violence.
It’s all the same don’t you see.
And if society doesn’t begin to take it seriously
The next victim could be you or me.
©2008-9, Barbara S. Talley, www.ThePoetSpeaks.com
A strong poem. It’s definitely prominent in society. I really enjoyed reading.
Great job, coming from someone that has seen this type of abuse, this is so true, but worse, the bottom portion should say that they can be killed or they have to take justice into their own hands, becasue the only time the police gets involve. A restraining order is just a piece of paper. I experienced this with my girlfriend, she was beat up in public, in the middle of the street, with her child in hand, and had to be hospitalized, because he gave her a black eye, bloody nose and a bloody lip, and to make matters worse, the cops did not show up until 2 hrs. later, she could have been killed. The person that abused her was abused as child, and just like you said, the society excused it, and know, tell me, whom is going to help the second victum?
Enjoyed your poem!
Thanks Julia for your feedback. We’ve got to stop child abuse if we want to stop adult abuse. Our society has to stop gratifying violence if we are to look at it as destructive and negative. I will write more on the subject and will be sure to include the comments you have shared especially about the restraining order being only a piece of paper. We’ve got to wake up as a society and care! A lady at my table yesterday at the Clemson Professional Development for Women conference shared how her daughter’s girlfriend had just been killed by her boyfriend. She was only 21 years old and in college. She had just found out that she was pregnant. He was unhappy about it. She said he killed her, went home and showered and went to bed.