Gibson Co. teen charged with child abuse

The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 15-year-old boy with two counts of aggravated child abuse after photos circulated on Facebook showing his two younger sisters bound with duct tape, the sheriff said in a news release Tuesday.

The photos were brought to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

“Investigators immediately starting working on the case and determined the images were on the Facebook page of a 15-year-old juvenile male from Gibson County and the images depicted were those of his two younger siblings, 2 years old and 6 months old,” Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas said in the news release. “After identifying the one responsible for posting the pictures, investigators from the Sheriff’s Office did follow up by checking on the welfare of the two young children in the photos and determined they weren’t in any immediate danger. They also conducted an interview of the 15-year-old male, with the assistance of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, where the male admitted to placing his two siblings in the duct tape, in what he described as a joke, and taking the photos.”

Investigators have discussed the matter with District Attorney General Garry Brown’s office. On Tuesday, the 15-year-old was formally charged in Gibson County Juvenile Court with two counts of aggravated child abuse.

The two young girls are not currently living in the same home with their teenage brother. Thomas said the teenager is living with a different relative.

The teenager will appear in juvenile court when his court date is set.

Thomas said the teen is not currently being charged as an adult, but the district attorney and court system will determine if he will eventually be charged as an adult.

Thomas said his department is still working on the investigation.

“My investigators are still looking into it to make sure they haven’t missed anything,” he said.

“The Gibson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone in the community that has reached out to us and made sure this case was being followed up on,” he said.

Two of the photos on Facebook were posted on Valentine’s Day and show each of the two girls bound with duct tape while lying on a bed. In one photo the 2-year-old girl’s hands and feet are apparently bound behind her back and her mouth is wrapped in duct tape. In the other photo, the 6-month-old’s hands appear to be bound with duct tape.

Another photo circulated on Facebook shows the 2-year-old lying in the open trunk of an SUV with her arms and legs apparently wrapped in tape.

The photos were shared thousands of times on social media, and many residents reported them to law enforcement.


New campaign asks everyone to look out for signs of child abuse

A CAMPAIGN to encourage people to report child abuse is being rolled out in North Devon.

The campaign, supported by Devon County Council, aims to tackle the problem of child abuse going unreported.

A third of people who suspect child abuse do nothing to report it, according to the Department for Education.

The main message of the campaign is you don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions before reporting them.

The campaign, Together We Can Tackle Child Abuse, aims to highlight the fact everyone has a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.

It calls on the general public to report any signs of abuse.

These signs may include:

-Changes in appearance, such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk.

-Changes in behaviour, such as being demanding or aggressive, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired.

-Changes in communication, such as use of sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient.

The chairman of Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board, Mark Gurrey, said: “Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and we would encourage anyone who is concerned that a child is experiencing abuse or neglect to report their concerns.”

The county council’s cabinet member for children’s services James McInnes is pleased the council is tackling the issue.

He said: “We want it to become a social norm that people, the public, feel that they are able to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect to the authorities.

If you have suspicions a child is being abused you are encouraged to report it to Devon’s Safeguarding Hub by calling 0345 155 1071 or emailing including as much information as you can.

For further information visit

Inner Child

Hello Dear Jesus,

It’s been a long, long time.

I hope that you still know me,

I’ve been hiding quite awhile.

I know that you know all things
Still, I think I should explain,
The reason I’ve been hiding
Is because of all the shame.
I know that I don’t look so great
For meeting up with you
But I hope you understand
I’ve been alone since I was eight.
You probably see the dirt marks
And smudges on my face
But it seems no matter how I try
Some things can’t be erased.
They say that eyes are windows
That peer into the soul.
I’m afraid that if you look there,
You’ll find it dark and cold.
I’m not sure why it is, Lord,
But you won’t see any tears.
I guess they’ve just been locked up
Inside me all these years.
I know that limp and lifeless
Is my unruly hair.
I guess that’s just what happens
When no one really cares.
And if you ask a question
I won’t have much to say.
I’ve found that no one really wants
To hear me anyway.
And if you care to listen,
Sit quiet and you’ll hear
How hard my heart is pounding.
That’s because of all the fear.
You’ll notice that I wrap my arms
Around me all the time.
I do that for protection
Of the things that should be mine.
See, not so very long ago,
Without an ounce of care,
Someone took away from me
Things I never meant to share.
And if you find I tremble
When you come close to me,
It’s because of all the dreadful things
That someone did to me.
Jesus I’m so sorry
If these things have saddened you.
But when I cried out to you
You never told me what to do.
I know that in my mother’s womb
You created me
And I can’t help but wonder
Is this what I was meant be?
They say that you are everywhere,
With each and every one,
But it seems that on those dark nights
You left me all alone.
They tell me that you love me
And I suppose it’s true,
But Jesus, please remember
That he said he loved me too.

Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’

via BBC News – Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’.

Concerns over the handling of child abuse cases by an Essex Police team are “not surprising”, the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Eight extra cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on top of 30 already being looked into.

The investigations relate to a team covering north Essex.

Essex PCC Nick Alston said the increase was “distressing”. The force has been asked to comment but has yet to do so.

“As the review into the quality of child abuse investigations instigated by Essex Police progresses, regrettably I do not find it surprising that it has identified further cases of concern and fresh referrals to the IPCC,” he said.

But he stressed the number of cases being dealt with by the IPCC remained “a small proportion” of the total number of such cases investigated by the force each year.

“I am convinced the force is making real efforts to identify and resolve problems with the quality of child abuse investigations,” Mr Alston added.

Blake Fowler’s death shows social worker need help to stop child abuse

via Blake Fowler’s death shows social worker need help to stop child abuse 

EVERY time a case where a child has been failed by the professionals who were supposed to protect him or her emerges, it prompts questions about how this abuse and neglect could go on.

When a child is let down by those closest to them we need to know that the authorities are there to pick up the pieces and intervene soon enough to put their life back on track.

We all have a responsibility to get better at spotting the early warning signs and acting accordingly.

In Southampton the report released last week into the death of seven-year-old Blake Fowler has prompted such conversations to take place.

There have been a number of reports into tragic cases of abuse and exploitation of children released over recent months.

Many lives have been damaged by these terrible acts, not just those of the young victims but families and communities too.

As wounds begin to heal, the scale and degree of such vile crimes has given everyone with responsibility for keeping children safe cause to reflect.

Any case that raises questions about child abuse and neglect will prompt discussion about what could have been done differently.

Councils will do everything in their power to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.

Child abuse charges filed after Detroit boy found in basement

The father and stepmother of a Detroit boy who was found after being reported missinglast year were charged with torture and child abuse Friday, according to prosecutors.

Charles Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuwell, allegedly physically abused the child, forced him to live in the basement, deprived him of food and made him engage in an extreme exercise regime, according to the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

The boy, then 12, was discovered June 25 in the basement of his father’s home behind a barricade after numerous searches of the home in the days following his June 14 disappearance. He was very thin, with marks on his upper body when he was found.

Charles Bothuell IV told authorities his son ran away after being scolded for not exercising or doing his chores. He learned his son was found during a taped interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace when he said he had no idea the boy was in the basement.

via Child abuse charges filed after Detroit boy found in basement |

New Calgary chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse set to fight for abused kids

via New Calgary chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse set to fight for abused kids 

You’ll hear them long before they arrive, and when they do, you might wish the motley crew of leather-jacketed bikers had gone the other way.

Greasy, grim and menacing, the dozen-strong motorcycle gang sure seems like a respectable citizen’s nightmare, with one particular bearded behemoth looking like the kind of guy who spends his spare time wrestling grizzly bears.

But unless you’re a child molester or someone who abuses kids, there’s nothing to fear at all — and if you happen to be the young victim of such abuse, these intimidating men and women are the best friends you could ever hope for.

A guest Post

The Message sent via the Guest Posting Page Please take a look at my site. I would be delighted if you wanted to cross post any of my posts. I have one on the taboos of speaking out about abuse, one about celebrity abuse and what it means for family abuse, and one my response to Rotherham.

Here is a Post from this Guest Blogger

I do work hard. Yes I do. Really. But in the middle of an important meeting, I found myself considering what we really mean when we talk about a taboo. It is broadly defined as a “system of prohibitions connected with things considered holy or unclean”. I’m no social anthropologist or sociologist, but it seems clear to me that even when we collectively uphold something as a taboo, it’s not actually a prohibition; it simply stops us talking about it.

Child sex abuse is a taboo; within the confines of trusted structures – such as family or school or religion – even more so. This is quite right. Yet although we operate this “system of prohibitions” it doesn’t translate into action from us, as a society, to prevent it in the first place. This is because where abuse is concerned the actual taboo is talking about it, acknowledging and confronting it.

It’s unsurprising, I suppose. We are frightened of taboos; how they challenge us, what we might need to do to stop them. Take death. Since we left the Victorian theatricality surrounding death behind, it is high up on the list of taboo subjects. We can’t talk about it. We deny it and at best address it euphemistically. But this doesn’t stop it. It just means we aren’t prepared for it. Of course, this is where that comparison must rightly stop. Death from natural causes is inevitable, child abuse is not. However until we break the talking taboo childhood sex abuse will continue and will remain inevitable.

You see the things that start at home – private, unshared, tacitly understood – are perpetuated. A taboo, such as family abuse, is a crime committed, known about, but rarely talked about. The more trusted, tightly wrought and familiar the institution, the greater is the taboo surrounding revealing any deviation within its confines.

Recent high profile celebrity abuse cases are really helping us to peel back some of the layers here. The reporting is so often skewed, but the conversation has started however uninformed and misguided it may sometimes be. Like Sophie Heawood in her column I too punch the air when another case is revealed because some fresh air has been blown into the musty long held secret. But I also have to temper my exasperation. The bind is that a concept such as ‘celebrity’ and the notion of an ‘institution’ enable us to put a distance between these horrors and daily family life. This is what gives it license to continue, unchallenged. We speak out about the famous, but we can’t speak out about our families. The more we know about it, the more we defend against it.

The family is our smallest unit of society – many would see it as a fundamental building block of society. In so many ways it forms us, teaches us, sustains us. We are taught to trust it and everything that happens within it. The rules learnt within the family – including what you do or don’t talk about – are virtually impossible to break as a child or an adult. If you experienced something hateful, perpetuated by someone you trusted and actively or passively sanctioned by those you loved, how on earth do you know it is wrong and how on earth do you summon the resources at any point in your life to speak out? Society at a macro level can’t believe you and society at a micro level, your family, may well reject you. The talking taboo is an important contributor to this.

Twitter is alive with the fact that the Home Secretary’s long promised inquiry into historic child sex abuse has been kicked into the political long grass with the substantial controversy surrounding its new chair, Fiona Woolf. This, I believe, is a living, breathing example of my point. We know it’s happening, at scale, but we can’t talk about it, for fear of what might ensue and what it might unleash. It is, in fact, too close to home for everyone.

The inquiry matters for all sorts of reasons: first it was promised by the Government and the Government needs to follow through. Second it would send a message to those who have suffered and are suffering abuse that this issue will be taken seriously. Third, and most importantly, it would mean talking about abuse. Although the inquiry will focus on institutions, it should shine a light on the fact that it happens inside families, outside families, in institutions, by those we trust and don’t trust, in every class, faith, colour, and household, and make it part of our discourse. Only in this way can we take some small, firm steps towards putting an end to abuse.

I am not living embodiment of what I say here. I am not out of that particular closet: I was abused for a long time as a child. I write about it, think about it, have opinions about it, take medication because of it, feel huge empathy for others who are suffering and admiration for the struggle of survivors. However talking openly is still a taboo for me – I blog anonymously and I share my experiences with very few people.

In my family the abuse is known about but not talked about or acknowledged. It remains a silent, living secret…although the perpetrator is dead.

So, the taboo of talking is created and reinforced in families from the bottom up. I’m usually of the opinion that small scale action leads to big scale change. But in this case I believe a top down, national inquiry, signed up to by politicians of all persuasions and supported by all agencies, with survivors and their representatives at its heart, would start to create a discourse that might help permeate every layer of society. This could outlaw the taboo of talking about childhood abuse and enable us to focus on stopping the real taboo – the abuse itself.

Read more on their blog here

Nursery to remain closed after failing to report bruises of child abused by family member

A struggling nursery that was closed down by Ofsted after a worker failed to tell social services about bruises noticed on a child has lost its fight to re-open.

Catherine’s Cross Nursery, in Darlaston, shut last year and was struck off the register by the education watchdog for a string of safeguarding failings.

The management was said to be poor and ineffectual, while inadequate learning and development opportunities were being offered to children at the Pinfold Street centre.

Nursery operators Darlaston Community Association took the matter to an appeal heard at a First-Tier Tribunal earlier this month. But the original decision to close was upheld.

The hearing was told concerns were raised about the failure of a worker to report to social services bruises she had noticed on a child.

The abused toddler was ultimately taken into care after suffering a serious assault by a family member.
Ofsted said the concerns were sufficient to justify removing the nursery from the register and, after an appeal, a judge has now backed that decision.

Judge Melanie Plimmer told the tribunal that, if anything, the concerns raised then were even more valid now than they were last year.

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Ex-Teacher Charged With Failure To Report Child Abuse

Dona Block, 49, of Belton, surrendered Thursday at the Bell County Jail and was later released on $5,000 bond after she was named in a misdemeanor warrant charging failure to report child abuse or neglect.

The charge stems from the failure to report “that a child who was attending Belton ISD may have been the victim of abuse, neglect or sexual assault,” Lt. Donnie Adams said in a press release Thursday.

The charge stems from a sexual assault investigation that started in March after authorities learned that a 25-year-old Belton man had been involved in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Belton ISD student,

Ex-Teacher Charged With Failure To Report Child Abuse.