Hansel and Gretel

WARNING:  Graphic Images

  • Jack Garcia, a 9 year old Maryland boy, was hand-cuffed and beaten mercilessly by his mother’s boyfriend for eating a slice of birthday cake without permission [1]. Robert Wilson then refused to allow the child medical attention for over four hours. A neighbor called 911, but Jack’s mother turned EMS workers away. By the time they returned, Jack had stopped breathing. Somehow the boy clung to life for almost 5 more days in the hospital, before dying of his injuries. It is expected that Wilson’s charges will be upgraded from assault and child abuse.
  • South Carolina parents, James and Crystal Driggers, have been arrested for forcing their 14 year old daughter to live alone in a tent in the woods, as punishment for eating a pop-tart without permission [2]. The girl was allowed nothing more than a roll of toilet paper, a flashlight, a whistle, and a watch in an area known for wild hogs. As food, the girl was given a can of spaghetti-o’s. She was not to return home for a week. Rescued by her grandmother during a severe thunderstorm, the girl was sent back to the tent by her parents. Investigation revealed she had been regularly turned out of their home for 10 hours at a time over the past month, denied water and the use of bathroom facilities during a period of 100 degree heat. The girl was taken to Social Services. Five other children were removed to their grandmother’s custody. The Driggers have been charged with unlawful neglect of a child. More charges are possible.

The punishment inflicted on these children for the most minor and understandable infractions exceeded all bounds of human decency. We search in vain for explanations for such degeneracy.

Few would treat a dog the way these helpless children were treated. And over a question of permission…as if that made the hell to which the children were subjected excusable.

Children are entitled to have their basic needs met – physical, emotional, and psychological.

Imagine how desperately this forsaken boy and girl longed for something good to eat, anything at all to eat. I cannot help but think of Hansel and Gretel, victimized by the witch. Though the children in that fairytale were hungry, too, at least their tormentor was not a family member.

How much more did these flesh and blood children long to hear a kind word, do you think?

Parents, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged [disheartened and dispirited; their spirits…broke through grief and trouble…or despairing of having any share in the affections of their parents…]” (Col. 3:21 NIV, with commentary from Gill’s Exposition).

Parenthood is a privilege and a blessing, whether it is recognized as that or not. Tenderness is – or should be – a prerequisite. If government intervention were not such a blunt instrument, an argument could almost be made in favor of licensing. At least in theory then permission could be denied the unfit.

[1] Daily News, “Maryland Boy Brutally Beaten for Eating Birthday Cake Dies in Hospital: Officials” by Boyle Murphy, 7/6/15, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/maryland-boy-brutally-beaten-eating-birthday-cake-dies-article-1.2283115.

[2] NBC News, “Parents Forced Daughter to Live in Woods After Eating Unauthorized Pop-Tart: Police” by Kathryn Robinson, 7/6/15, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/parents-force-daughter-live-woods-after-eating-pop-tart-n387591.



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion

12 responses to “Hansel and Gretel

  1. Reblogged this on Cardozo and commented:

    What a wicked world

  2. Heartbreaking. I always wonder why these women with young children let these freeloading boyfriends move in with them.

  3. These are heart-breaking stories. I cannot understand how or why these so-called parents can treat a child like this. I have a dream that no more children will be murdered by their parents. I have a dream that every child will have loving parents – their basic human right. I have a dream that child cruelty will have no place in our so-called civilization. Cruelty to children must stop.

    • Thank you for your kind heart, Marie. I always hesitate reporting on such tragedies. Too many out there know this cruelty firsthand. They do not need to be reminded of it. But these children deserve a witness.

      • Absolutely, Anna. I was one of those children and yes when I read these stories, I am reminded of my own experiences. You are such a “warrior” for these children, and I cannot think of a better spokesperson and a more deserving cause. Thank you for speaking for them. I hope one day that we will no longer have to read or hear about another child being harmed.

      • That you survived to become such a compassionate woman is amazing, Marie. It is an honor for me to know you and others like you. I do what little I can.

        With love,

        Anna ❤

      • Anna, I’m speechless! Thank you so much. The chances are I never will, but it would be such an honour and a pleasure to meet you in person. For now, I am glad for the connection on WordPress. With love, Marie x

      • God bless you, Marie. You are certainly a blessing to me.

  4. jacqui

    Dear Anna, I felt powerless reading the tragedy of these two little ones, two of so very many ….. as the darkness surfaces more and more I am glad to know the True Light of the world Jesus and one day there will be no more pain and tears….. it seems like whatever we do is just a drop in an ocean but rather that than nothing. Many blessings jacqui xx

    • I wrestled with whether to write about these poor children. In the end, it seemed to me that someone should at least take note of their lives.

      I don’t know that we can prevent such tragedies…not entirely. Oh, we can punish the culprits. But that is often too late. All we can really do is educate, rescue, and — if possible — repair.

      Much of the repair falls to God, in any case. He works through some wonderful psychiatrists and psychologists, and is capable when human means fail. Still, I long for a day when pain like this is no more.

      Till then, we must continue to fight against darkness in whatever small way we can.


      Anna ❤

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