The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 13, 2013

Never shake a child


Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Editor:

Another shaken baby case in Vermilion County.

Another innocent child’s life irreparably altered.

Another thoughtless adult acting out his frustration through violence.

Another disappointment — defeat, really — for child advocates, including Prevent Child Abuse Illinois and, locally, Reagan’s Rescue.

If similar cases are any indication, this is what Vermilion County residents can expect: friends and relatives coming to the aid of the perpetrator explaining that he would never hurt anyone; a defense attorney claiming the child’s injuries were actually the result of some pre-existing condition; delay after frustrating delay in the courts; and any time served only half of the pronounced sentence. These conditions are indicative of numerous child abuse cases in Illinois and around the country.

Once again, I implore readers to spread the following: Shaken Baby Syndrome (Abusive Head Trauma) is 100 percent preventable. Never, ever, shake a baby or a child! Anyone can reach that breaking point, even someone without a history of violence.

Once again, I call on state legislators to work toward stiffer sentences for those who would harm or kill children through abuse.

Former state Rep. Bill Black got a bill passed by an overwhelming 112-3. Unfortunately, that bill was allowed to die in the Illinois Senate.

I also encourage readers to check out the Reagan’s Rescue website at http://www.reagansrescuefund.com for more information concerning child abuse, child advocacy efforts, and Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Greg Williams

Reagan’s Rescue

Danville