Child abuse series reaction

In the past decade, at least 16 infants and toddlers in our region died of abuse at the hands of caregivers. A review of state reports and court documents shows many missed opportunities to safeguard the children. (Click here to read the series by Benjamin Shors.)
We sent email to 100 readers and asked whether they read our series, if they thought we handled the topic apppropriately and whether they learned from it.
Click on the link below to read some of the responses.

I did read the entire series....even looked forward to continuing the subject from Sunday's paper to Monday. I thought the information contained in the article was very good. I learned a great deal about how the state of Washington handles these cases...The emotional aspects of the cases are overwhelming. It is easy to get lost in these aspects without getting deeper in to the causes. I have never met a child abuser that didn't deserve my sympathy on some level. Not that I would ever let this sway me in reporting or not reporting (I am a pediatrician). But you struggle sometimes with the equations of who is to blame. -- S. Bergstrom, M.D.

Yes, we read the stories on the child abuse cases. Found them to be very well written and informative as well as touching. It is sickening to read about the perils of these children, however, awareness may be key in future prevention. -- S. Denu

I am well informed about the issue but was appalled to find out how little we seem to be able to do even when we know there is a problem. Can we force parents to be in a parent-education classes if certain "markers" seem to be present when the child is born? Can we monitor and notify naive young women about the men they allow to be with their child? I fear that social workers are too overloaded to make real contact, support and monitoring efforts with families. My former husband was a social worker who spent a lot of hours protecting children, monitoring situations and working with parents to become better at that big task. That was is the good old days when social workers actually had time, energy, training and support for working with families. Now they work w/ computer input, paper trails, regulations and way too many people. Maybe the fixing needs to be with the social service system first of all.
-- Jan Herman

I read a portion of Sunday's article on child abuse. And, to be honest, I was unable to read the article in its entirety because I found the subject and the portions of the article I read so upsetting. This is the first time I can remember where I actually wanted to read something, but was unable to. I did look at the pictures and their captions and found them to be very moving and powerful in their own right...The subject of child abuse is a very serious issue that deserves attention, so I applaud you for covering it in your newspaper in the series format. I can only hope it will enlighten and educate the readers on this important issue. -- Julie Culver

What stood out in my mind was how little time the individuals who committed the crime spent in prison and the women who let these individuals into their homes. I see a desperation in these women to feel needed or to take the position that they can't survive on there own. -- Burt Shepherd

I only read small bits and pieces of the story. It is a subject I become very emotional about and have a very strong opinion of what should happen to the abusers, none of which could be published. That being said I unfortunately did not read enough to make an informed, educated response. -- Curly Rousseau

I did not read any of this series on child abuse; however, my wife read the Sunday article about the Native American child and thought it was both very interesting and very well handled by your staff in analyzing where the system perhaps "is not working well". We both have been extremely busy during the three days the series appeared; thus, I had to "pass" on the entire series and my wife has not yet gotten around to the Monday and Tuesday articles. -- Phil Franklin

 
 
 
 
 
Useful links
About Steve Smith
About Gary Graham
About Ken Sands
About Doug Floyd
About Carla Savalli