4-year-old in Phoenix child-abuse case dies

A 4-year-old girl whose mother was arrested, along with the mother’s  boyfriend, on suspicion of child abuse in Phoenix was pronounced dead Thursday  night, officials said Friday.

Toryn Buckman was pronounced dead Thursday night after being taken to Phoenix  Children’s Hospital, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents and  Phoenix police.

The case is now classified as a homicide, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the  Phoenix Police Department.

Ashley Buckman, Toryn’s 22-year-old mother, was arrested on suspicion of four  counts of child abuse, a felony, officials said. James Edwards, 22, Buckman’s  live-in boyfriend, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of child abuse,  officials said.

Buckman and Edwards likely will face additional charges related to the death  of the Toryn, according to Phoenix police.

During Buckman’s initial appearance at the Fourth Avenue Jail, she said she  had proof that she did not cause the brutality and that there are threats on her  phone from the person who did it.

But, according to court documents, Buckman told authorities she beat her  daughter with a clothes hanger, smacked her in the mouth and twisted her nipples  until they bled.

The child’s injuries were extensive from head to toe, according to the court  documents.

Edwards told authorities he knew about the abuse for about six months and did  not report it, according to the court documents.

He told authorities he disciplined the child using his hands and a remote  control. He told authorities he placed the girl in scalding-hot bathwater  several weeks ago, according to court documents.

The burns were still visible Thursday, officials said

CREDITS   http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2012/06/01/20120601year-old-child-abuse-case-dies-abrk.html#ixzz2Deghxa8A

y Chelsey Davis – Jun.  1, 2012 10:12 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

VISIT US: http://facechildabuse.com/

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Sharanda Hammock, Cecily Sharp face child abuse charges

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) – Fayetteville police arrested Sharanda Hammock and Cecily Sharp Saturday, Nov. 24 on charges of second-degree battery and child abuse.

An Occupational Therapist noticed third-degree burns on an 11-year-olds’ legs and called Hammock, the child’s foster mother. Hammock told the therapist that the child received the injuries during a bath on Nov. 4. Sharp heated the water on the stove for the bath due to lack of hot water.

Hammock told police she tried to treat the injuries with a cool compress but the wounds blistered the next day. Sharp told Hammock that the boy rubbed the burns with a wash cloth, causing them to bleed.

KFSM reports that Hammock and Sharp were in a relationship together.

Both women admitted that they should have taken the boy to get medical attention.

CREDITS:  http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/235987/2/Foster-mother-girlfriend-face-child-abuse-charges

Written by Courtney Howard

VISIT US: http://facechildabuse.com/

Franklin Park Couple Face New Charges in Child-Abuse Case

A Franklin Park couple accused of physically abusing and starving two children they adopted from Ethiopia in March now face additional charges.

Prosecutors amended charges today against Douglas Barbour, 33, and his wife, Kristen Barbour, 30, of Cole Road, at a preliminary hearing scheduled before District Judge Robert Ford in Leetsdale.

As a result of the new charges, defense attorneys asked that the preliminary hearing for the couple again be postponed. A new court date is set for Jan. 18.

Among the new charges filed was an additional count of aggravated assault related to the Barbour’s 6-year-old adopted son. The charge is based on allegations that the couple withheld food from the child, said Douglas Barbour’s defense attorney, Charles Porter.

Porter and Robert Stewart, the attorney representing Kristen Barbour, said it makes no sense that the couple would adopt and abuse two children from Ethiopia, but not abuse their biological children. They say the Barbours are upset and frustrated.

“You can imagine it’s been very difficult on them,” Porter said.

Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, has been suspended from his state job without pay since he and his wife were arrested Oct. 4. He now faces two counts each of simple assault, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.

His wife, Kristen Barbour, is also now charged with two counts each of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault, and one count of simple assault. The Barbours previously were charged with aggravated assault solely in relation to allegations of abuse of their 1-year-old adopted daughter.

Defense attorneys today said there was no indication when they spoke to prosecutors last week that prosecutors would amend the charges “at the 11th hour.” The defense agreed to seek a continuance to properly prepare for the new charges.

“We obviously dispute the allegations,” Porter said.

This is the third time the hearing has been postponed for the Barbours, who remain free on bond.

According to the criminal complaint, the Barbours are accused of starving their adopted 6-year-old son and leaving him with lesions from being kept in urine-soaked clothing for long periods of time.

Porter said the older child had serious issues that the parents tried to deal with to the best of their abilities. Stewart said the boy was defecating in his bed and putting his feces under the bed, so the mattress was placed on the floor.

Porter said Kristen Barbour maintained a blog and seemed to consistently be reaching out for help with the family’s situation. Douglas Barbour spent most of his time at work, Porter said, adding that reports indicating the parents gave the boy a barren room with a mattress is “simply not true.”

Dr. Rachel Berger at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recommended that the boy be permitted no contact with the Barbours. She also determined that the 18-month-old adopted girl not be returned to the Barbours’ home, police said in the complaint.

The girl will likely remain permanently blind in one eye and paralyzed after suffering abusive head trauma, according to the criminal complaint. A doctor determined she had suffered multiple hemorrhages, fractures and injuries to both eyes and had been a victim of physical abuse, including abusive head trauma, according to the complaint.

In October, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ruled that the Barbours would be permitted supervised visitation with their two biological children, ages 2 and 4, pending approval of the judge who is presiding over the matter in Family Court, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.

Attorneys said the Barbours have had supervised visits with their biological children since their arrests, but the attorneys couldn’t say if the Barbours have seen their adopted children. The matter of supervision is still pending in the courts.
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A Franklin Park couple accused of physically abusing and starving two children they adopted from Ethiopia in March now face additional charges.

Prosecutors amended charges today against Douglas Barbour, 33, and his wife, Kristen Barbour, 30, of Cole Road, at a preliminary hearing scheduled before District Judge Robert Ford in Leetsdale.

As a result of the new charges, defense attorneys asked that the preliminary hearing for the couple again be postponed. A new court date is set for Jan. 18.

Among the new charges filed was an additional count of aggravated assault related to the Barbour’s 6-year-old adopted son. The charge is based on allegations that the couple withheld food from the child, said Douglas Barbour’s defense attorney, Charles Porter.

Porter and Robert Stewart, the attorney representing Kristen Barbour, said it makes no sense that the couple would adopt and abuse two children from Ethiopia, but not abuse their biological children. They say the Barbours are upset and frustrated.

“You can imagine it’s been very difficult on them,” Porter said.

Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, has been suspended from his state job without pay since he and his wife were arrested Oct. 4. He now faces two counts each of simple assault, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.

His wife, Kristen Barbour, is also now charged with two counts each of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault, and one count of simple assault. The Barbours previously were charged with aggravated assault solely in relation to allegations of abuse of their 1-year-old adopted daughter.

Defense attorneys today said there was no indication when they spoke to prosecutors last week that prosecutors would amend the charges “at the 11th hour.” The defense agreed to seek a continuance to properly prepare for the new charges.

“We obviously dispute the allegations,” Porter said.

This is the third time the hearing has been postponed for the Barbours, who remain free on bond.

According to the criminal complaint, the Barbours are accused of starving their adopted 6-year-old son and leaving him with lesions from being kept in urine-soaked clothing for long periods of time.

Porter said the older child had serious issues that the parents tried to deal with to the best of their abilities. Stewart said the boy was defecating in his bed and putting his feces under the bed, so the mattress was placed on the floor.

Porter said Kristen Barbour maintained a blog and seemed to consistently be reaching out for help with the family’s situation. Douglas Barbour spent most of his time at work, Porter said, adding that reports indicating the parents gave the boy a barren room with a mattress is “simply not true.”

Dr. Rachel Berger at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recommended that the boy be permitted no contact with the Barbours. She also determined that the 18-month-old adopted girl not be returned to the Barbours’ home, police said in the complaint.

The girl will likely remain permanently blind in one eye and paralyzed after suffering abusive head trauma, according to the criminal complaint. A doctor determined she had suffered multiple hemorrhages, fractures and injuries to both eyes and had been a victim of physical abuse, including abusive head trauma, according to the complaint.

In October, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ruled that the Barbours would be permitted supervised visitation with their two biological children, ages 2 and 4, pending approval of the judge who is presiding over the matter in Family Court, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.

Attorneys said the Barbours have had supervised visits with their biological children since their arrests, but the attorneys couldn’t say if the Barbours have seen their adopted children. The matter of supervision is still pending in the courts.

CREDITS:http://northallegheny.patch.com/articles/hearing-postponed-to-january-for-franklin-park-couple-accused-of-child-abuse

BByLarissa Dudkiewicz and Cindi Lashy

VISIT US: http://facechildabuse.com/

Child Molestation and Public Health

Is child molestation a public health problem? It qualifies on two counts: damage to health and numbers of victims. Sexually abusing a child endangers that child’s physical and emotional health. And, unfortunately, the number of victimized children is in the millions.

In the history of the world, only one strategy has worked to conquer a public health problem: Focus on the cause.

That’s the Child Molestation Prevention Plan’s Step Two. What health professionals have always done that worked is to first find out what causes the disease or disorder. Then, they work to devise something – a vaccine, a therapy, a medication, a nutritional change – that will stop that cause.

Child sexual abuse has four broad categories of cause. Here again, we follow a well-known and successful strategy: Save the greatest number of victims in the shortest possible time. To do this, we ask the classic medical question: Which one cause, if we could eliminate it tomorrow, would drastically reduce the number of victims? Here we are lucky, because the cause that leads to 95 percent of the sex acts against our children has already been discovered: an ongoing sex drive directed toward children. If we could stop our older children, the ones who live ordinary lives in ordinary families, from developing this disorder, the number of child victims would plummet.

The Child Molestation Prevention Plan’s Step One – Telling Others the Facts – is equally proven and equally important. Once medical professionals know what causes a disease or disorder, once they single out the major cause, the next question is: How do we get people to do what is needed to rid our country of this problem? How will they learn the facts? How can we convince them to act on the facts? And at what speed?

We know that preventing child sexual abuse will be difficult because it demands that all of us talk about child sexual abuse to friends and relatives who may know none of the facts but may already have their minds set in concrete. Convinced they know all they need to know, they may have decided they don’t want to hear anything about child molestation.

So that is our challenge. Can you learn the important facts presented on these pages and can you tell them to your family, friends, and people in your community? By doing so you will increase public awareness of the solution to child sexual abuse and be part of creating a sexual abuse free environment for all of the children in your family, neighborhood, and community.

http://childmolestationprevention.org/pages/prevention_plan.html#tell_others

VISIT US: http://facechildabuse.com/

Homicide Survivors

Helping children impacted by homicide

Losing a loved one to homicide can be devastating. Trying to make sense of the event and the aftermath is often overwhelming. This is especially true when there are surviving children who no longer have an available parent.

Homicide has a lasting impact on children. After a violent death, kids experience a wide range of emotions. They may feel afraid because a world that once felt safe is suddenly dangerous. They may feel sad because the really miss someone they love. They may feel worried about the other people they love – fearing that a bad thing might happen to them.

As parents, caregivers, teachers, family friends or someone involved in the life of a child who has experienced a trauma, it can be hard to know how to provide help. Whether it happened five days or five years ago, it is important to know that there is help available.

Here are some answers to basic questions that adults have about supporting children who have lost a loved one to homicide or other violent death. For more in-depth information online regarding child trauma, visit the Child Trauma Academy. For more details about supporting grieving children, visit The Dougy Center.

What can I do to help?

1. Be honest, open and clear.

Give children the facts regarding the death. While there is no need to describe every graphic detail, the important details should be given. The details may be horrifying, and you may want to protect the child from the information, but it is vital to give factual information. The imagination of the child will “fill in” the blanks with details from the child’s own imagination if the details are not given. Too often these imagined details are distorted, inaccurate and more horrifying than the actual details.

If you do not give the facts, it can interfere with the child’s long-term healing process and even undermine your credibility with the child. Remember that with the advent of the internet, very specific details of a crime can be available online. It is much better for a child to get the facts from someone who loves them rather than hearing the facts on the playground.

2. Do not avoid the topic when the child brings it up.

Like other kinds of traumatic situations, the adults around the child need to be available when the child wants to talk, but should avoid probing when the child does not want to talk. This may mean answering one hard question such as “Does it hurt when you burn to death?” Or it may mean answering a lot of small questions, “Was Mommy going to stop at the grocery store on her way home before her car got hit? Didn’t Mommy always get me special treats at the store?” Answer the questions the child asks. The child may just want a reminder of their mother’s love and an answer of “Yes, Mommy bought you special treats at the store. Mommy loved you very much” will be very comforting.

Don’t be surprised if the child returns to play or starts to act disinterested while you are answering the questions. It may be that the child has all the information he or she can handle at that time. The child will return to the topic when he or she is ready.

Children sense when topics are emotionally difficult for the adults around them. Often, children try to please caregivers – either avoiding emotional topics or following up on topics that caregivers enjoy. Be aware of your own sense of discomfort and be open with the child about it – but do not lean on the child for support. It can be reassuring to children to know that they are not alone in dealing with grief and other feelings. It is overwhelming to children to feel that they have to regularly comfort and encourage the adults they rely on for support.

3. Be prepared to discuss the same details again and again.

Children may ask the same questions over and over again. You should answer honestly, openly and clearly again and again. The child isn’t testing you or trying to push your buttons. The child did hear you the first time, but needs to hear you a second time, a third time and perhaps many more times. The child is trying to process a traumatic event, and your calm, honest answers are helping the child get through a very difficult time.

4. Be available, nurturing, reassuring and predictable.

Do your best to be available, loving, supportive and predictable. The loss of a parent, sibling or other loved ones can be extremely traumatic. As the child grows, he or she may continue to re-experience or question the traumatic event at each developmental stage.

In some ways, the child faces a lifelong journey of interpreting and re-interpreting the trauma as they pass through developmental stages. At five years old, the child may accept that the emergency responders could not get there “in time” to save the loved one. At 12, the child may want to know how many minutes it took for the emergency responders to get there. The child is not interrogating you by asking new questions about how long things took. Rather, at 12, the child has a more developed understanding of time, and may bring that new understanding to questions about the traumatic event. Being available and open to the child will make the child’s journey easier.

5. Take advantage of community resources and supports.

There are many well-trained professionals in your community who can be a support to the child, or to the adults in the child’s life. Take advantage of them.

At Kids Matter, our trauma specialist is available to help. We have materials on-hand to support grieving children, written for children. There are many local therapists and resource centers.

Grief Resources:
■My Good Mourning Place
■Kyles Korner
■Margaret Anns Place
■Camp Hope
http://www.kids-matter.org/for-families/when-kids-are-victims-of-crime/homicide-survivors/
http://facechildabuse.com/

Beating The Blues

By Kennesaw Taylor

If you have depression issues caused by child abuse or domestic violence, I’m not going to pretend that what has worked for me will work for all of you. Still, I think it necessary to at least give you the chance to use this powerful tool to your advantage.

There was a time before my book Informally Educated came out, when my life was much different. I was a good man, a loving father and a faithful husband, but was still writing bad checks on the incredible negative balance my step father had deposited in my life’s checkbook. Somehow I had broken the cycle of child abuse and did not visit his sins on my wife and child. Hear this; if I do nothing else notable for the rest of my life, I have been a true success.

Telling is the first step in healing and one most can never take. I was always telling, it helped that my step father had been killed when I was fourteen; I had no fear of facing him on a daily basis. I might be trucking along for a year, with everything going well. Then it would happen, I would tell someone my story and like an incredible cloud of doom my own past would settle over me and refuse to leave my side for several months. I was never a person who considered suicide; I had fought too hard to live, to die by my own hand.

However, the depression caused by simply verbally reliving my childhood would suck my soul into a deep, dark pit from which it might take months to climb out of. Thirty minutes with the brush, painting my story to someone would lead to months of walking through the hell I had created on the canvas with my words.

All forward progress in my life would come to a halt. I might quit my job, let my business fail, stop attending church, drink heavily, try a few new mind numbing drugs, lose old friends or gain some new ones that were not too desirable. Thus, my life moved on, I would write that bad check with my mouth, and then do a kind of nasty reset of my life which it would take many months, to get over. In days, I might lose everything positive it had taken me years to build.

At least once a week the incredible cloud of doom would visit and strangle me in my sleep. I would walk among the living, but would be dead inside. Most times there was no apparent reason for its visit, but it was real just the same. Somehow even with all this, I excelled in most jobs and was married to the same wonderful woman for twenty-seven years.

Then in my thirties the idea occurred to me to write Informally Educated. It was more like ripping out my soul and regurgitating it onto the screen of my computer. I pecked at and cried on the keyboard, late into the night for several months. For a time, things seemed worse, but gradually they began to improve. I may not have noticed it for quite some time, but eventually I noticed the cloud was coming less often and stuck around for far less time, when it did. For the twenty years since, I have continued to make progress, those bouts of depression lessen with each passing year.

I see so many of you who struggle to cope every day of your lives. I see so many who try to commit suicide, only to survive and spend the next few months working up the courage, to try it again. Write it down, even if you never show it to anyone. Write for your life, your life is worth it and, in fact, your life may well hang in the balance. Your miserable life is your abusers reward for all the crap he or she heaped on you. Your silence gives them permission to do it again, encourages them to continue their evil work.

I’m not saying that this will work for everyone, but I am living proof that it might work for some. I now live a vastly different life than I lived for many years. Even with that I must continuously be on guard against that incredible cloud of doom which hangs out there looking for people like you and me. We may never be as normal people and cannot afford to allow depression to gain the slightest foothold in our lives. Thank God that my writing has been my best therapy and that my bouts of depression have increasingly lessened in intensity and duration with the passing of time.

Write as your life depends on it because it truly might. You write it and if you feel it appropriate, send it to me, and I’ll post it on my blogs and webpages, if not keep it to yourself, but write it, bleed it, release it through the ink of your pen. It will help you, and remember, you might save the life of another, in the process.