Children And Truth

Destini Geraty

A JJJ Special
December 2000

A poem by Destini Geraty

I weep, I cry, I cough, I bleed
I gasp, I choke, I cannot breathe
Mommy get off me, Mommy that hurts
Daddy please stop it, Daddy that burns
Why are children abused?
How can parents be so amused?
I think this gets people kind of confused
And who came up with this thing called child abuse?

Child abuse is not a funny thing that you goof around about. It's a serious issue. I've been there, done that.
My name is Destini. I, myself, have just gotten out of foster care, due to an incident with my stepfather. He not only hurt me physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Believe me, it's not a nice thing to experience, but as usual, I made it through. I always do.
I've been going through this for about the first fourteen years of my life, and I am now fifteen. I know that some children have it a lot worse, but I have had it pretty rough myself. Children are getting hurt out there, and it's not right. We need to fight for the rights of our children.
Acutally, right now, as you're reading this, a child is being abused somewhere in the world. Whether it's by smacking, punching, kicking, stabbing, or shooting, one way or another, it's happening.
Well, anyhow, let me tell you how it all started.

It was the night of November 28, 2000. My stepfather grabbed me by the hair and threw me through the air. He then slammed me onto the floor. After I was on the floor bawling and crying, my stepfather kicked me in the ribs.
Later, he told my mother that he did not hit me, but that he only "told me how it was." My mother, that night, argued and yelled at him until she got literally sick.

When he woke me up on the morning of November twenty-ninth, he punched me in the face and said,"Wake up, bitch."
I went to school that day totally bawling.
A teacher of mine knows about some of the stuff that goes on at my house. She saw me upset and said something to the guidance office.
The nurse came and got me out of class. She took me to her office, and asked me what happened. She checked me for marks and bruises, and found four broken ribs, from where he had kicked me.
She told me some people were there to see me. They were from Clinton County Children and Youth. While they talked to me, one told me that seventy to eighty percent of the children in the United States are abused every day.
They told me that they would not allow me to go home.
They said there was a foster home that would take me in for a while.

The foster home was outside of Lock Haven, to the north. The owners were very nice people. My foster parents' names were Anita and Rob.
They had their own daughter, Laura, and two other foster children, besides me. There was a boy, Charley, and a girl, Kira.
I had my own room and stuff. It was great. At home, I'd been told I was a nothing, a nobody, I was not wanted. But Anita and Rob were very understanding, and I could talk to them any time I needed someone to talk to.They helped me get past all the grief, and get on with my life, and what I had to do.

I went home again on December third. Things have changed since then. I guess everyone just needed some time away.
I was lucky, but some may not be.
Seventy to eighty percent. I keep thinking about that.
If you are an abused child, and if you are reading this, I want you to know that you are not the only one. There are many others out there being hurt. And if you need to talk, there is a number you can call: 1-800-923-0313. It's a 24-hour child hotline. Everything is kept confidential.
If you know someone, or if you are someone, who is being abused, please don't be scared to say something. At times, it could very well mean your or someone else's life.

-Destini Geraty