In Bonham, Texas, two people are under arrest for the beating death of a two-year-old boy. Cory Don Louis, 38 and Danielle Denise Cuba, 22, are being held in jail. Police state the boy was beat to death with a belt and subsequently hung by his wrists on a closet clothing rod. The other children have been removed from the home. One sibling has been hospitalized for injuries related to abuse. The mother, Danielle Cuba, is four months pregnant. During questioning, one neighbor reported seeing Mr. Louis around the home but not seeing the children around the house at all.

Well adjusted parenting styles are learned behaviors. Good parenting is not instinctual. The likelihood of being an abuser increases significantly if an individual was abused as a child. While women are more likely and more frequently to be the abusers, men abuse more severely and are more likely to be sexual abusers. Children under the age of three years old are the most likely victims of abuse, because the toddler stage is a very trying time for parents. Parents with unrealistic expectations and poor coping skills are most at risk for engaging in abusive behavior. Physical abuse is the most overt form of abuse. Physical abuse can result in brain injury, fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and burns. If a child survives abuse, the long term affects of child abuse include developmental arrest in developing basic trust and self worth into adulthood. 

Prevention of death and injury related to child abuse: Monitor strangers around your child. Look for signs that the caregiver or parent delayed in seeking help for an injury or potential injury. Have a high-index of suspicion for an individual providing an inconsistent history about the mechanism of injury. Suspect intentional injury when the injury is inconsistent with the child’s developmental capabilities. Suspect abuse when fractures are present at varying degrees of healing stages. Look for bruises to the back of the body. Be suspicious if there are bald spots or broken hair on the scalp. Visualize the pattern of an injury to see if it resembles a belt, belt buckle, cigarette burn or scald injury from submersion in hot water.

By reporting child abuse or suspected child abuse to the county’s Child Protective Service department, you may save a life.   

Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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