A wave of disgraceful headlines have made it clear that we need serious action to prevent child abuse. The following incidents have been reported around the country in the past few weeks:
- A man in Florida, currently on probation for child neglect, is now facing child abuse charges on allegations of tying up his young son at night to prevent him from eating.
- In Pennsylvania, a man has been charged with child abuse after he confessed to likely causing bruising and brain bleeding to a 6-month old child in his care by repeatedly hitting the child on the back when the infant was crying.
- A couple in Missouri was arrested for allegedly keeping four children locked inside small boxes secured with plywood and screws. The children had no access to food, water, restrooms, lights or windows and their home reeked of urine.
- A man in South Dakota was charged with murdering his infant daughter. She was brought to the hospital with head injuries that were “indicative of non-accidental trauma.” The baby died a week after being admitted to the hospital. The same man had previously pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse after his other infant daughter was brought to the hospital with injuries.
- A $20,000 bond was set for a Wisconsin couple who kept kids in makeshift cages.
Sadly, these are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of cases that happen in the United States on an annual basis. Younger children are the most vulnerable, with nearly one-third of abuse happening to children under the age of four. Unsurprisingly, 91% of these abused or neglected children were maltreated by one or both parents.
We owe kids better than this.
We have a responsibility to prevent child abuse. And the best way to do that is by creating a culture, derived from smart policies, that prevents abusive and neglectful parent from ever having kids. Having Kids is working towards that fundamental change through our Fair Start order campaign. It’s simple: If someone has been convicted of a serious case of child abuse and cannot care for children, they will be ordered not to have additional children until the situation changes.
These orders are a fair and constitutional way to change the way we plan our families based on the child-first Fair Start model.
It’s time to get proactive, rather than continuing to be reactive. Punishment after the fact is not good enough. We can stop abusive parents from inflicting harm on more kids.
Let’s get ahead of the problem. Take action now and support Fair Start order legislation in your state.