What about boyfriend’s

Again, we come back to the fact that a child relies on their parents for food, clothing, shelter, boundaries, discipline and protection.

Now I am not going to sit here and say that a single parent isn’t entitled to have adult friends or boyfriend’s. But I will say that the primary thing in the relationships has to be the children. I know of a lot of single parents who have had boyfriend’s or spouses who weren’t parents to the children in the household. Those persons just seem to fit right in, becoming a co parent or sometimes even the primary caregiver, and do it successfully.

But, then there is the exception. Glenn A. Hudson, 29, had a girlfriend he lived with, Kivva Greenlee. And Kivva had a two year daughter named  Aramah Greenlee. Hudson was babysitting Aramah, when he became angry at her. He allegedly threw her into her bed, causing multiple blunt force trauma, severe enough to result in her death. He  pleaded guilty to wanton murder in her death. Defense attorneys are trying to keep the evidence that Aramah had been recently sexually assaulted prior to her death from being included in the sentencing part of the trial. They say it could be prejudicial against their client, and that he hasn’t been charged with any sexual crime.

It appears that days before her death, Aramah’s mother took her to the hospital for a stomach ache and blood in her diaper. At her autopsy, there was evidence of a sexual assault and a specialist states that the injury appeared to be “fresh” and had occurred before her death. Now I don’t know why this guy was not charged with a sex crime. There could be a number of reasons for that. It could be that there wasn’t enough evidence to conclusively prove that Hudson committed the crime, it could be something to do with the plea bargain. All I know is the guy will likely recieve 20 years to life, and eligible for parole in 20 years. So at about the age of 49, this guy will be released from prison, and won’t be viewed as a sex offender, because he was never charged with a sex related crime.

But enough about him. My goal here is to add emphasis to the fact that when you bring anyone into the child’s life- whether it be a new sitter, a new friend, or a new boyfriend- you have to be alert to the child’s reactions to that person. Children often cannot tell. They may not have the words,  they may be threatened, or they may not realize the import of another’s actions. A parent should be alert to  signs of distress in their children, and be vigilant in searching out the reason why. No matter how nice the new person seems to be, no matter how appealing, or how good a provider- they aren’t worth what this mother is going through.



If you want it, there is hope

When I started this blog, I had a couple of objectives in mind. I wanted to spotlight the problem of crimes being committed in the home. I wanted to remind people, they do not just occur in other people’s homes, it can occur in homes like ours. It may not happen in every home, but it can happen in any home. I also wanted to let people know that there is help out there for them, and that they aren’t alone. It happens to other people also.

I am not here to judge. There is help out there for both victims and abusers. You will have to search out what is available in your area, but at some point I will be posting some more suggestions for victims, abusers, and friends and families. In other words, if it hasn’t hit the court system yet, then there are things that can be done to help alleviate the problems so that maybe it can be stopped before it hits the court system. The one thing I can offer, is that if sincere efforts are not made to correct the crimes in the homes, it is very likely that someday it will hit the court system. And that likely that will be because of a serious injury or death occurred. And then I may be spotlighting your story.

Crimes in the home do not go away by themselves. If it happened once, it will likely happen again. And in so many cases, it escalates. It may not happen every day. There may be months or sometimes even years between “incidents”. But it will happen again. Maybe it will be because the victim did something “bad”. Or maybe not. And if it happened to the spouse, likely someday the kids will be abused also. Because domestic assault isn’t about what the other person has done. Nor is it about who they are, or what they did. It is about anger and controlling the other person. And when the kids don’t obey, they become targets also. And let’s face it, it is in the nature of kids that they will explore their boundaries and test them periodically. They will disobey.

I found an interesting article on the Entwistle murder. Mary Gianakis, director of Voices Against Violence in Framingham talks about how the murders of Rachel and Lillian is calling attention to the fact that domestic violence can occur in any home. She talks about how their are shelters, support groups, and legal advocacy available for the victims. She doesn’t mention that there is help out there for the abusers also. But first, you have to admit there is a problem. Then you have to seek out help. Then you have to make a sincere and concentrated effort to work on the problem. Not sometime, not half hearted, but a sincere, concentrated effort by all parties, all the time. It isn’t easy, but it can be done. And if the persons involved mean that much to you, then isn’t it worth it?

I am not good with statistics, but I want to  quote this section of the article:

But, “it’s far too soon to declare victory,” she said. “The statistic has held true for many years that one out of three (murdered) women are killed by a former or current partner or spouse.”

 Between 1981 and 1998, there were 45,513 intimate partner homicides in the country, 64 percent of which were committed against females.


Please note: the above statistics do not include other crimes committed in the home, including the crimes committed against the children.

Which parent is guilty?

Again, let’s go back to the fact that children rely on their parents for food, shelter, love, boundaries, discipline and protection.

In 2004, 17 year old Sierra Swann, was pregnant for her second time. She delivered twins in the hosp, a time that was marred by an “incident” with the newborn’s father Nathaniel Broadway, 26, striking her while she was still in the hospital.

Swann did not want to file charges, so no report was made to police. The babies were discharged to home with their parents, but the hospital did make a call to DHS. Somehow the information that Swann’s first child was removed due to abuse was never conveyed. Nor the info that Swann did not get prenatal care during the pregnancy.

It was later found that the home the babies went to was the basement of a vacant rowhouse, with no electricity and no toilet.

Both babies showed signs of abuse- fractured skulls and broken ribs. But it has been shown that both babies died of starvation. When they were found, both weighed 20% less than their birth weight.

Now this alleged mom and dad are in jail, Swann pled guilty to 2 counts of child abuse resulting in a child’s death, and has agreed to tesify against the father. If she testifies against him, she will get 20 years.

Broadway will be standing trial for 1st degree murder in May. He turned down a plea deal which would have resulted in a 30 year sentence, but then asked for it back. The judge denied the request, as it was a one- time offer from prosecutor’s.

Now, as can be expected in this situation. Swann says that Broadway abused the babies, and wouldn’t let her feed them. And that she didn’t, because she was afraid of him. Broadway of course says he wasn’t at home much, as he preferred to be out with his friends. And he says he didn’t abuse the babies.

Now what can we learn from this? If you stand by, knowing that your children are being beaten, if they come to the attention of authorities in any way- you can be blamed for inflicting the abuse. And even if you aren’t blamed for it, you are also going to be charged.

And here, no matter who inflicted the abuse on the babies, no matter who starved the babies- they died. One or both stood by and watched the babies being abused and neglected to the point that they died. If they were not wanted, why didn’t they just give them up for adoption? If they couldn’t provide for them, why didn’t they just put them in foster care and work toward getting decent housing, a job, and work toward being able to provide for them? Can you imagine the pain they went through with broken bones, no treatment, and then to slowly starve to death?

The babies did not have options about being born. They didn’t have a choice about whether or not to stay with these parents. And they did not choose to die, injured and starving. The alleged parents had all of the options here.

But, that isn’t the end of the story. When parents do not do their jobs in caring for their children, there is an agency with the authority and the responsibility to step in. The hospital was concerned enough to call Children’s protection about these babies. Maybe they didn’t give enough info. But even a cursory check would have revealed the housing situation. And there is a chance that they could have found the abuse, the neglect. And they didn’t. Likely, they won’t face murder charges. But, hopefully the citizens there will hold them accountable for the actions they didn’t take. Hopefully, they will make the necessary action to make sure this situation doesn’t happen again. Hopefully.