When many of us hear the phrase "child abuse," we often think about those clear, obvious signs that something is amiss. Bruises. Cuts. Broken bones. But sometimes the abuse a child is suffering is so subtle, it goes unnoticed ... forever. That could have been the case for one Washington state toddler had it not been for an especially observant relative. Noticing red marks all over the girl's body, her grandma feared chicken pox and took her to the hospital, but they discovered the marks were actually BB gun pellet scars.
Thank God for Granny. The hospital counted more than 36 little marks on the child, who claimed that her stepfather had repeatedly shot her as punishment for waking him up too early. It gets worse. She also described being hog-tied with her hands and ankles bound behind her back when her room was messy and being made to pick things up with her teeth. Other times she said she and her sister had to squat against a wall for 30 minutes until their legs hurt "really bad."
As for the stepdad, he didn't deny all the abuse allegations. He showed officers the rifle and admitted to tying up the girls as punishment. If he is found guilty, he should be locked away in a dark, cold cell for years, but not before he is hog-tied and forced to feel the sting of BB pellets against his own flesh.
Though the saddest part of this tale is how the poor child says her mother reacted to the violence. "Her mom doesn't care about her getting shot and tied up and said her mom leaves because she doesn't want to hear her cry," officers revealed. The girl and her siblings have since been taken into custody and hopefully they are safe now. It was just by luck, I suppose, that someone noticed the welts. I'm glad someone cared about her health and welfare. That grandmother may not have realized it at the time, but she may have saved that child's life.
Are you amazed by how this abuse was discovered?
Image via Richard Elzy/Flickr