Many children suffer abuse in Adverse Spiritual Environments due to relaxed regulations on spiritual settings. We need a Child Rights Act to protect against these loopholes.
In 1989 the U.N. adopted the Conventions on the Rights of the Child, a treaty on child rights that has been adopted by every country in the United Nations, except the United States. We have little in way of child rights here in America. Even institutions such as the Children's Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families focus more on the rights of the parents and caregivers and not on those of the child. We at Vashti believe that every child is entitled to a few basic rights.
Fighting at the forefront of this battle is Misty Griffin, author of Tears of the Silenced and Consulting Producer on Peacock's series Sins of the Amish. Misty has set her sites on loose education laws and the gaps in child safety exposed by Religious Freedom bills. Below she outlines her personal call for a #USAChildRightsAct.
In 1974, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), making it mandatory for people in certain professions to report suspected child abuse and neglect. All but three states currently have mandated reporting laws.
In the decades since, nurses, teachers, doctors, and other professionals have reported countless cases of child abuse, and so many children have been rescued. But what about children who attend private schools where the teachers are not licensed and have no mandated reporter training? Children who are homeschooled? Children who rarely are exposed to modern medical care, do not attend public daycare, etc.?
These children continue to be left in the lurch and in many cases literally have no one to report abuse for them. A very large percentage of these children live in strict religious communities or organizations that are sheltered away from the rest of the world.
Approximately 5.7 million children in the United States attend private schools; 78 percent of private schools are religious-based approx. 4.4 million children.
Some churches/religions/organizations do not believe in reporting child abuse or child sexual assault to the authorities, and so they don't. Some of these children literally have no safe person to tell.
To outsiders, these children are mere extensions of their parents' religion or organization; they are faceless, have no identity, and they are #invisible to the outside world. This is a realm where the law does not exist and is reluctant to go. Freedom of religion is used as an impenetrable wall that few attempt to climb over.
Every teacher in the United States must take mandated reporter training. Unlicensed teachers must take the same mandated reporter classes that licensed teachers take. It is an online class, and it takes approx. 7 hrs. Through this certificate, they become mandated reporters and are held accountable for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
This portion of the website was taken by permission from Misty Griffin, spiritual abuse activist and originator of the social media movements #Invisible and #USAChildRightsAct.
Join us in demanding a USA Child Rights Act to protect children in all environments. We believe that child safety trumps religious exemptions, and are advocating for Congress to create federal guidelines to guard children against abuse and negligence in Adverse Spiritual Environments.