SS received this referral from the
hospital emergency room. A 9-year-old girl was in the ER due to what parents
said was an accident. The child had a broken arm and severe bruises on her left
leg, the left side of her face, and on her lower back. Medical personnel said,
although it was unlikely, the bruises could have been caused by the type of
accident the parents reported. The child would only tell the hospital staff she
fell and hurt herself, the way her parents said.
On further examination, medical personnel determined the childs arm
had been “twisted” and the injury couldnt have happened the way her
parents and the child reported. According to the medical personnel, the injury
was “inconsistent” with an accident and “consistent” with
an intentionally caused injury. They suspected child abuse, probably inflicted
by the father, according to hospital personnel.
On investigation, SS learned this child had been taken, by her
parents, to five different emergency rooms within the past thirty months, with
each event attributed to accidental injury. On one of those occasions, the
childs leg was broken and on another she was diagnosed as having a concussion
caused by a blow to her head. Parents reported the head injury happened when
she had been playing baseball and was accidentally hit by a bat.
When interviewed alone and confronted with the series of injuries,
mother admitted she gets frustrated and angry with the child when she wont
behave and loses her temper. When father was confronted with the events and
with what mother had said, he admitted he had been covering for mother and
trying to protect her.
Mother is hospitalized for psychiatric observation and father has been
charged for his role in the abuse. The child was placed into care.