Child neglect cases have always received a wide public response. It is especially sorrowful to comprehend, considering that many became victims of their own parents. Unfortunately, such cases are quite common nowadays.
Neglect is one of the cruelest forms of child abuse. It is achieved by creating conditions that prevent the satisfaction of basic needs (nutrition; hydration; clothing; freedom; medical care; safety; physical, emotional and social development) frequently due to poverty or parents’ improper lifestyle. Most often, these are children of preschool and primary school age that are unable to stand up for themselves and ask for help. In the United States, 74.9% of children who were subjected to ill-treatment (about 7.5 million) were recognized as victims of neglect.
Some of the cases are kept secret, while others are revealed to the public. Today, we want to bring to the light one such tragedy. According to law enforcement officers, the mother of a 5-year-old girl was arrested after her daughter was found locked in their apartment. The baby arrived at the hospital with clear signs of exhaustion, lack of social skills, as well as several signs of abuse.
The child had been locked in presumably for several days, so concerned people were forced to seek help from law enforcement officers. After opening the apartment’s doors, it was discovered that the baby lived in a mountain of rubbish, right next to the neighbors!
As reported, the family of the victim gave the impression of being completely well-off, although in recent times the girl had been hardly seen. However, this is often the case: outwardly pleasant people can turn into real tyrants behind closed doors.
We don’t know how this story will end, but one thing is clear: the child has become a victim of targeted mockery. Who knows what would have happened to the girl, had the neighbors not sought help.
Bullying is not only about intimidating, humiliating, and attempting to make somebody suffer. Neglect is a silent potential killer that may hide behind the door of any house. Don’t ignore its signs as you can save an innocent life.
Suspicion should make you act if the child:
- is absent from school;
- isn’t dressed according to the weather;
- looks exhausted;
- asks for food or water;
- doesn’t look healthy or developed for his/her age;
- experiences problems with communication and shows fear;
- lives in a dysfunctional family with apathetic and indifferent parents.
Child abuse is a problem that affects everyone. It can concern any child, stranger or friend, and each of them needs our help. If you suspect neglect or ill-treatment, notify the child protection service and law enforcement agencies. Try to take custody of such a child, to become his or her friend.
Finally, increase social and public awareness of the problem, without waiting for it to affect you directly. After all, your intervention can give such children a chance for a normal life.