There's a saying that many like to use in reference to raising kids—“It takes a village.” But when it comes to the victims of child abuse, it seems that another saying is becoming popular—"Stop snitching." Why is it that whenever a story about a child killed by abuse and neglect breaks on the news, there's always someone who saw the signs and said nothing?
The world is a busy and populated place, especially if you live in a city. And as much as we go out of the way to mind our own business, somehow we always seem to notice when something's not quite right, especially when it's a child—we just choose to look the other way.
In the recent case of Kymell Orem, his neighbors had plenty to say after the 17-month-old was beaten to death.
"Sometimes when the baby was crying they would leave the baby outside the door," Maribel Pejada told the Daily News. "He would hit his head against the door trying to get in. It was awful."
Really? Neighbors saw this kind of neglect go on and no one thought to drop a dime to the Administration for Children's Services (ACS)? Yet when the reporters came, Pejada was on hand to relay some of the grisly details.
As more facts emerge in the recent murder-suicide of Lashanda Armstrong and three of her four children, there's relief that a family member had the courage to call authorities when they heard a domestic dispute over the phone. But, one wonders, how long had the incidents gone on?
The supervisor of the daycare Armstrong's children attended told reporters that the young mother seemed stressed, but didn't seem to exhibit any signs of depression. Was there someone who lived nearby that might have noticed there was more arguing between Armstrong and her children's father or that she didn't seem like herself?
It has become somewhat commonplace for people to turn a blind eye to other people's problems until it’s too late. It's a sad commentary on the human race when women are instructed to yell "fire" instead of "rape" when being attacked because people won’t get involved when they hear the latter, but don’t hesitate to call 911 when they think there’s a fire.
(Photo: Jeff Mcadory /Landov)