I gotta have a man, so my child’s safety doesn’t matter

31 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Pick a city, any city and one will periodically get a story like Kathleen Cooper’s Tacoma New Tribune story, TACOMA: 2-year-old killed; man booked into jail:

A 2-year-old child was killed Saturday morning in Tacoma, and a man has been booked into the Pierce County jail on suspicion of murder.

The News Tribune is not naming the man because he has not yet been charged.

Tacoma police did not release much information beyond the fact of the death, including the gender of the child, the location of the death or the relationship of the suspect to the victim. Tacoma police responded to the scene around 7:30 or 8 a.m., said Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool. There was “a pattern of abuse,” she said.

Asked why no more details of the crime were available, Cool said the investigation was continuing.

“They’ll charge him on Monday,” she said. “Once they do that, (the information) will come from the prosecutor’s office.”

Vernol Coleman has wrote an excellent report in the Seattle Weekly entitled A Child Left Behind

Years before she was rescued from virtual imprisonment, Janet (not her real name) tried unsuccessfully to run away from home. On a spring afternoon in March 2005, 11-year-old Janet, accompanied by one of her elementary-school classmates, opted out of her usual bus ride home and fled for the safety of somewhere other than her parents’ Carnation residence. Hours later, a local man called Carnation Elementary School‘s main office to report that the two had arrived at his house a few miles away, and were resting on his front lawn. They were eventually returned to the custody of school officials. There, months of silence gave way to confession as Janet revealed the real reason she had bolted: fear.

According to witness statements given to investigators from the King County Sheriff’s Department, Janet begged her teachers, including Susie Marshall, not to send her home. “Please don’t call my dad,” she said. “He won’t believe me.”

Per the guidelines of the Riverview School District‘s homeschooling program, Janet attended Carnation Elementary two days a week—often enough for at least two of her teachers to notice the slightness of her frame. Still, they didn’t suspect just how bizarre the disciplinary methods at the Pomeroy household had become.

“From what we could tell, no one had any idea that this was going on,” says Carol Gould, one of Janet’s instructors.

Each morning after her father, Jon Pomeroy, a software engineer at a Bellevue information technology firm called Estorian, left for work, Janet remained locked inside a windowless room in a converted garage while her father’s wife, Rebecca Long, slept. To use the bathroom, she told her teachers, she had to bang on the wall to alert her younger brother that she needed to go.

More harrowing details of her situation followed. Janet was not allowed to play outside with her friends or use the computer or phone, she said. Her only full meal came in the evening, after her father arrived home from work and prepared dinner. Beyond that, the only food she was allowed each day was the two pieces of toast given to her when Long awoke each afternoon. Her stepmother, Janet added, “hit her a lot.”

The article details the specific acts of torture this child was forced to endure and also reports about other children who fell through the CPS system.

The genesis of this article begins with this comment from the child’s torturer, “Of her relationship with Janet, Long told authorities that she never wanted to be a stepmother. All their problems started there, she said.” Well, girlfriend, it’s like this, if you don’t want children, hate children, or children creep you out and you are dating or plan to marry an man with children, this will probably end badly. Same goes for dudes, many of you date women with children figuring, to put it bluntly, they are an easy lay. You need to leave women with children alone unless you are willing to step up to the plate and be a positive male role model for the kids.

Stepparents and Abuse

It is difficult to find statistics on abuse by step-parents, but one study out of Sweden, Step-parents abuse children to death more often provide some food for thought.

258 children under the age of 16 were killed by their parents between 1965 and 1999. 23 of the children (9%) were abused to death. Stepchildren are more often killed by abuse than children who are killed by their biological parents, according to new research from the University of Stockholm. More than half of the 258 children were killed in connection with a conflict between the parents e.g. divorce or custody battle. Most of these children died in connection with the extended suicide where the perpetrator took or tried to take his own life. The men who murdered their children also often took the life of their partner. On the other hand, no woman tried to kill their partner when she murdered the children, writes senior lecturer Hans Temrin and PhD student Johanna Nordlund at The University of Stockholm.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has statistics about infanticide but it is difficult to determine specific abuse by step-parents because of the reporting.

Note: Parents includes stepparents.

Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2005 —

·         31% were killed by fathers

·         29% were killed by mothers

·         23% were killed by male acquaintances

·         7% were killed by other relatives

·         3% were killed by strangers

Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.

The child described in the Weekly article had a step-mother who abused her and a biological father who abused by failure to prevent abuse.

How to Spot Signs of Abuse

Child Information Welfare Gateway has an excellent guide for how to spot child abuse and neglect The full list of symptoms is at the site, but some key indicators are:

                         The Child:

Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance

Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention

Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes

Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen

Lacks adult supervision

Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn

Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

The Parent:

Shows little concern for the child

Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home

Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves

Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome

Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve

Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

The Parent and Child:

Rarely touch or look at each other

Consider their relationship entirely negative

State that they do not like each other

If people suspect a child is being abused, they must get involved. Every Child Matters can very useful and can be found at the Every Child matters site and another organization, which fights child abuse is the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform People must push for tougher standards against child abuse.

Many Single Parents are not Going to Like these Comments

Queen Victoria had it right when she was rumored to have said something to the effect that she did not care what two consenting single adults did as long as they did not do it in the streets and scare the horses. A consenting single parent does not have the same amount of leeway as a consenting childless single adult because the primary responsibility of any parent is raising their child or children. People have children for a variety of reasons from having an unplanned pregnancy because of irresponsibility or hoping that the pregnancy is the glue, which might save a failing relationship, to those who genuinely want to be parents. Still, being a parent is like the sign in the china shop, which says you break it, it’s yours. Well folks, you had children, they are yours. Somebody has to be the adult and be responsible for not only their care and feeding, but their values. I don’t care if he looks like Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington. I don’t care if she looks like Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry or they have as much money as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, if they don’t like children or your children, they have to be kicked to the curb. You cannot under any circumstances allow anyone to abuse your children or you. When you partner with a parent, you must be willing to fully accept their children. If you can’t and they are too gutless to tell you to hit the road, I’ll do it for them. Hit the road.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

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