Girl Hit In Face With Belt Buckle
Mid-South child abuse investigation, August 15, 2007

Police say a 21 year old man hit a seven year old girl in the face with a metal belt buckle. The child was taken to LeBonheur Children's Hospital and is now in temporary custody of her grandmother.

A woman who says she witnessed the beating tells us the girl's adopted mom asked her boyfriend to discipline the girl, and they claim this whole thing is being blown out of proportion.

The eyewitness says the girl got in trouble for playing with scissors near a light socket and cutting her brothers hair. That's when we're told she got hit in the face with a belt buckle.

"The belt buckle did hit her eye and her lip. He saw the blood on her nose and stopped and picked her up and said he was sorry."

The seven year old girl, who is a student at Cherokee Elementary School, has been in custody of her adopted mom since 2002. That's when a Shelby County Juvenile Court judge ruled she be taken away from her biological mom because of neglect and drug abuse. Now, possible child abuse is under investigation.

According to the Department of Child Services, physical abuse is when an injury results in not just temporary redness, but bruising, broken bones, swelling, burns or broken skin. You can spank your child on the buttocks or legs, as long as it doesn't result in the above injuries.

The 21 year old is the adopted mom's boyfriend and has lived in the home with this girl for two and a half years. So far, Memphis Police have not filed any charges, and if they do, it will be after DCS wraps up its investigation.

If you don't want to spank your child, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center has some tips for parents when it comes to discipline. Instead of spanking, they say you can give your child other consequences for their behavior, like time outs. If a child is doing something wrong, advocates say remove them from the situation and give them something constructive to do. They also stress that toddlers and infants don't know right from wrong and should not be hit or shaken.



Return to:
Violence toward children at home
The Newsroom
Front Page