montanezJust about all child abuse cases are sick and depressing, but this one is especially so. A couple has been arrested for putting an electric dog collar on a 9-year-old girl and forcing her to bark until she was shocked. Eduardo Montanez is accused of actually placing the collar on the girl, but his wife, Paula, reportedly witnessed the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Not that this treatment would be justified for anything a kid might do, but apparently this was punishment for a poor progress report.

The girl told police she'd been shocked only once, but investigators say marks on her neck suggest she may have been shocked multiple times. She also said the couple beat her several times. And she may not even be the couple's biological child.

I don't know if that last detail makes this story any worse, actually. The couple were arrested after the girl complained to a teacher -- and then the teacher did the right thing and reported her student's complaint to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Thank goodness the girl had someone she could trust. Think of all the children who suffer in silence because they don't have anyone in their lives who they think will believe them, let alone actually help them. If this girl had been in the foster system for a while, she could have been jaded about how much help social services can actually be.

Maybe it's just that she's still young -- and not enough adults have failed her yet. At any rate, the Montanezes could be proven guilty and be sent to prison. But where does that put their victim? She'll have to be placed with a new family, and I can only hope this time it will be a better one for her.

Do you think this girl is likely to be abused again?

 

Image via Danbury Police Department