October 20, 2013

We Register Cars, Don’t We?

10-20-2013 New York:

When you get a new appliance, do you take time to fill out the little card and register your toaster, coffee maker or iron? Of course you do, if you want the company to keep track of it and fix it in the event of a breakdown.

We’re pretty good in America about registering things. We register our preferences for baby shower or wedding gifts to avoid duplications. Voting registries make sure only those eligible can cast a ballot. We register our motorcycles, boats and cars so we — and the police — can keep track of them.

What we don’t do is keep tabs on people who abuse and neglect children. The overwhelmed young single mother who physically harms her children, the violent boyfriend who wants the other man’s children out of his way, the uncaring babysitter who disciplines with slaps and punches. Such violence against children often escalates to the point of murder.

The National Children’s Alliance, citing the latest annual figures, says more than 760,000 American children are abused or neglected every year. In 2009, an estimated 1,770 children died as a result. Congress has declared that number is “significantly underreported” and notes that more than 80 percent of the deaths are of defenseless children under the age of four.

If there had been some sort of national registry for cowards who hurt kids, little Tyrese Robert Ruffin might still be alive. The man who police have charged with beating the 2-year-old to death in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota apartment had a sordid past of violence against women with young children. (Patterson avoided jail time for the assault of a 3-year-old and his mother a year ago by agreeing to attend counseling.) ..Continued.. by DIANE DIMOND

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