Tag Archives: Neglect

ND Cares About Children

.jpg photo graphic for Child Abuse in North Dakota
Parenting and Nurturing Classes are Typical Order in Child Abuse Cases

Parenting and Nurturing Classes are Typical
Order in Child Abuse Cases

BISMARCK, ND  –  Tuesday, KX News told you the heartbreaking story of a 12-week-old baby murdered, and her father accused of the crime.

The suspect Jose Rivera-Rieffel has a past history of child abuse.  We’re continuing coverage tonight, as we look at child abuse in our communities.

The accused Jose Rivera-Rieffel was court mandated to take parenting and nurturing classes through the court system.

However, he never took those classes as part of his probation process.

We wanted to know more about what these parenting and nurturing classes are, and how they can help the community.

Constance Keller has been teaching families about parenting for 10 years.  The program is run through the Department of Human Services and the NDSU Extension Service.

Keller says well over 50 percent of those who take the course are mandated to be there.

She says the most important factor is that parents leave the program more empathetic.  Keller says if someone has empathy, they simply will not abuse their children.

The North Dakota Parenting Program Facilitator adds, “They’re going to learn how to respect their children and look at their children as other human beings.  You know, not just something they’re caring for every single minute of the day, but they’re teaching them how to go out in the world and to be a good person.”

The NDSU Extension Service also offers parenting tips and classes for people wanting more information on being a parent.

The Extension Service says it’s a misconception that parenting education is only for those who are bad parents.

The website below will show you how you can attend classes across the state of North Dakota: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pen

Severe Abuse Suspected In Indiana Case

.jpg photo of man arrested for severely abusing children
Shannon Breaux, 33

Couple arrested in Child Abuse case out of West Lafayette

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN  –  A man and woman are facing charges after two children were abused in West Lafayette, according to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office.

.jpg photo of woman arrested for severely abusing children
Ashley Stigers, 32

Deputies were called to investigate the case in the 6100 block of Warrior Dr. Tuesday evening.

The investigation was eventually turned over to detectives, who later arrested 33-year-old Shannon Breaux and 32-year-old Ashley Stigers.

Breaux is facing charges of neglect of a dependent, battery by strangulation, and confinement, all level 6 felonies.  Stigers has been charged with neglect of a dependent.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Stigers had posted bond and Shannon remained in custody at the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Authorities did not provide details regarding the suspects’ relation to the victims.

Victim Running For Victimized And Prevention

.jpg photo of Child Abuse advocate raising money to fight Abuse
Christian Griffith is running 3,000 miles from New York to San Francisco to raise $1 million for “Help for Children”.

Man running coast to coast to raise
awareness about Child Abuse stops in STL

ST. LOUIS, MO  –  A man who is running across the country to spread awareness about child abuse spoke in St. Louis Monday.

Christian Griffith is running 3,000 miles from New York to San Francisco.  He was a victim of child abuse as a teenager.

He is now running to raise $1 million for “Help for Children,” an organization dedicated to helping those abused and child abuse prevention.

“Help for Children is working on preventing this from happening to kids in the first place,” said Griffith.

So far he has run 800 miles and raised $200,000.

He heads back to Chicago on Tuesday where he will resume his journey.

NM Doing More To Protect Children

CYFD has new focus in efforts to stop
Child Abuse

New Mexico’s child care center workers overseeing more than 50,000 kids are about to get more help when it comes to identifying and reporting child abuse.

“We are advocates for these children and we do want what’s best for the children,” Coronado Children’s Center Co-Director Rogelle Price stated.

CYFD is sending packets this week to the state’s 750 child care centers about its new “Pull Together” initiative, which includes information that tells them how to identify signs of abuse or neglect and report it by calling #SAFE (1-855-333-SAFE), which directs them to the CYFD’s call center.

“[More calls] will help us get the reports that we need so that we can go out, do the investigations to keep these children safe,” CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson said.

Jacobson also said she knew there needed to be an immediate change after the CYFD questioned whether a child care center could have done more to spot a recent child abuse case.

“We reached out to the child care center to talk to them about what they may have seen or known and really ask them why things were not reported.  We found that there was just an uncertainty of how to report or what to report,” she added.

She said a similar initiative in New Mexico school districts led to 550 more reports to CYFD over the past two years.

“It’s a double-edged sword:  We want them to report which is good because it’s getting eyes on children who need eyes on them.  It’s just always sad when we see our child abuse numbers increase,” she stated.

To compare the number of reports, school districts in 2017 called #SAFE 5,387 times, while all of the child care centers made 100 calls, according to CYFD.

CYFD also says another reason child care center reporting numbers are lower than they could be is because some child care workers report to police without knowing they can call CYFD directly.

UT Mother Charged With Felony Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Utah Mother arrested for felony child abuse
Mother arrested for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children.

Woman arrested for Child Abuse after
toddlers found in bug infested trailer
without any food

WASHINGTON COUNTY, UT  –  A woman has been booked into jail on a charge of child abuse after police say her children were found filthy and underfed in a trailer infested with cockroaches and other bugs.

According to a statement of probable cause, Virginia M. Martinez has been booked on one count of child abuse as a third-degree felony.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to Martinez’s home on the Shivwits Reservation April 7 due to a verbal argument between Martinez and a male subject.

Responding officers say Martinez was intoxicated, agitated and hard to reason with and that the inside of the trailer was “destroyed”.  Police say there were holes in the walls, floors and ceiling.  They said one bathroom had an inoperable toilet inside a shower, while in another bathroom the toilet worked but the shower was inoperable with holes in the floor.

Police say Martinez’s two children were filthy and a 3-year-old boy covered in mud was eating noodles off a counter that were so old they had dried out and changed color.  A 2-year-old girl was also found to be very dirty, and both children had bug bites on their bodies.  Police say the trailer was infested with cockroaches and other bugs.

Martinez did not have food in the home, documents state, and police say it appears she had no transportation or means to get food.  Police say a family member came to the home while officers were there and told them the woman is an addict but doesn’t want to go to rehab to get clean.

Police say they observed the 2-year-old girl playing near a broken porch and asked Martinez to keep an eye on the girl, but the woman told police the girl had fallen before and learned her lesson and would not fall again.  The child then fell off the porch and was checked out by medical personnel.

Martinez was arrested for child abuse and for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children.  Police state the Division of Child and Family Services were to take custody of both children.