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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Playground Across the Street

Jorelys Rivera
I was very moved by a story that was all over the news these past few days. A 7 year old little girl who was kidnapped, brutally stabbed and sexually assaulted to be thrown into a dumpster one block away from her home. Jorelys Rivera was a young girl who ventured across the street to play at the playground, 50 feet away from her front door. A 17 year old was in charge of looking after her as she played. This story hit home because I have a stepdaughter who is 11 years old, lives with her mother in an apartment complex with a playground near her front door. She is almost always unsupervised with a cell at hand in case of an emergency when she stays with her mother. I only know this by what my step daughter tells me. I am at a loss for words!
I don't quite understand why so many children are left behind. In my neighborhood for example, there are always children playing unsupervised. Two young girls one of which is 8 and the other 5 sit at the playground for HOURS as their parents stay in their house about 50 feet away. How is this ok?? Please don't expect other parents to watch your children!!! If your child has been kidnapped it is because noone was watching your child.
Jorelys Rivera's mother was inside her home sleeping with two other young children while her daughter ventured out to the playground. The story is that someone either living at the apartment complex or near the complex committed the crime in a vacant apartment. This could have been completely avoided.
I live in an area of all military families outside of post with no gates, so anyone can just drive through. At any given moment a child could be kidnapped, thrown into a car to drive off into Germany, France, or North to Holland.
I urge you to watch your children, the playground by no means qualifies as a free babysitter. I am sad that I continue to see this happen around the installation, off post and on post. Sad thing is that if you see a child alone in this country, as long as the parent knows their whereabouts, they are ok to walk the streets. Unbelievable!!

As for Jorelys Rivera, may you rest in peace. I am thinking about you, the missing children, and those who have lost their lives too soon.

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