Child Abuse Must Stop - In Remembrance of Dominick Calhoun and those children who died in 2010, a needless death.

Dominick Calhoun
Dominick Calhoun

We MUST remember

April 12, 2011 marks the 1st Anniversary of the death of Dominick Calhoun. Who is Dominick Calhoun you ask? Why is this writer taking time out of her busy schedule to write about him?

He has touched my heart in a way that I can only try to explain. His eyes were the biggest bluest eyes that are very similar to my Grandson of the same age. Maybe that is what it is. Maybe it’s the carefree way his blond hair set upon his head. Maybe it is because we are from the same state. Maybe it was just the fact that he was 4 years old and died a needless death. Whatever the reason, I feel that I need to somehow, someway remember this little boy.


Update

UPDATE - The information regarding this Hub has come from the various news reports surrounding this case.


The Beginning of the End

The end of Dominick’s life began on April 8th, 2010, he finally could take no more and succumbed, surrendering his life on April 12, 2010.  After his unconscious body was discovered by his maternal Grand father, an ambulance was called.  The Doctors could do nothing to save Dominick.

He wet his pants on accident, while eating breakfast.  That was his death sentence.  That was this offense that was so great Dominick’s life became forfeit.  It wasn’t a quick and painless death, no, he was given 3 days of torture for this offense.  3 days of being dragged out of his room and beaten by a monster.  The monster was his mother’s boyfriend, it reality the monster was also his mother.  His 8 year old brother had to witness this torture and not be able to lift a finger to help, he was afraid he would get in trouble as well.  After all they were both small.

He might have been saved

The boys had been removed from the custody of their mother on several occasions, only to be sent back. They were back with their mother this time for only 11 days. The State wants to believe that the Mother is the best person for the child to live with. In this case, it was obviously not the best solution.

In all fairness I must insert here that the mother was also beaten, with chunks of her hair being torn out in the process. She also gave testimony to the police and prosecutors all the things that were said and done to her son during his days of torture. She is also being tried in this case for 2nd degree murder, because she didn’t do anything, didn’t call out to anyone, didn‘t leave.

Had an ambulance been called after the first beating Dominick may have survived. Quite possibly after the second beating as well. By the time he did receive medical care his brain had begun swelling to the point that medical personnel had to remove part of his skull, to allow for swelling. His eyes had been gouged, his genitals had been kicked mercilessly by a booted foot and his head had been beaten severely. There were also unexplained burn marks on him.

Drugs were a factor

You might ask at this point, “Were there drugs involved”?  Yes there were, this was a drug house.  The Monsters sold drugs.  Probably to support their habits.  “Do all drug dealers beat their children?” Probably not, but drugs do impair the judgment of a person, so it’s safe to say that without the drugs this probably would not have happened.  The mother would have had better control of her faculties and would have gotten her children safely away.  The man, at this point is still the accused (I really hate when you have a dead body and bloody knuckles along with witnesses they are still only the accused), is known to be Schizophrenic.  If he had not been on drugs (non prescription) he might not have committed this horrendous act.  So yes, drugs were a factor.

There were many people whp could have helped

Don't just turn your Head - LOOK!

When you look at the list of children who have died at the hands of abusers in the United States for just the year of 2010, it will astound you. I made an attempt to count them all the but the tears in my eyes made my vision too blurry.

UPDATE - Due to the high number of names on this list (there are a lot) this Hub was unpublished as duplicate content. In order to comply with HubPages and once again be published, I removed the names. For more information and the names of the children please visit the facebook page that is dedicated to finding justice for Dominick and all of the other children who have needlessly died at the hands of others.  The page is Dominicks Law!


Dominick's Law

The community has now bonded together to set aside a small space for the memory of Dominick Calhoun to be remembered. They have also written a Bill they hope to get passed for the State called ‘Dominick’s Law‘. They realize that they can’t bring Dominick back, but maybe they can save another child’s life with this Bill. It is in regards to mandatory sentencing for abusers. You see the Monster had been charged with previous abuse, not on Dominick, but someone else.


Where were you in this?

The family lived in an apartment dwelling.  The neighbors now claim they heard little Dominick’s head being smashed into the walls.  They heard the screams.  At what point did it go unnoticed?  When he became unconscious?  When he could no longer scream for his life?  Why would I bring this up?  Because at some point we, as a whole, need to take responsibility for what we see or hear.  Have you ever been in a store shopping and seen a child being smacked for crying?  Then told not to cry?  What did you do?  Walk away in disgust?  Yell at the smacking parent?  When you saw the frustrated parent did you stop and talk to the child to make him or her smile again?  Just to give the parent a moments peace.  Or did you make a rude comment regarding bringing a tired child to the store?

I am not suggesting that we all run out to our local CPS (Child protective Services) and report every little incident.  What I am suggesting is this; When you see a frustrated parent, do not assume you know what is going on in their life.  Do not assume that things like raising children are as easy for them as it is/was for you.  Take a minute, talk to the parent, talk to the child.  Make them smile, help defray a situation that could escalate into something more.  Do not be rude to the parent, that will only cause them to take their frustrations out on the child at a later time.  Usually smiling at the child and talking to them will cause them to stop their behavior and pay attention to what you are saying, even if only for a moment.  


Luxuries they may not have

Not all parents have the luxury to walk away from their cart to come back at a later time. 

Not all parents have the luxury of having someone watch their child while they go shopping.

Not all parents have the luxury of tossing anything in the cart, most have to watch how much they spend.

Not all parents have been taught how to be a good parent.



Child Abuse Must Stop!

Am I excusing the behavior of The Monster?  Absolutely not.  Would any of these things helped save Dominick’s life?  Maybe, when the neighbors heard his head banging into the walls.  Just one little thing that you do or do not do in this life can cause a chain reaction for good or bad.
 
Child Abuse must stop.  No way around it.  We have to be the ones to stop it.  Help educate your young neighbors, your children, your family members, your friends.  Give them a hand whenever you can.  Buy a pack of diapers, a can of formula, give them a few hours of peace and quiet by babysitting.  Helping in these small ways can ease some frustrations as a parent, in turn helping the life of a child.  After all, we’re in this together.  

Am I suggesting that spending your hard earned money will stop child abuse?  No, but what I am suggesting is that the parents will be aware that eyes are watching.  They will be aware that they are noticed.  Their actions will be accounted for, if one stranger pay attention, how many others will?

Don't just get angry - Help!

We can get angry all we want at the injustices of the deaths of children, but if we do nothing about it, have their deaths been in vain?  


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Comments 28 comments

Sharon 5 years ago

This story touched my heart too. I started following it last yr. UGH!!! I want to know WHO is the voice for the children. The Court system gives the parents/non-custodial parents the benefit of the doubt. We had to fight the Courts to get my grandchildren away from an abuser. Unfortunately, it took 3 yrs. It's a sad state of affairs that it takes so long. Some children DON'T have a shot...They need to put more credence to the complaints & investigate more thoroughly. Sadly, the only time people get involved is when it is TOO late. GOD BLESS THE CHILDREN!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you Sharon for taking the time to read and comment. We are the voices for the children. On the Dominick's Law site there is a Mother BEGGING for the system to listen, yet she still must comply or be thrown in jail herself for refusing to let her child go with the abuser. If she is in jail, how can she protect her child? Only we can change the laws, to protect the children. It's our voices that have to be heard so their voices won't be silenced.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

To me, susie, child abuse is one of the most monstrous crimes - right up there with rape and murder. And all too often the abuser is a member of the child's family. Mandatory sentencing is an absolute necessity for anyone guilty of that heinous crime.

Currently, in Florida there is a trial taking place to convict an adult couple of abusing both and subsequently murdering one of their two adopted children. I can't help but wonder how and why were these people, these animals, ever given the right to adopt?


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I do my best to be an advocate for the children, they have to have a voice. I HATE child abuse, or any abuse of any kind. It doesn't take much to learn how not to be abusive.

Thank Goodness Florida has the death penalty.... maybe it will be exercised in this case. Why would they want to adopt a child only to abuse it? To murder it? They get tired of beating each other? At times like these an eye for an eye would be good.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

My heart goes out to these children who lost their lives and also to the countless others facing abuse each day. Children are a gift. They are given to use to borrow for a time before they go out on their own. We are to shape them as they grow and to give them every ounce of love our hearts can produce. Children are a blessing, and in turn they help to shape us. You just have to listen to the messages they were sent to give us!!!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Amen!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Child abuse is simply inexcusable. Thank you for writing this Hub.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you Simone for stopping by and commenting. I try daily to instill my values and beliefs on child abuse to my children and their young facebook friends along with anyone who will listen. I believe these atrocities can end, and we are the answer.


Jussara Scotton 5 years ago

Child abuse is everywhere. I'm from Brazil and every day I see in the news stories similar to Dominick's and I wonder when this will stop. You're right, we as members of society must do our share.

There was one case in Brazil where a 'judge' has adopted a little girl of only two years old and beat that child every day. Because of her position the nannies were afraid to report it, but someone did it for them and now the judge is arrested waiting for trial. Her lawyer claims insanity to try to reduce the sentence or put her in a psychiatric hospital. I find it funny because when she assumed the post of judge or filed the adoption request she didn't claimed to be crazy.

Great hub, I hope to awaken in people the desire to act on behalf of society as a whole.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

This is a very touching story and I felt very upset after reading it. You have rightly brought this story to our attention because it is happening and it keeps happening. Yes, you are right when you say we complain but do nothing. We live in a society where people believe they are powerless to make a difference so they do nothing. I respect your energy and I will put into action some of your very wise advice. The time for complaining is over and I for one will answer your call to do something no matter how small. Thank you.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

@ Jussara Scotton - How very sad! There is no excuse for child abuse, not even mental illness. If that were the case wouldn't it stand to reason that all mentally ill people would abuse children? I sometimes truly wish I had the knowledge to stand on a bench and be a Judge. I would be known as the hanging Judge in my community. Not that we still hang people, but I wouldn't allow stupidity or lack of common sense as a reason for committing horrific crimes. To me any type of crime against a child or person who is unable to defend themselves is horrific.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Spirit Whisperer - I have over 1000 followers, it is my goal to reach every one of them. In turn they have their followers, friends, family etc. If we can get the word out, then maybe we can reach or teach the abusers, saving a child's life.

Sometimes the call for help (by the abuser) goes unheard. Think of it like this; you have a friend or family member who calls you crying about something that is happening in the home. Your life is busy so you either ignore the call or hurry to get off the phone, believing all will be just fine. Their issue does not get resolved and only gets worse. It could result in child abuse due to frustration.

Thank you for joining me in my crusade to help stop this!


Beberlee profile image

Beberlee 5 years ago from Philadelphia

Thats ashame poor kid.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

Very powerful and touching page Sweetsusieg. This story is very sad but unfortunately is like many other stories already happened, or that are happening now, or that will happen in the future. The power of this hub is the message that we are all responsable: the society is sick... What is society? The society is made by human being, by us, not by others, by us.


Christine P Ann profile image

Christine P Ann 5 years ago from Australia

There are just way too many cases like this one all around the world. Every minute of every day a child somewhere is suffering abuse in one form or another. There is never ever any excuse for harming a defenseless child. We all must make an effort as you suggest susie. Too many of us turn a blind eye and a deaf ear for fear of reprisal but someone needs to stand up for the kids. Small steps can become huge leaps.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Beberlee - indeed it is very sad.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes Fucsia - it is unfortunate that it continues to happen. We as a whole human race need to take responsibility for what we see and hear. That is the only way it will ever begin to stop.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Christine P Ann - Taking the chance of someone telling us to mind our own business or get yelled at by the parent is a small price to pay. Exactly as you say, small steps are what we need to take. We have to begin somewhere.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Sweetsusieg, child abuse is simply inexcusable in any which way. Just the thought of children having to live with monsters... How is a mom able to stand by and not do anything to help her child? I don't get it... Don't get me wrong, any type of abuse is unacceptable but if an adult is being abused they have the power to walk away... but a child... What's a small child going to do when the person whom he/she should be able to trust above all to protect them, is not doing so? It's just too sad, what a touching hub.

regards Zsuzsy


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

The sad part of this, she was able to walk away, she did 2 times while this poor boy suffered. She went about her business while he needed medical care. She had many excuses as to why an ambulance couldn't be called. She just didn't want to get caught doing bad herself. Personally I feel that she should be charged with 1st degree murder, but the way the laws are laid out, she can't.

1st degree murder - "The killing of another human being with malice or forethought"

Sometimes parents do not think clearly, that is why we all need to be the eyes and ears of the children. It might make them angry or hurt their feelings at the time, but it is for the benefit of the child in the long run.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Thank you for this revealing and passionate look at an all too frequent crime. As parents, we all get frustrated and angry but this is something that I can not understand at all. I am not surprised that mental illness and drugs played a part in this tragedy, it is just too bad that an innocent child had to die as a result.

Your Hub will help focus attention on preventing horror stories like this by increasing awareness so that people understand what to look for and how to truly help when they witness a potentially dangerous event.

Great Piece Susie-I will share.


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

The monsters have no idea the pain they cause a child or anyone with such harsh treatment. Sometimes people chose to turn their heads. We have to let people know there are places to turn for help. Finally. Abuse should be reported.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

@ Chatkath - Thank You for stopping by! I know these types of Hubs are hard to read. People want to turn their heads from what they can't help. I keep reading more and more regarding this case and it just sickens me. The amount of people that walked in and seen this helpless child yet did as the Mother wished... nothing. He was failed in all aspects...

@ Mimi721wis - Absolutely, all abuse should be reported. It always doesn't amount to much, but it helps to have records. It also helps the parents know that others are watching their behavior. There really are places for help. Most communities have Mental Health facilities that aren't just for those who need medication. They have 'weekend foster parents', which means if you are going above and beyond what any parent should be expected to do and need a break, you and your child can have a weekend away from one another. For you to get a grip and clear your head, for the child to see other adults. It's a win-win situation for all and no one thinks you bad because of it.

Thank you both for stopping by - Spread the Word!!


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Sweetsusieg,

Am so much pleased to read from your article because reading from you gives me lots and lots of inspiration that words alone cannot explain.Also, am so happy that you had to write on this interesting topic about child abuse which is turning into a national thing world wide and i believe that creating awareness like this everybody will be conscious of this malicious act thereby limiting the rate of child abuse or stopping it entirely. A big Thanks to you,cheers.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Though it saddens me to write about such a subject, I felt compelled to do as much as I can to bring awareness. The days of turning a blind eye are gone, we must do something to protect our young ones. I believe Child abuse escalates through the generations, particularly if it was done with malice. Discipline becomes confused and turns into child abuse without education.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


LisaMarie724 profile image

LisaMarie724 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Child abuse is unexcusable and we must all do our part to ensure it ends! please read some of my hubs that deal with this issue.


saba 4 years ago

I am horrified. is there anything I can do to stop this happening to other children?


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

There is no pat answer to stopping this, I think it's a matter of us all working together for a common goal. If you see something inappropriate happening, attempt to gently intervene before it escalates into something more. If you see a frustrated parent in the grocery store, talk to the child see if you can make them smile, stopping the crying.

Help when you can, a lot of abuse stems from frustration. Life can be frustrating, sometimes all a parent needs is communication with another adult.

In the case of Dominick - police intervention was the only answer and should have come much sooner. A neighbor or friend might have prevented this child from becoming a statistic.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and having a desire to help.

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