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{July 18, 2013}   Child Abusers–You’re On Notice
Child abuser Jessica-Ann-Mungia

Child abuser Jessica-Ann-Mungia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because we now live in an age of social media that gives people access to information in every corner of the world, mothers such as Jessica-Ann-Mungia, who submitted her six year old son to horrific child abuse such as beatings, burnings, cuttings and other forms of torture, are on notice. No longer will these abusive mothers and fathers hide in the shadows with no consequences for the harm they inflict on their child. They will be outed by their children, neighbors, teachers and other authorities. This is a huge step forward for all of mankind. Our society is continually eliminating the secrecy, shame and stigma of speaking openly about child abuse and children’s lives are being saved and improved because of the shift in awareness.

The woman above, Jessica Ann-Mungia, is sitting in jail tonight, charged with four counts of felony injury to a child. When Mungia took her child to the hospital for treatment of a broken arm, the nurse examined the child and discovered numerous bruises, burns and lacerations. Because laws are in place to ensure that when children are seen by nurses and teachers and there are unexplained injuries,such injuries must be reported to Child Protective Services.  The nurse in this case contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to report the injuries she found suspicious. The boy was interviewed by Dr. Rebecca Giradet, and the child told her about what his mother had been doing to him. “My mom hit me with a screwdriver” the child said when asked how he got lacerations on his scalp. When asked about his bruises, the child said, “My mom grabbed me and choked me.” The child said his mother would tie his arms and legs while his dad covered his mouth with a sock to stifle the screams. The boy stated that his mother, “cut me with a knife,” “beat me with a ‘cable” and “burned my tongue with a hot spoon.” “She heated a spoon on the stove and then put the spoon on my tongue…she was sticking it all around my mouth and I was trying to take it out.” After burning the child’s mouth, Mongia then poured salt into his wounds. “My mom held my hand on the stove” he said about burns to his hands. The child also reported that his mother made him “stand on ants” causing him to be bitten by fire ants many times. About his broken arm which sent him to the hospital, the child stated, “My mom broke it” and told them his mother instructed him to tell hospital staff that he fell off the table and got other marks crawling around the house. The child said that he was scared of his mother and recounted an incident where she slapped him so hard that he fell down. When asked about scars on his arms, the child reported that his mother cut him on his arms with a knife.

Reporting abuse like this boy has done takes a great deal of courage. Small children are completely dependent on their parents for their care so it’s a tremendous risk to “out” an abusive parent. Yet, if the child feels safe enough to report details of the hell they are experiencing with an abusive parent, society benefits from having such a trusting environment. When adults such as teachers, nurses, neighbors, babysitters, relatives and other parents take the time to notice a child who is suffering, asks them about suspicious injuries and reports it to authorities when they suspect abuse has occurred, society benefits. When an abusive parents realizes that their actions are going to be “outed” to the public and that they will be held accountable under the law for the violence they inflict on their helpless children, these parents may start to think twice before they grab a cable to beat their child. They might hesitate before they grab a little one’s arm so hard that they break it. They might learn coping strategies like taking deep breaths and counting to ten before pushing, whipping or slapping their child. Knowing that they will be found out is a great incentive against abusing children.

In the 60’s and 70’s when I was growing up, it was believed that children belonged solely to their parents and it was up to their parents how they would be treated. Parents could beat, demean, and abuse their children without being questioned by anyone. Even if a child reported abuse to a neighbor, teacher or counselor, they were often ignored, and the behavior of the parent was justified, with adults assuming the parent had a good reason for the beatings and abuse of their children. Parents were given the benefit of doubt if a child showed up at school with odd bruises, or looked starved or dirty or behaved abnormally because of emotional and psychological abuse. But no more. Parents who abuse their children are on notice. They will be photographed. They will be recorded. They will be reported. They will be outed by the child they abused, even if it takes that child fifty years to finally tell someone.

Source: The Huffington Post, July 17, 2013

 

 

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