A Letter From Amber To anyone caring for children,
Everyone has heard the statistics about child abuse. We never think it could happen to our own children. But it can and it does. It happened to my infant twins in our own house. My 8-month-old babies were tortured and nearly killed while I was attending classes at college. The abuser was someone I loved and trusted. Grant* was my boyfriend at the time. He had supported me throughout the pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Grant had been very supportive about my pregnancy. He was about to graduate college with a degree in psychology, and aspired to counsel abused women and children. I thought the world of this man. Never once would I have imagined Grant was capable of such cruel and heinous behavior to any living thing. This was my downfall.
The logical part of my brain said it was impossible for such a gentleman to harm an innocent baby. But my instincts told me something was terribly wrong. When I took the babies to the doctor, I was told the children were fine. "If they were being abused, they would be considered 'failure to thrive'" the doctor told me. I had no real physical evidence to suspect abuse. All I had to go on was the rash on their faces (called petechiae) and an unsettled feeling in my gut.
There was this anxious tug whenever I left the babies with Grant. I couldn't shake that feeling. It proved to be right, there was something terrible going on. Had I not trusted my instincts, God knows what would have happened to my twins.
My advice to all parents: If any of this sounds familiar to you, if you have a "gut feeling" that something is not right, that there's a chance child abuse could be occurring, listen to your instincts and take action. Better to be safe than sorry.
* Editor's Note: Grant was convicted of child abuse and is currently serving a jail sentence.