A mother who allows her child to be abused, even if she doesn't take part in the physical beating, is just as culpable as the abuser himself.
The details surrounding the death of Emma, a 4-year-old toddler in Texas, are gruesome no matter how strong your stomach, but if you have a daughter that age, they are tear-your-eyes-out painful.
But no matter how horrific the child abuse is. And it is horrific. Nothing can compare to the fact that this child's mother -- Abigail Young -- allowed it to happen.
The family was reported to the authorities after the little girl was diagnosed with herpes, the same kind of herpes both the mother and her boyfriend, Lucas Coe, had. Still, she did nothing to protect her daughter. In fact, she left her alone with this boyfriend for hours at a time.
The details are too hideous to get into and it's painful reading. But the real question is: what kind of mother chooses her boyfriend over her child?
I feel like I read this story time and again and every time it makes me sick. I'm not a single mom (and neither was Young -- she left her husband for this maniac), but even if I were, my children's safety would be my number one concern. It is anyway.
It isn't even about what I would do, either. We may all disagree on finer points of parenting, but one thing all good parents know is that our job is to protect our innocent children. From falls, from broken bones, and from predators. This mother invited one into her home and handed over her child to him.
We simply cannot tolerate this as a society. The man who did this is clearly a sorry excuse for a human being and should be thrown away (or killed), but the mom is the one who breaks my heart.
Our babies expect us to protect them and keep them safe from danger. This woman invited it into her home and cleaned up his messes. She is serving 20 years for her involvement, but whatever punishment he gets, she should get, too.
She is just as guilty. Maybe even more.
What do you think of this case?
Image via alancleaver_2000/Flickr