In Memphis, Gary Hawkins, 31, boyfriend of the mother, has been charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and neglect. Shamira Ivory, 26, mother of the deceased toddler, has been charged with child abuse and neglect. News stories report that on September 17, 2008, Memphis Police were called to Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center to investigate the death of a toddler named Shamia Ivory. Ms. Ivory called EMS. Shamia was taken emergently by ambulance from her home on the 3300 block of Frayser to Le Bonheur Childrens Medical Center emergency department; whereupon she was pronounced dead on arrival. Physicians and hospital staff report evidence of trauma was found on Shamia’s body. Ms. Ivory admitted the Shamia was left alone with Mr. Hawkins that day prior to her death. Ms. Ivory also admits that she noticed bruising on the toddler’s abdomen prior to calling EMS. Of note, Gary Hawkins has a prior history of child abuse from stemming from a case in 1997, in which a six month old infant he was watching sustained a broken leg and fractured ribs.
Statistics show that women are more frequently abusive towards their children. But males often inflict more serious injury to children when they commit abusive acts. And studies show that boyfriends of mothers are much more likely to abuse their girlfriend’s children than the biological fathers of the children.