David Vaughn Bruce appeared in court Monday before Missoula county Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech on multiple charges of assault on a minor: each count, punishable by up to 5 years jail time and/or a $50,000 fine.
The 25-year old Missoula man, held on $100,000 bond, admitted to dropping the 3-month old little girl last week as well as biting the child on the cheek in an effort to cease her crying.
According to documents filed in the case, Bruce reportedly told deputy county attorney Patricia Bower he is a man with a “monster inside” who is prone to accidents “ as well a screwing up.” After the Friday interview, Bruce was arrested. A preliminary hearing date is set for June 24, 2013.
Child Abuse Statistics In The United States
Sadly, Bruce’s horrific act is not an anomaly. In the United States each year more than 6 million children are involved in filed child abuse reports. Burns, bites, bruises, beatings and broken bones often go unreported. 48.5 percent of abused children are male. 51.2 percent are female.
Who Are The Abusers?
SafeHaven.org, an abuse victim’s advocacy group reports:
- 81.2 percent of abusers are someone the child knows: parent, relative, neighbor, teacher, a family friend or trusted member of the clergy.
- The majority of abuser fall in an age group of 20 to 29 years.
- 45.2 percent of abusers are male
- 53.5 percent of abuser are female
- Of the reports, 45.2% of the perpetrators were male and 53.6% were female.
Safe Haven describes the consequents of child abuse:
- “Babies who are victims of shaken baby syndrome can suffer bleeding in the eye or brain; damage to the spinal cord and neck; rib and bone fractures. These injuries can be fatal.
- Child physical abuse can result in the malformation of the brain, resulting in impaired mental development and lack of growth in vital areas.
- Child abuse victims as young as three years of age have shown signs of depression and withdrawal symptoms.
- Child abuse victims are more likely to exhibit anti-social behaviors, including borderline personality disorders and violent behavior.
- Child abuse victims placed in foster or kinship care because of abuse or neglect were found to score lower than other students in tests of cognitive capacity, language development, and academic achievement.”
A recent study of young adults who survived neglect or abuse reports 80 percent evidenced at least one psychiatric disorder by the age of 21: anxiety, depression, eating disorders and suicide attempts were common.
A United States Department of Health and Human Services study of America’s homeless youth. discovered 46 percent of those included in the survey had run away from a living situation in which they experienced physical abuse. 17 percent escaped sexual abuse.
The sad fact is that young persons who were victims of neglect and abuse are 25 percent more inclined to experience mental health problems, teen pregnancies and encounters with law enforcement.
In a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study of homeless youth, it found that 46% of those surveyed had escaped a home where they suffered physical abuse, and 17% left because of sexual abuse.
Young people who were victims of child abuse and neglect are 25% more likely to suffer mental health problems, are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior, experience teen pregnancies and to participate in excessive alcohol consumption and illicit drug use.
A National Institute of Justice report advises neglected and abused children are 11 times more likely to participate in criminal activity during their teenage years and 3.1 times more likely to be arrested for involvement in a violent crime.
As adults, abused and neglected children have a higher incidence of high blood pressure, ulcers, asthma, bronchitis, allergies and arthritis. Panic attacks, dissociative disorders, anger management issues, alcoholism, drug abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder are common amongst adults who survived childhood physical abuse.
Abused Children May Grow Up To Become Abusers
Concerned child advocates caution, “Researchers estimate that one-third of abused and neglected children will grow up to abuse their own children when they become parents.”
Battered Children Need Your Help, Intervention And Protection
Pull your head out of the sand America. Take action, become involved in your community and report any and all suspected cases of child abuse.
Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics: How much money does the United States spend on public elementary and secondary schools?
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation: National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 1997-2010
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families: 2010 Child Maltreatment Report. http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/statistics/can.cfm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families. http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/statistics/can.cfm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families: Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect.
U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health: The Relationship Between Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Health Practices of Homeless Adolescents (Johnson, Rew, Sternglanz, 2006)
U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse: Exploring the Role of Child Abuse in Later Drug Abuse (Swan, 1998)
Safe Horizon Child Abuse Facts and Statistics