Casting Light on the Shadow of Abuse
Most cases of physical abuse affect children under the age of 5. The incidence of abuse rises during specific developmental phases: when a child can only communicate by crying, during toilet training and during what is typically thought of as the “terrible 2s,” when a child begins developing some sense of autonomy and begins to say “no.”
Stories of Abuse
The following stories are intended to open your eyes to the fact that any caregiver or relative could do this to your child. Therefore a conversation with anyone who is watching your child should be had no matter how trusting you are of them.
A Survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome
On February 2nd, 1998, David was shaken by his licensed day-care provider.
He was just four months old and had only been with this day-care provider for 3 weeks. As a result of the shaking, David had bilateral subdural hematomas and extensive retinal hemorrhages. He was in ICU for 3 weeks and had to undergo brain surgery to install a shunt to drain fluids that accumulated in his head due to the injury. As a result of this traumatic brain injury, David has ataxic cerebral palsy, seizures, learning disabilities, left-sided hemiplegia, gross and fine motor skill delays, and he faces a lifetime of disabilities. In our family, David is considered one of the lucky ones. He survived and is doing well. David has grown into a fine young man and has worked very hard his whole life to master the skills that come effortlessly to everyone else, but this has never daunted his spirit. As he struggled each day with his learning disabilities and physically keeping up with his peers, I cannot forgive the woman that did this to him. He is sentenced to a lifetime of disabilities because of her rage at a crying baby.
It Could Happen to Anyone
“If your granddaughter lives through the night, she will be a vegetable…”
On November 21, 1994, I heard those exact words. My 3-month-old baby granddaughter, Gabriela, sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of being shaken. I can only describe that moment as numbing. This event changed my life and the life of our entire family. That fateful day, my son George admitted in a moment of anger and frustration that he shook his infant daughter as he cared for her and her twin sister while their mom was at a part-time job.
Read more about one Grandmother’s Story after being confronted with those words.