Friday, June 5, 2015

Child Abuse: Public Shaming

A teenager from my city recently killed herself after her father posted a shaming video of her online. Oh wait, after he first chopped off all her beautiful black hair, then posted the video of her following said hair cut.

I mean, first off, IMHO, cutting someone's hair as punishment is atrocious. It's not punishment. It's bullying and emotional abuse. I couldn't imagine taking one of my daughter's beautiful locks to teach them a lesson. Take away their electronics, not something as personal as hair. You may as well have taken a limb.

I would also not take away something that is perhaps a one time thing that they were looking forward too, such as a concert, vacation, or important school dance for example.

Now, on to this public shaming...I've seen this done before, and to me it's also a form of bullying and emotional abuse. Posting to your child's social media accounts about the mistakes they've made, creating videos or memes at your child's mental expense...honestly, I'm having trouble finding the words about how angry I feel about it.

And the thing is, if they're willing to take these steps in order to humiliate their child, what are they doing behind closed doors. What kind of control and abuse are they inflicting that people haven't seen?

I admit to teasing my kids publicly, but I do it in jest and they think it's funny. For instance, I stalk my daughter's Twitter account and make funny comments on her posts. I I'll post funny ecards to their Facebook page.

My kids are awesome. They hardly ever get in trouble. However, when my kids screw up, we talk it out. In some cases, I take away their phones, tablets, and any electronics they hold dear.  In serious cases, their car is gone and their freedom for a period of time, usually not more than a couple days. I would never take a way their dignity by humiliating them in such a public way.

In the shaming video the father asks her "was it worth it?"

I bet he's asking himself the same thing now.

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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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