Each year in April, dozens gather in Lansing to march and chant “no excuse for child abuse” in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s a saying repeated over and over again at the State Capitol today.
“My son had urinated himself because he was not allowed to use the bathroom um he was also forced to drink dish soap from a cup,” says Christyne Kadlitz.
Kadlitz says, her son was abused at the hands of his father’s girlfriend. And only one month after Kadlitz took her to court, she says, that same woman started dating a new man, and took aim at a new target.
“He’s had four brain surgery’s two eye surgery’s, he’s going to forever need my help,” says Erica Hammel.
Hammel’s son, Wyatt, was just one year old when he suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Though Hammel had her suspicions about the new woman spending time with her son, she had no idea about her history, until it was too late.
“He suffered a major brain bleed, fractured skull, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, which has left him blind in the left eye, and broken ribs,” says Hammel.
Her experience has inspired Hammel to say, enough is enough. She’s reached out to local legislators and teamed up with other local organizations to fight for the creation of a searchable registry that would list anyone convicted of a child abuse crime. Something she believes, could have prevented what happened to her son, and many others like him.
“People need to wake up, this is an epidemic, and it’s our children, and it’s our future that is being killed off,” says Cheryl Scott, organizer of Dominick’s Warrior’s.
These families say, events like today’s march are important to raise awareness about the need to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
Wyatt’s Law is making it’s way through the Michigan Capitol right now. If passed, it would create a registry of convicted child abusers that is available to the public.