Police in Phoenix, Arizona, say a 14-year-old girl was treated like a prisoner in her own home, starved, beaten and locked in a half-constructed bathroom for months. With no running water, the girl was forced to use a 5-gallon bucket as a toilet. Police say the girl was told she was punished for being irresponsible and for stealing food from the kitchen. The girl was also forced to exercise until she was exhausted, and was often beaten with belts and metal rods. The girl's father and stepmother, Scott and Andrea Bass, used to live in California and were contacted by CPS there on at least 14 different occasions. The couple has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, child abuse, neglect and unlawful imprisonment.
In Brownsville, Texas, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly confined in a closet for almost a year. With no electricity, police say the girl did her homework through the light coming through the cracks. Like the Phoenix case, she also used a bucket as a bathroom, which she was forced to clean every morning. The mom told police she kept the girl locked up because she didn't want her stealing food from the refrigerator, but police say the girl needed to eat. She was malnourished and looked like an 8- or 9-year-old instead of 12. One of the girl's three brothers finally told someone at school he was worried about his sister.
Dr. Phil and Robin are passionate about the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, which supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children, so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. Learn how you can make a huge difference in the lives of children through CASA:
- Learn more about CASA.
- Become a volunteer.
- Read Bonnie's blog about the rewards of being a CASA.
- Friend CASA on Facebook!