But perhaps something that may shock you, is that often that abuse and/or neglect is being caused by a biological parent. Not a relative. Not a babysitter. Not a stranger. Not as often as by a biological parent. As Project Manager of Sacramento County's Child Death Review Team (CDRT), it's my job to analyse the deaths of children in this county and use that analysis to help implement, develop or restore prevention efforts, including evidence based programs, to help end child abuse and neglect. Hearing the tragedies of children dying can be daunting, but nothing compares to a Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) homicide. Hearing the details surrounding the tragic life and death of a child that was abused is to say the least, difficult. But what's most difficult is that the majority of perpetrators are the biological parents of the child -- either acting alone or acting together. In the twenty year time period from 1990 through 2009, there were 158 CAN homicides in Sacramento County, of which the majority (60%) of perpetrators were the biological parent(s).
What is wrong with our world? Our culture? Our society? What has happened to us as people that in order to attain a goal of selfishly transgressing some emotion, we KILL our children? It's beyond me.
The recent story of the Powell boys being murdered in a double murder-suicide by their father, hurts. The gruesome details of how he took a "hatchet" to their necks before setting ablaze their home, killing both his boys and himself, really upset me. I know I shouldn't be surprised, and I guess I'm not. I see this too often. But the idea, the very thought, of harm to these innocent boys, kills me. Powell Double Murder-Suicide
So what do we do about it? We DEMAND change! We demand that our government stands up for our voiceless population, our children! The Child Abuse Prevention Center of Sacramento County presented its Twenty Year Annual Report to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on January 24th and ended with this:
We hope that Board of Supervisors heard us and makes children a priority during dire fiscal times.
We know what works in our community to prevent many forms of child death.
We know who the most at-risk children are, who the most likely perpetrators are, the communities most at risk, and the programs and services that have demonstrated an impact on CAN homicides.What will you do with this information?