A Child Called It As A Writing On Child Abuse Cases

Child Called it was a tragic tale. The saddest thing about child abuse is that no one pays attention to it. Brianna López and Terrell Peterson are both examples of horrific child abuse.

Terrell Peterson, 5 years old, was tortured and killed while his case was still under state surveillance. Many calls were made to authorities claiming that Terrell Peterson’s mother was using welfare checks and food stamps to purchase crack cocaine and was taking drugs while pregnant. The parents kept their children locked in their bedroom at night and denied them water and food. The mother is on drugs, while children are unsupervised.Children are begging neighbors for food. Mother is addicted to cocaine ” These were only a few of many complaints that police receive regularly. Ten officers oversaw it. It was not completed until June 1996. Terrell was given to Pharina (grandmother) along with Terrell’s half brother/half sister. The agents did not have much contact with Terrell while he was under her care and no monthly visits. In his apartment, Terrell was tied to a banister with pantyhose. Police also discovered written instructions to Terrell that stated that he should eat oatmeal for breakfast, grits at lunch and grits at dinner. Joanne Bryant, Terrell’s teacher, found Terrell digging in the trash can at school searching for food. He had been beaten around Thanksgiving break 1996. This led to him being taken to the hospital and diagnosed with Battered Child syndrome. Pharina Peterson, a misdemeanor charge was brought against her.

Terrell had previously accused Peterson of assaulting him. Terrell never appeared in court. His caseworker was the one who brought Terrell there. Terrell’s absence, and Terrell herself were not questioned. Municipal court judge Catherine E. Malicki dropped the charges against Terrell because ‘the victim wasn’t in court’. Terrell received an internal memo from Judge Catherine, which stated that the trial was held and that there was no evidence to support child abuse. Terrell was dismissed. Due to the seriousness of the injuries, no investigation was conducted and no charges were filed. From the time Terrell sustained these injuries to his death, until his murder a year later, no one from child services ever visited Terrell. Terrell died from blunt impact injuries to his head and abuse of violent extremities.

Brianna Lopez, 5 months old, was born February 14, 2002 and died July 19, 2002. Her mother never took care of her. Brianna Lopez was routinely raped every day by her father Andrew Walters. They never said anything, even Stephanie. Steven, Andy, Stephanie started drinking. Stephanie says she had a few beers and then went to bed. Steven and Andy stayed with Brianna as they drank. Andy and Steven saw it as a funny idea to toss Brianna into the air after Stephanie was asleep. She was thrown high enough to touch the ceiling. After that, she fell to the floor. It is unknown how long they played, but the father admitted that he “throwing her up three or four times”. Steven and Andy claimed Brianna was crying while the abuse continued. Stephanie claims she didn’t hear any of the abuse that night. Later in police interrogations Steven Lopez confessed that he started to sodomize Baby Brianna late at night, but that he stopped after realizing that what was happening was wrong. Stephanie woke up to hear Brianna scream the next day. Andy and Steven asked Stephanie what had happened to her baby, and she saw bruises all over her infant. They said they were “a bit rough with her last nights”. Stephanie didn’t want to know more and ignored Briannas injuries and pain. Stephanie noticed that Brianna wasn’t breathing and was not responding to her commands. She called 911 and reported that her daughter had fallen off her high-chair. Brianna died at 11:10am. She was rushed to hospital. Brianna suffered horrific abuse almost immediately after she left hospital. Andrew Walters, her uncle, and baby Brianna were constantly slapped and kicked and punched and thrown at them. Stephanie’s mother testified later that Stephanie used to pinch and bite her baby Brianna, when she got annoyed by her screaming. Although family members knew about the horrible abuse Baby Brianna was suffering, they didn’t tell authorities. “I wasn’t interested in getting involved.” Poor baby died five months after being born because no one wanted to participate.

Although these abuses don’t look exactly like Daves, they are very similar. While some people knew, not many were willing to seek help. Both these cases and Daves were caused by their families and other relatives. These two are different because Dave saved them, but this little girl or boy could not. This is unacceptable. Childhood abuses must be addressed. It is wrong for children to be punished so severely or even starved.


  • stanleybyrne

    Stanley Byrne is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher. He has degrees in education and political science from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in various teaching and research positions since he graduated in 2014. He is the author of a number of educational blog posts and has written for Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Salon.