Assaults on children have permeated the media in recent weeks. Parents are supposed to protect their children, but when they don’t, something has to be done by lawmakers and the public to stop their behavior. The measures that Congress and state legislatures have taken so far have been good, but obviously, abusive parents need a clearer message about what’s right and what’s deadly.
In Florida 18-year-old Chester Lee Miller, who weighed an abhorrent 62 pounds, died from a ruptured stomach Wednesday after being starved and thrown out of his house by his mother and stepfather.
A New York mother is being charged with involuntary manslaughter because her four-year-old daughter beat her three-year-old son to death, while the mother watched television in another room.
A seven-year-old Florida girl was rescued from the home of her mother and stepfather Sept. 24 when her biological father called the Tampa Police Department after they refused to let him see his daughter. She weighed 29 pounds when she was rescued and had five small beads embedded in her ear that had to be surgically removed, the result of a punishment by her stepfather.
Every case could have been prevented. Neighbors of some of the victims said they would have reported the abuse, but they felt it would be an invasion of privacy. According to CNN, in the case of the N.Y. mother, the Department of Children and Families had been called to investigate on two previous occasions, but were satisfied with the appearance of the family’s home and never questioned the children.
If those cases aren’t enough to prove to lawmakers in this country that something isn’t working for America’s children, then what is? New laws need to be made that give children more protection and to create programs to educate communities on the signs of abuse and their right to intervene for children who can’t do it themselves.