DURING the Great Recession, child abuse and neglect appeared to decline. Incidents reported to local authorities dropped. “The doom-and-gloom predictions haven’t come true,” Richard Gelles, a child-welfare expert at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Associated Press in 2011.
The real story about child maltreatment during the recession is a grim one. I spent months studying this topic, using a number of different data sources, including Google search queries. I found that the Great Recession caused a significant increase in child abuse and neglect. But far fewer of these cases were reported to authorities, with much of the drop due to slashed budgets for teachers, nurses, doctors and child protective service workers.
All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea—whether it is to sail or to watch it—we are going back from where we came.