Uncategorized

Why the world is a scary place, part 8,345

Prison image from kconnor at morgueFile (http://mrg.bz/od4grb)
Prison image from kconnor at morgueFile (http://mrg.bz/od4grb)

As anyone who knows me (or has read one or two blogs on here or any of my other writing) knows, my son is autistic.  We have pretty much acknowledged that, while we aren’t stopping trying and while we wouldn’t give up, we know that he will probably wind up in an assisted living type circumstance where he will need help with his daily life.  We’re lucky in that we have lots of insurance for when we’re gone, and we know how to apply to get him what he will need.  In fact, we’re already on waiting lists because many of them are eight to twelve years long (no joke).

However, for those that aren’t in that position, the world is, simply put, fucked up.  I prefer not to go all out on the cursing in my blog, but this is one time it deserves it.  Lubbock, Texas, has a state-supported living center.  In 2009, they were investigated.  At the time, they were at 20% compliance.  Wait, let me repeat that.  Fucking 20% compliance.  20%.  20-fucking-percent.

In the past four years, though, they’ve made gains.  To 23%.  Wait, let’s go over that one again, too.  In four years, they improved less than one percent a year. 

The state home is meeting requirements in 37 out of 171 areas. 

And that is – scarily enough – not the worst of it.  Between January 2011 and August 2012, there were 202 allegations of physical abuse and 188 allegations of neglect.  Now, to be fair, only 50 allegations of physical abuse were substantiated, and only 83 allegations of neglect were substantiated.  But a lack of substantiation doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; it just means that it wasn’t proven.  And with the way things work, how long did it take to see if these things were true?  Long enough that it *couldn’t* be proven?  And how many people couldn’t even make allegations because of their conditions?

And, because I want to keep being fair – there’s one more thing you should know.  Remember the year and a half including 202 allegations of physical abuse and 188 allegations of neglect?  Here’s the thing you should know about that.  There are only 211 residents.  What do these numbers tell us?

Now, again, I want to be fair – I do not have the 500+ page report that details all this, so I don’t know if multiple allegations came from a single individual.  In fact, they probably did.  But it’s still just beyond troubling that there are only 211 residents and 202 allegations of physical abuse.  Those numbers just seem overwhelmingly out of whack with a world that cares about the people in it.

I know I often quote from Hair, and maybe because that’s because I’m a hippie at heart, but sometimes it’s just so appropriate to ask “how can people be so heartless?  How can people be so cruel?”  What is wrong that this is going on, and no one is fixing it.  Yes, the state is stepping in now, and they are claiming that they will do evaluations every six months with plans for the state home to hit 100% compliance in four to five years.  But what about those four to five years for the residents?  They’re expected to keep suffering while the state slowly fixes a world that is abusive and neglectful? 

No, I don’t know the solution here, but maybe we need to start looking for one.  This isn’t the only state home, and I’m afraid that if I kept looking, I would find even worse numbers out there.  But for us as the general public to act horrified when we hear about an individual child abused, why aren’t we outraged now?  Why aren’t we getting the people involved removed and putting in a whole new and well-trained staff?  Why don’t we care enough to speak up and step up? 

Uncategorized

Outrage Switched On

Weigh in… by southernfried, http://morguefile.com/archive/display/93433

Sometimes I wonder just how true Reno 911! is…like when I read this story on KHOU yesterday.

Let’s break it down.  Parents are trying to keep “exclusive authority” over their daughter’s health care decisions.  Here’s the thing; their daughter is 32, but she only has the mental capacity of a 6 year old.  She had been living in a group home in Reno, but 13 weeks ago, “she wandered away” and got pregnant.

Wait, I want to say that again.  She wandered away and got pregnant.

The attorney for the parents, the ones who claim that they should have “exclusive authority” over the woman’s health care decisions, stated that the father of the child hasn’t been identified and that it is “unknown whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex.”

Wait, now let’s go over that – it is “unknown whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex.”

She has the mind of a six-year-old girl.  How can a six-year-old girl consent to sex?  How can you ask if it was rape or not?  What are the odds she wandered off for a quickie?  I’m thinking that’s not what happened.

So let’s go back to this.  A woman with the mind of a six-year-old girl manages to wander away from a home and comes back pregnant.  I would think that would be the focus of the parents.  But, nope, I’m wrong.

The parents, you see, are upset because the doctors are recommending that the woman has an abortion because she is not mentally or physically capable of having the child.  In addition to her mental disabilities, she also has physical issues, including epilepsy.  She does not understand the pregnancy (again, so how the hell can you even question if it was rape or not??), and she would be in physical danger if she went off her epilepsy drugs because of her physical issues.

I’m not even going to argue the abortion point here.  That is, I think, irrelevant to the real issue here.  The real issue is that this was a rape.  Plain and simple.  She could not have consented.  But no one is fighting that.  The only mention of the rape is that “the circumstances are under investigation.”

Which is why I’m even more outraged – an anti-abortion group is claiming that it is the parents’ right “to protect their daughter’s right to have a child…There’s no reason for this woman to be subjected to the danger and risk of an abortion because someone else thinks she’s not worthy of having a child because of her medical condition.”

Okay, I’m going to have to ask you to wait again.  Did anyone mention the girl being unworthy due to her medical condition?  No.  But is it true that she is physically and mentally incapable?  Probably.

Again, though, the point here is that it has nothing to do with the abortion.  Why isn’t this same group upset about the rape?  Why aren’t they up in arms about the fact that this woman was ignored long enough to wander off and get raped?  If this had been a six-year-old girl with epilepsy, what would they do?  If she hadn’t gotten pregnant, would they care?