Casey Anthony Case Overshadows Widespread Abuse and Neglect of America's Kids By Kristi Murphy July 15, 2011
The Casey Anthony trial and the terrible story of the death and dismemberment of 8-year-old Leiby Kletsky in Brooklyn this week has captivated our nation like so many high profile cases in the past. While many might believe that cases like this will bring attention to the issue of protecting our children, at the end of the day these individual stories only highlight the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that 150 children, most under the age of four, die every month from abuse or neglect. While high profile cases do bring awareness, they take our focus off the real issue of suffering children and instead keep us embroiled in speculation and legalities.
Despite intense public and media scrutiny of cases such as Susan Smith in 1994, JonBenet Ramsey in 1996, Andrea Yates in 2001 and Baby Gabriel in 2009, the number of child deaths from abuse keeps rising and these abused children become tabloid fodder. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made every year, or about one every 10 seconds. The 2009 Child Maltreatment report from HHS estimates that 1,770 child abuse deaths occurred in 2009, averaging to five per day and this number is on the rise. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. Child abuse is an epidemic and brutal deaths happen every day in neighborhoods just like those in which we all live....