Multiplicity of crimes against children

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
I wrote recently about crimes against our children, our very resources of life, and it wasn’t very popular. I knew it wouldn’t be, but it is necessary. We cannot sit in our own warm cocoons and pretend that everyone else has it as well as we do. Life is just not like that and it is high time we admitted it, stood up, and agreed to help do something about the important matter.

For some, the references brought up unpleasant and hurtful memories that have never been dealt with from our haunting pasts. These memories were simply swept under a rug and are often the reason for our angry outbursts and behavior against others. For some, it is fear of crime committed that has not been punished. Tough. The child did not ask to be abused by you or anyone else. Some find fear that is too real to think about for them or their family. Some are so insulated that they think it can never happen to them or to someone they love dearly. Wrong. It can and does. Let’s put up our toys, our plans, and our self-desires, and look around us. Can we help anyone else on this road we call life?

The material I shared was primarily about sexual abuse and it is rampant. Drugs and excessive drinking play a huge role in the rise of these statistics. Don’t drink if you cannot control your behavior. Put the drugs down before you hurt another innocent child. Take responsibility for being a God-created, living, breathing human being.

There are many crimes against children that are just too rough to describe in a public forum and the editors would not let the article fly. Some are almost comical if they were not so serious and others are enough to make honest people take some of the law in their own hand. I have lived long enough to witness human behavior in many forms and I am ashamed the really bad actors are usually folks one might not suspect.

Case in point — While organizing an event a few years ago to raise funds for a sweet family in need, I had occasion to see one of the committee members invite a young high school band that was very good to come and play for the event. We all thought it would add a nice touch, give them a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talent, and bring a fun and excited addition to the gathering. We all knew that the band members’ family members and friends would turn out and that our crowd would grow because of their inclusion. We had no real budget, and it was decided that a glass tip jar would be placed near the bandstand with a note asking the folks to toss in a few dollars as payment for lugging that heavy equipment around, setting it up in the Texas heat, and playing for some three hours.

The guys were thrilled and practiced day and night to get ready. They were sparkling and they did a good job. Several folks attended just to hear and support them. The tip jar was looking good. Several had put folded money in and there were lots of loose $1 bills. A kindly woman came up and whispered in my ear that she had a surprise for the guys and wanted to encourage them. She put a crisp $100 bill in the jar and suggested to me that they be taken out to eat. I was so excited for them. Three different people saw the bill go in and three different people saw the bill come out, but not in the hands of the boys in the band.

It seems that the committee member had some unpaid bills of her own personally, and not in connection with the event. She took the $100 bill and placed in her shorts pocket. The lady that had given the money rushed up to me, and said, “Did you see that?” I nodded that I had. When it came time for the paying of the band, they got the accumulated $1 bills, but nothing like a $100 in any form. I mulled it over and finally said, “Excuse me, but so and so specifically gave a $100 bill to the band and you removed it. Was there a reason?” She stuttered and muttered and denied it in every way she could. I later found she had a history of theft and purloining.

I let it go, but those boys in the band never forgot what happened and I supposed I haven’t either. We took them all out to eat and paid for it, but that woman has never been able to look me in the eye since that time and God has handled the matter as far as I am concerned. In my book, that was a serious crime against children.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or


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One Response to “Multiplicity of crimes against children”

  1. Patty Ergenbright says:

    Thank you for both articles. This needed to be said and more. Life is tough BUT it is much tougher for those who are abused or live in a stress filled environment.

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