4.25.2009

National Child Abuse Prevention Month & the Facts

by Kit-Bacon Gressitt

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a Google news search for “child abuse” produced the following articles — published over only three days.

Infant death suspect was awaiting trial in earlier child abuse:

  • Dateline: Florida — A 27-year-old Davenport man who is charged with killing an infant in Osceola County on Monday was out on bail awaiting trial in an earlier child abuse case.
Man pleads not guilty in child abuse case:
  • Dateline: Ohio — A man accused of strapping a toddler to a toilet seat pleaded not guilty to child endangering charges in Clark County Municipal court Monday, April 6.
Richmond woman pleads insanity in son’s abuse death:
  • Dateline: California — A Richmond woman charged with murder, torture and child abuse in the 2006 death of her 8-year-old son has changed her not-guilty plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Delta man faces first degree murder charges:
  • Dateline: Colorado — Daven Beck has posted a $150,000 bond after being arrested on suspicion of murder in the first degree, child abuse resulting in death, and child abuse.
Murrells Inlet nanny gets probation for child abuse:
  • Dateline: South Carolina — A Murrells Inlet woman on Wednesday admitted she abused a 5-month-old baby in her care and apologized to the child’s family before being sentenced to probation.
Child abuse arrest:
  • Dateline: Florida — A 6-month-old baby is in critical condition after a woman allegedly shook the child severely.
DCF report documents tot’s severe beating, troubled mom:
  • Dateline: Florida — An investigate summary compiled by the Department of Children and Families in the days following Faith J. Ray’s death indicates the 2-year-old sustained a severe beating, possibly over a long period of time, before being admitted to the hospital last December with fatal injuries.
Tampa father tortured child over porn, police say:
  • Dateline: Florida — The allegation was horrifying: A father used water torture to punish his 10-year-old daughter for finding his pornography.
CCPD investigating after child, 2, at hospital with multiple injuries:
  • Dateline: Texas — Police plan to interview a 2-year-old’s relatives and caretakers after doctors found the child had injuries consistent with abuse, Lt. Rebeca Schauer said.
Father charged with child abuse after 17 month old dies:
  • Dateline: Missouri — A Bismarck man faces child abuse charges after his 17-month-old daughter died.
River Edge man charged with assaulting 13 year old:
  • Dateline: New Jersey — The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office today announced the arrest of Yoon Park, 53, of River Edge, on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault.
Amantea pleads guilty to sexual abuse charge:
  • Dateline: Iowa — A Norwalk man involved in a police standoff in February pleaded guilty to a child sexual abuse charge. Albert Amantea, 43, pleaded guilty April 6 to the charge of a lascivious act with a child, which is a class C felony.
Jury finds man "guilty" of child abuse; recommends life in prison:
  • Dateline: Oklahoma — A Washington County jury has recommended that a Collinsville man — already serving 30 years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the sexual abuse of a minor child — serve life in prison for the child sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl in 2004.
Mashpee student abuse charge probed:
  • Dateline: Massachusetts — Police are investigating an alleged child abuse case involving a special needs student and a school bus monitor, Mashpee police officials said yesterday.
Principal charged with sexual abuse of 11-year-old girl:
  • Dateline: Illinois — A 54-year-old principal of a far north suburban elementary school has been charged with the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl who is a student at the school. Investigators believe other victims may be out there and they are encouraging them to come forward.
Massena man pleads guilty to child endangerment:
  • Dateline: New York — The owner of a Massena gymnastics school has admitted in court to child endangerment charges for offering alcohol and showing a pornographic video to underage girls.


There were many more articles — and the economy is aggravating the problem — yet despite their volume, I don’t recommend reading them. They are excruciating.

There is something you should know, though: As long as parental rights receive greater priority than a child’s right to live free from abuse; as long as we give parents, guardians, teachers, nannies, boyfriends and girlfriends another chance not to harm a child; as long as we hesitate to report our suspicions, these stories will be repeated endlessly. And the lives of beaten, starved, burned and raped children will continue to seep away into the hospital linens beneath them.

You can help: Report suspected child abuse and neglect by calling your local child protective services or child welfare agency or Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453). All calls are anonymous.

For more detailed statistics on child abuse, please go here.

(Editor's Note: This piece is cross-posted from Kit-Bacon Gressitt's personal blog, Excuse Me, I'm Writing.)

(The photo is by Goran Zec via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)




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