There will be no additional entries for my child advocacy elective journal.
Child advocacy is sad, depressing and I have cried enough tears these past three weeks without reflecting and writing about it. This will be all.
But I do want to say that I have the utmost respect and appreciation for those who work in the field day in and day out.
To the 18 full time detectives in Brooklyn whose sole job it is to investigate child abuse cases (both physical and sexual), I raise my glass to you.
To the medical doctors and nurse practitioners that act as consultants, giving up their nights and weekends to review pictures, talk to the detectives and perform physical exams and complete rape kits for forensic evidence when needed, I applaud you.
To the lawyers and judges that sit in court and review the cases and sentence the perpetrators, my thanks.
To the social workers and others that visit the homes and interview the parents, my hat goes off.
It is a difficult, sad, situation when a child is abused. Sometimes these children have no one else, their parents have failed to protect them and so they require an advocate. I don't know that we always get it right, the entire field is shades of gray to me... but to those who spend their careers as advocates I am grateful.
I suppose I am glad for the opportunity to witness these dedicated individuals hard at work. It has been educational and enlightening to meet and talk with them. And while it is heart-breaking to meet the children and hear about the cases I am glad to now know a bit more about what happens once a mandated reporter call the state registry.
It has been a good but emotionally difficult elective. I won't be sad when it ends... I've cried enough tears already. I cannot wait to go back to the hospital and the smiling happy children in clinic.