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Mom charged with child abuse after her daughter’s T-shirt raises questions

| February 25, 2015 at 09:34 am

Child endangerment

TAMPA, Fla. – A Tampa mom’s plan to publicly shame her daughter backfired and landed her behind bars.

The shirt she allegedly made for punishment ended with 31-year-old Melany Alexander charged with child abuse according to FOX 13.

Part of the shirt reads: “I currently have all F’s in all my classes. I am not aloud (sic) to have a boyfriend no time soon. So back OFF before I get another good whoopin like I got last night”.

Mother accused of child abuse for slamming on car brakes

| February 3, 2015 at 06:58 am

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WPBF) – Many parents become frustrated when their children are causing a fuss in the car.

Some even threaten to stop the car if the arguing doesn’t cease.

A Florida mother says she was only trying to stop her children from fighting in the car when she hit her brakes.

Now, she is now facing felony child abuse charges.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God. You gotta be kidding me,” said Lorena Simpson. (more…)

Local Doctors Concerned about Child Abuse Deaths

| November 14, 2014 at 09:00 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Child abuse in Duval County is a growing problem and what you may not know is that about 80 percent of the abuse is inflicted by a parent.

On Wednesday, Donald James Crystalus was charged with murder in the death of his 4-month-old son, Gabriel. According to JSO, Crystalus caused severe head injuries to his son which led to his death.

President of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Michael Aubin, says the number of suspected child abuse cases is concerning.

According to Aubin, there have been 131 cases of suspected abuse reported at the hospital so far this year and 25 of those came in the last three months.

“In the last week we have seen three cases of suspected child abuse here at Wolfson,” said Aubin. “That is really hard on everyone, including the staff.”

According to Aubin, all three children died.

“These cases happen usually one at a time….everyone says, ‘oh, isn’t that horrible?’ and then it goes away and when you see three in a row and we have another one that we are investigating…you realize have to do something different in this community,” said Aubin.

Carmella Prescott works for the Daniel Kids Foundation. She spends her days visiting homes and speaking with parents and children in abusive relationships. She says she has sympathy for everyone involved.

“They are not monsters, they are humans and they are just like us. They have stress and they have things going on and they got lost in the moment and they didn’t have the help they need at that time and it’s sad,” said Prescott.

According to Prescott, the numbers of child abuse cases are rising in Duval County. The trend for child abuse in Duval County mirrors the statewide trend and the trend for abuse is increasing over the past few years. For example, in 2003-2006 there were 2,711 child abuse cases reported for children ages 5-11. Then, in 2010-2012 there were 2,904 reported, per the Florida Department of Health.

In Florida, there are over four million children in in the population and there have been over 223,000 reports of abuse with over 500 cases involving child deaths. Nationally in that time period, there were over 1,500 reports of child abuse and neglect deaths.

The recent tragedy where a Duval County father is charged for killing his son for crying too much has this topic of child abuse on the forefront. First Coast News reached out to expert at Project SOS with tips on what parents should do when their anger spiral out of control.

Jacquelyn Hatcher is a certified life coach with Project SOS. She teaches parents where to turn when they get angry.

“It all starts with a Trigger,” said Hatcher. “Usually triggers happen because of past relationship problem, something you’ve seen in your past…or as a child and you don’t learn how to work through.”

Hatcher says communication is key.

“What we promote is for parents to take a break…breathing activities. Maybe stepping away from the situation. I truly promote exercise,” said Hatcher.

She says it is important to remove yourself from the situation and go for a 10 or 15 minute walk, breath in the fresh air and leave the situation before it gets worse.

“Or into a room and do step exercises and breath in and out and in and out,” said Hatcher.

She says this allows the brain to disengage from our anger and gives the mind a chance to process what is actually happening.
Moving from anger…to frustration…to realization.

“We try to teach couples to use code words in the house that means stop…like ‘red Light,’” said Hatcher.

Use sticky notes or write signs around the house with words like, ‘stop.’

Stress balls are also proven to relieve stress and anger. Hatcher also notes mirrors as a key tool. She says it’s not silly to talk to yourself and talk yourself out of anger.

“Look in the mirror and say things like, “I’m mad, I am sad and I am angry and I must deal with this situation’ and it helps,” said Hatcher.

Source: First Coast News

Florida couple charged with animal cruelty, child abuse

| January 8, 2013 at 08:42 am

A couple in Florida has been charged with animal cruelty and child abuse after nearly 300 animals were found in their home.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s officials responded to the Oldsmar home Sunday after receiving a call from Jeffrey O’Neil and Jennifer Kovacs (aged 26 and 28) about the disappearance of their 16-month-old girl.

Authorities say she was found unharmed at the home of a relative who took her after trying unsuccessfully to awaken the allegedly intoxicated couple. (more…)

Details emerge about child’s beating at NH couple’s arraignments

| December 4, 2012 at 08:08 am

PLAISTOW, N.H. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) — A fugitive couple arrested at a Florida theme park has been arraigned in New Hampshire on charges in the beating and burning of the woman’s 3-year-old son.

Separate video arraignments were held Monday morning for the two in Plaistow District Court.

The boy’s mother, 23-year-old Jessica Linscott, answered to six misdemeanor charges of endangering a child by failing to protect him. (more…)

Child Protection Center needs your help

| June 20, 2012 at 08:12 am

SARASOTA, FL– With over 30,000 clients each year, the Child Protection Center spends plenty of money to maintain programs and operations. But like many non-profits, years of budget cuts are taking a toll, and now the center is asking for your help.

The Child Protection Center is dedicated to the intervention, prevention, and treatment of child abuse, and now, officials there say they need to raise at least $200,000 dollars to ensure those operations and programs continue without being forced to start a waiting list. (more…)

New Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Law Sets High Bar for Child Protection

| June 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Florida today enacted the toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation, a law that advocates say “raises the bar and sets a national standard for child protection.”

SB 1816, today signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott, declares that reporting suspected child abuse is everyone’s responsibility, not just the responsibility of a few professions. It also imposes stiff penalties that ensure institutions will put the wellbeing of children over the protection of their own reputations if a child is abused on their grounds or at their sanctioned events. (more…)

Couple Forced Child To Kneel For Nine Hours A Day, Police Say

| March 9, 2012 at 04:16 pm

Police in Lakeland, Fla., say a couple forced a 13-year-old child to kneel for nine hours a day with his hands behind his back.

Albert Cusson and his wife Nancy admitted to the abuse, but said it didn’t hurt the boy and it was punishment for cheating in school, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Ledger.

Central Florida News 13 reports that Albert Cusson was the boy’s grandfather. (more…)

Records show alleged child abuse in RV Park rampage case

| February 23, 2012 at 09:09 am

Child abuseFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Officials released documents on a family detailing alleged child abuse prior to the father going on a deadly rampage at a South Florida RV park.

According to records at the Department of Children and Families, the department investigated alleged abuse occurring at William DeJesus’ house dating back to 2007, but returned the children to the family. (more…)

Fla. child abuse deaths decrease

| January 19, 2012 at 03:03 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nearly 150 children were fatally abused in Florida in 2010, a decrease from around 200 in 2009.

The Department of Health recently confirmed 136 child abuse deaths in 2010 and 11 deaths from the previous year in a preliminary report. That’s roughly a 20 percent decrease from 2009.

It’s also a drop from 2008 when there were also about 200 verified child abuse deaths. (more…)