Geralyn Graham gets 55 years in Rilya Wilson foster child abuse case

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Courtesy of The Miami Herald

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By DAVID OVALLE

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

            Even as she was about to face justice for kidnapping and child abuse, Geralyn Graham insisted she never harmed foster child Rilya Wilson.

“I love her too much to ever have done anything to her. Things have been greatly exaggerated,” Graham said. “I ask that those who believe I’ve done these things forgive me, and those who know in their hearts I would never do these things to keep praying for me. The truth will come out.”

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez, however, was not swayed — sentencing Graham to 55 years in prison. That means the 67-year-old Graham will likely die behind bars.

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One in a Thousand Pictures, Tells a Thousand Words!!

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By Kennesaw

 

A picture is worth a thousand words,

except when it’s not worth one.

Every picture tells a story,

 except when it don’t tell none.

A heartbeat keeps the time of your life, if it can.

Every heartbeat, writes the story of every man.

When it’s over and the dying done,

all the pictures are lies, except maybe one.

All the smiles you gave away,

were simply lies you told each day.

Lies for the teachers, the preachers and the world,

lies from the broken, little boys and girls.

Pictures of happiness, fleeting moments at best,

covered the horror, covered the rest.

No pictures, no camera covers the worst,

no pictures, no camera can see the hurt.

Some go on, life on kodachrome,

It’s a life they only dreamed once,

It’s not a life of their own.

But they will live it, it may be they’re only chance,

for any chance they have is still a chance to dance.

Some will struggle through, unhappy to the end,

they’ll spread the word of abuse and let the cycle never end.

Others of us will overcome, do the best we can,

enduring the ability to see through the pictures, into the blackened heart of man.

The pictures at the beach, the pictures at the mall,

never tell the story, never tell it all.

One in a thousand pictures, tells a thousand words,

that picture is never seen, those words never heard.

A bruised and broken body, a shattered beaten face,

are tagged and cover then buried in their place.

Innocents in a cold, lonely room lying on a frigid slab,

Is the only real picture of an abused child that they will ever have.

Don’t worry, don’t despair, you never need know,

those pictures are for documentation, not one will ever show.

The mended ribs, the bruised thigh,

the hint of blood in the nose and ears, the dislodged eye,

makes the picture complete.

Wash them, wrap them, speak the last words they’ll hear.

I beg you make them sweet.

The Boy Of No Joy

Report Child Abuse

By Kennesaw
I’m the boy, the boy of no joy.
I was in your class, dirty hands, vacant eyes, the soul of a man.
I’m the guy, the guy who will still cry.
In the darkness, the doubt and guilt sits still, waiting on me to return to bid its will.
I’m the man who walks hand in hand with the boy, the boy of no joy.
I stole your tools, your children’s toy.
I’m the boy, who stole my joy?

I’m the child you mended my ribs, look away quick at least he lives.
You and others like you, time and again, broken ribs and noses always mend.
I’m the climber, who climbs toward the sky.
If I fall will I die?
I’m the one you sent to the office time and again.
I had no hope, no future, no friend.
Look away, look away, look away all.
A bad childhood habit, how often I would fall.
I’m the boy, the boy of no joy.

It was my own little war, but a soldier I’d never be.
A prisoner of war, was God’s plan for me.
The fist goes up and the fist comes down.
If no one outside hears it, does it really make a sound?
I’m the man who really understands,
the relative size of the head of a child and a hand.
I hope that there is no one, anywhere that gets this,
It’s my hope, my dream my plea, but I know it’s wishful thinking,
there are others just like me.
I’m the man with the little boy inside.

The boy still walks the earth, the man’s only along for the ride.
Just in case you meet me, I’m the boy, the boy with no joy.
I’m the guy who will cry, the man who has yet to die.
In the end, I win, you die, I cry, where do the answers lie?

Tucker Teacher Sentenced To 30 Years For Sex Crimes

Almarcus Dewayne Thomas, the Tucker math teacher convicted of multiple sex crimes, was sentenced this week to 30 years, 20 of which he will spend behind bars.

Thomas, 43, was arrested a year ago after the Internet Crimes Against  Children  (ICAC) Unit investigated him for alleged sexual activity with a 15-year-old female student at Tucker Middle School.

He pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including child  molestation, statutory rape, sexual battery and invasion of privacy.

“These alleged crimes involve a man who preyed on a minor while in a  position of authority and respect as an educator,” DeKalb County  District Attorney Robert James said in a statement. “This plea reflects  the acts of a monster who molested, abuse and took advantage of women  and children in DeKalb County. We hope this begins the healing process  for all individuals and families affected by these heinous crimes.

Credits: TUCKER PATCH

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Mom pleads guilty to allowing men to repeatedly molest her 6-year-old daughter

Story from Examiner.com

Visit Face Child Abuse

Photo provided by Jacksonville Beach P.D.

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Dalina Nicholas, 36, from Jacksonville Beach, Fla. pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to allowing her 6-year-old daughter to be repeatedly molested and sexually abused in exchange for drugs and money.

The charges against the Fla. mom amounted to four guilty counts of child neglect.

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There is no sentence strong enough for crimes such as this. Nothing will ever allow this child to enjoy the life she should have had. So the cycle continues.

Child Abuse, Past, Present and Future

By Kennesaw Taylor

In 1873, Etta Wheeler, a nurse was making rounds in a tenement, in New York City. She had heard stories about a girl who was being held hostage and abused by her foster family. After talking her way into the apartment, she caught her first glimpse of nine year old Mary Ellen.

The child was barefoot, half clothed and half starved. A cat of nine tails lay nearby, and her arms and legs showed the effects of its use. Her face bore the look of suppression and misery. Over the next two months, Mrs. Wheeler reported the child’s plight to police and charities trying to save her, nothing was done. As there were no laws to protect children, no laws were being broken.

She contacted Henry Bergh, the president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which had been started nine years earlier. Bergh convinced a judge to allow the society to intervene.

“I saw the child brought in wrapped in a horse blanket, at the sight of which men wept aloud.” Jacob Riis.

Mary Ellen’s body was one large bruise, and her face wore scares and slashes caused by her foster mother’s scissors. Using the only tools available, which were laws placed on the books, to protect animals, they saved Mary Ellen. This was the first case of removal, and New York City was the first to establish a child protective agency.

Mrs. Wheeler and the suffragettes then went on a campaign against child abuse. Their programs were rooted in prejudice as most were women of wealth and privilege. However misguided their efforts, something was being done.

Throughout history, children have been viewed as property or as possessions. In many cases, people had as many children as possible, to provide the free labor needed to run the farm or business. Up until the Civil War children were being used as slave labor throughout the world. While slaves had some rights and were considered valuable for their monetary worth, children held no such value. A war was fought in this country, to end slavery, as children worked in factories and died every day from starvation and worse.

If you became an orphan before the Civil War and for some time after, your chances of living to be old enough to escape the orphanage were slim. After the Civil War children were taken from families at an alarming rate. To be placed in foster care or an orphanage, at that time, was akin to being placed in prison. The entire affair was a good old boy system which further victimized those placed into it. Since most of those being taken were children from the poor, immigrant neighborhoods, no one cared.

Then child abuse advocacy faded again. Throughout World War I, the depression and World War II, it was ignored. The family needed to be a strong, sacred institution so children took one for the country.

Child abuse advocacy mirrors, social revolution, and as it had begun during the years following the abolishment of slavery, it resurfaced during the Civil Rights movement. In the early sixties, laws were passed requiring doctors and teachers to report suspected child abuse. It was during this time it was discovered X-rays could clearly distinguish between normal broken bones and those broken during abuse. For the first time, child abuse could be proven.

With the freedom of the Cultural Revolution, sexual abuse was discussed for the first time. Studies determined that all forms of abuse ran across our entire society, crossing all cultural, economic and sociological boundaries. Abuse was no longer believed to afflict only the poor, which was never true.

What followed was a veritable witch hunt. For years, allegations of abuse destroyed children and parents alike. While much was accomplished, many innocents were persecuted. Many lived in fear of a system, still rife with better than thou people. Children and adults, mostly from the lower classes feared and loathed it. We are still dealing with the backlash of that witch hunt today.

 

Last year there were three million reported cases of abuse in our country. Admittedly the studies, which produce these statistics, indicate there are two unreported to each reported case. That means nine million cases in America last year. Of those, only nine percent resulted in charges. Out of that nine percent, only nine percent resulted in a conviction. There are five children beaten to death in our country, each day at the hands of those they know, love and trust. Their average age is three years old. This number has recently been raised to ten per day.

The child protection service agencies have now become reactionary entities. So many laws were placed into effect, after the witch hunts, that in many cases, their hands are now tangled in red tape. By the time a child can be removed, many times that child is damaged beyond repair. They will go on to visit the horrors they endured upon another generation of innocent children.

The thousands of Social Workers and Foster Parents are not at fault. They are far outnumbered and poorly supported. These jobs are the hardest on the earth and those who do them are unsung heroes.

Foster Parents must give of their hearts freely, to children who have no idea what a heart is and place no value on the gift. The Foster Parents I’ve talked to, assure me one child who becomes a productive, loving person, is worth the hundreds of broken hearts and spent tears they endure.

Now for the question I am asked repeatedly. What can be done about child abuse?  Clearly our current system does not work. Greater minds than mine have worked on this problem for the last century. Yet the statistics grow. Frustrated, the majority of our population continues to turn a blind eye. They ignore the numbers which continue to grow despite the educated, enlightened nature of our country and the world.

When a thing hurts too much, it’s easy to look away.  I deal with this daily; advocates against child abuse are not popular and spend much of their time speaking to smiling, agreeing people who will never speak to them again. Many of us who were abused have inherent flaws, which prevent us from being Foster Parents or adopting. In many cases, the educated, have no experience and look down on those who do. They forsake the help of those who have a better understanding and a vested interest in stopping this epidemic. I say again, beware the self righteousness of the right. It’s easy to pass judgment on children when you have no clue what they are going through.

Now for the answer, if there is one. In some societies, children are trained to hate beginning at their earliest moments. I am in no way suggesting such a course of action. However, to put an end to such hate requires wiping the slate clean.

What I mean to say is, in order to decrease the massive amounts of abuse; the change needs to start with the young. First a few words of caution. Already the country believes that a child must simply cry wolf to condemn their parents. I am told often that we have lost control of our children, because we can no longer punish them. Furthermore, they are disrespectful and lazy. Again, excuses to stand by and allow what is happening, to continue. However, to some extent this is true and another indicator that our system is failing. If you don’t know the difference between discipline and beating a three year old to death, write me, I’ll explain it.

We cannot legislate this out of our society. We may jail as many as we like, but until all Americans understand, to our core, that children are not possessions or property there will be no change. Parenting classes given to adults will not make this go away. This change must start with our children. We need to develop a curriculum that can be taught, beginning in the first grade and continued throughout their education. One which makes it totally unacceptable to hurt a child under any circumstances.

The program D.A.R.E works on this principle, and it has made a difference. Now even smoking cigarettes has become deplorable in the eyes of many children. We need child abuse to become repulsive to all people, before they reach adulthood. Even if we take such measures, it may take up to three generations for this program, to make a difference. The monetary cost might be great, but our jails are full of the abused and our homes are full of the unhappy. Make no mistake we are paying heavily for what we do to our children. We must break the cycle, and it will require all of us to do it. Just because, abuse did not touch your household, does not mean that someone you love will not be abused, assaulted or otherwise victimized by someone who was abused. Now, for my question to you. Why does our society continue to become more violent? Nine million cases of abuse each year, HELLO.

We need to gather together people with the education and determination to make those in our government, who can make a difference, make one. Please feel free to contact me and point out how wrong I am, or to put petty differences aside and change the world for our children. kennesaw@kennesawtaylor.com