EDITORIAL: Child abuse cases go on every day in state, Decatur Daily, June 27, 2007

Child abuse cases go on every day in state

Somerville's former police chief is an awful man not because he wore a blue uniform but because he preyed on a family of young children and their mom.

Prosecutors said they were prepared to prove this week that he began abusing the children, ages 2, 4, and 8, months after he married their mother, and the abuse continued for four years.

Nadine Block's letter to the editor

Decatur Daily
June 27, 2007
re: Child Abuse Cases Go On Every Day in the State

Dear Editor:

It was reported by the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research that there were 26,992 cases of child abuse and neglect last year in the state of Alabama. The cost of dealing with those cases was $500 million, the study said.

About 25% of child abuse and neglect reports involve physical abuse. Physical abuse almost always begins with hitting children. Researchers say that, for every confirmed case of physical abuse, there are 20-50 that go unreported. It is a tragedy of great proportions.

Why do we continue to spend billions of dollars in the U.S. on child abuse and allow to children to slip between the cracks of institutions that are designed to protect them? It is not a situation without remedies. Eighteen countries have banned all corporal punishment of children in order to reduce child abuse and give children the protection that all other human beings have to be free from physical harm. The countries that have banned its use have far less child abuse. The law is enforced in ways that assault laws are enforced for adults - minor physical punishment that does not leave marks is either ignored or parents are required to attend parenting programs. Children are still disciplined, but in ways that do not involve hitting. These countries send a message that abuse of children will not be tolerated. We would do well to look into this remedy for the horrendous rates of child abuse in this country.

It is shameful that you cannot beat your spouse, your neighbor or your neighbor's dog but you can beat your child in the U.S.

Nadine Block, Executive Director of the Center for Effective Discipline and co-chair of EPOCH-USA
155 W. Main Street #1603, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-8829

Countries that have banned all corporal punishment:
see: www.stophitting.com/laws/legalReform.php

If the mother had not come home unexpectedly and discovered the horrible events, the abuse might still be occurring.

Chris Landers, 38, is to serve 18 years in prison and will not be eligible for parole as a result of his guilty plea.

The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research released a study this month showing 26,992 cases of child abuse and neglect last year in the state. Dealing with those cases cost more than $500 million, the study said.

Tragedies like this are a reminder of the need for nonprofit organizations like Morgan County's Parents and Children Together that help youngsters and parents be aware of and cope with child abuse.



Return to:
The Newsroom
Front Page