Our children learn at home and at school about how to keep their guards up around strangers and that if they have been harmed, or they think someone wants to do them harm, they are to tell a trusted adult. The sad reality is, however, that more often than not, the abuse of a child comes from a person who should be someone who offers protection and a safe environment. While being cautious about people you don’t know is important, recent news stories reinforce the idea that sometimes the greatest danger is at home.
Just reading through stories on CNN’s website today is enough to make you cry, scream in frustration, or make you unbelievably sad for the way in which the most innocent and the most defenseless people in our society are being treated by their own parents.
In Missouri, a mom has been charged with second-degree murder after she acknowledged that she repeatedly struck her one-year-old son when he wouldn’t cooperate and go back to sleep. His body was found in a wooded area about a mile from his home.
A father in Indiana has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of felony assault after he tied up two of his sons with duct tape and beat them with a club, killing the ten-year-old. The boy’s body showed multiple signs of both old and new abuse. His grandmother, who lived with the boys, has been charged with three counts of felony neglect of a dependent. She heard the boys’ screams from the next room and did nothing to stop the violence. On previous occasions, she apparently tried to pay her son to lessen the severity of his beatings.
Even with my background in forensic psychology and the criminal mind, I am usually left without words when I read stories like these. As stated by family members and others who loved these children, the hope is that something can be learned from these tragedies that will save another child from being hurt or even killed in the future.
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Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting