Child Abuse During a Disaster

   09.29.17

Child Abuse During a Disaster

People are creatures of habit.  We like to go to bed around the same time, get up around the same time, or drive to work the same route.

When things we are used to doing are upended, we feel a certain amount of stress. We want everything to go back to normal as soon as possible. The problem being, we may not know when things will return to normal.

This stress can sometimes manifest itself in the form of abuse. Various studies indicate that child abuse rates go up during a disaster, such as after a hurricane.

Here is an example from Orlando: Father admits to fatally punching 5-month-old daughter, police say.

The father of a 5-month-old girl has been charged in her death after police said the infant’s mother discovered her unconscious inside an abandoned home in the Carver Shores neighborhood of Orlando on Thursday […]

The baby was placed on life support, but a brain scan revealed bleeding in the brain and several skull fractures, according to hospital records. Doctors later told police that they discovered a depression on the baby’s skull, which led them to believe she had been hit, not dropped.

Personally, I do not know what to say. A five-month-old girl is dead, and the father is in jail.

As unpleasant as it sounds, bad things still happen. This was during a hurricane. What would happen after a nuclear strike or outbreak of a new disease, when civil services would be down for months, maybe even years?

Even though we claim to be a civilized society, it seems all it would take to push some people over the edge is no electricity, and a crying baby.

Sometimes, I wonder if our own worst enemy is ourselves.

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