On the Katrina Kennedy-Flores Video

Yes, screaming IS abuse. 

It’s not the cuss words themselves that make it abuse–especially for a toddler who probably doesn’t know the difference between a cuss word and a “regular” word–but the anger behind it.  The kid recognizes the anger.  And yes, physical abuse followed, but the screaming alone was verbal and emotional abuse.  You can hear the terror in that poor kid’s voice.  He’s just a baby!

A few links with good information on this case:

Child abuse video posted on Facebook: Katrina Kennedy-Flores arrested, child in protective custody

Mother arrested for child abuse; bystander cited for recording, not intervening

Mother, 27, arrested after sickening video of her punching and threatening to KILL her two-year-old son for losing her phone charger was posted online

The links also discuss the bystander who filmed the abuse, Sue.  People are saying nasty things about her and making death threats, but the story is that she can barely walk or move, and made the video to prove her allegations.  That she had spoken to the mother before, and was frustrated at no results from CPS in the past.  She said she and her son, also in the video, were frightened for their own lives.

I also got the impression, while watching, that they were trying to find the charger to try to pacify the mother and stop the tirade.  I’m not quite sure what someone who can barely move is supposed to do.  As for her son, I see comments that he’s mentally disabled; I don’t know what that means in his case.

She has been charged for not intervening, so she’ll get her day in court to have a jury decide if she was able to intervene or not.  Let them do it, not Facebook lynch mobs.  I know for myself how you can be terrified by a wild woman, and afraid to do anything but watch in disbelief and horror as she smacks a kid around.

In any case, she says herself that she didn’t do enough.  But she made the video to get evidence so something would finally be done about the abuse.  And something has finally been done.  Let’s not make it even harder for people to get the courage to report abuse.  It’s already scary enough; I was terrified when I reported Tracy.

I detest the Youtube etc. comments on Sue’s weight, even saying her weight is probably her disability.  Excuse me, but do you know anything at all about her medical history?  Maybe her weight came from her disability, not the other way around.  Maybe she has a tumor or glandular problem.  Maybe her legs are paralyzed or arthritic.  You don’t know, so don’t presume to know, and don’t fat-shame her over it.

I’ve seen comments on this video–as you typically do every time one of these videos comes out–that screaming is not abuse.  But I was glad to see responses that yes, it is, screaming is very harmful to a young child, and people should learn about child development before making statements like that.

I’ve written about the abuses I witnessed from Tracy here; this not only traumatized me, but drove me to post here and on Facebook so adamantly against child abuse.  It’s my way to work out the trauma.

I’ve heard her scream at her children in decibels like in the video.  And yes, I was frightened of her, too.  The abusive episodes didn’t last long enough for me to do anything about it, probably tempered because of my presence.  But her husband told me about more intense episodes, especially when she lived with her parents and away from his influence.

I reported Tracy for it, but I have no idea if Social Services did anything about it, or just dropped the ball as often happens in these cases–including the Kennedy-Flores case before this video was made.

Keep in mind cell phones didn’t have videotaping abilities back then, so I couldn’t have made a record; I can only hope Tracy’s children had the courage to speak up and substantiate what I reported.  But children can often be too terrified to do so.

This is what made me want nothing to do with Tracy.  And while sometimes her husband would tell me she was abusive toward their children, sometimes he defended her and even said screaming is not abuse.

So it encourages me greatly to see people step up and say, No, this IS abuse, and it causes serious harm to children even without bruises or broken bones.  It gives me hope that one day, child abuse of all kinds will diminish.

It also encourages me greatly to see that something was done in this case, and the mother is up on charges.

Though many appear to share my frustration that other crimes often seem to get tougher charges and sentences than ones for child abuse, such as Tracy’s husband–also an abuser–only getting probation for choking his kid.

This is another reason why I post about these things: because the system so badly failed in prosecuting Tracy’s husband, giving him a misdemeanor and probation, when he originally was charged with felonies and should’ve gotten prison time.

So obviously, while our country has made many good changes, it still has a long way to go to stamp out child abuse.  The laws need more teeth–and not for people who simply let their kids walk to the park alone, but for people who emotionally, verbally and physically abuse their kids.

Hopefully Kennedy-Flores won’t simply walk with a plea deal for probation as well.

Update 5/21/16: From this page:

The home owner claims she uploaded the video to the internet because police were not acting fast enough to take the child away after her son allegedly handed the footage into police.

Sue’s sister said she and her family are receiving death threats from Flores-Kennedy.

Sue has been charged for not intervening but claims she couldn’t because she is disabled and was scared for her teenage son’s welfare who was in the house at the time, ABC 7 News reports.

Women like this child’s mother frighten not just small children, but adults as well.  Keep that in mind, and how scared the child was just by screams, before she even touched him.  The above link also includes a video of an interview with Sue.

Woman Who Called Police

 

According to the study, researchers analyzed 75 studies that involve more than 160,000 children in a span of 50 years.

They found spanking a child leads to bad behaviors, not better manners.

Researchers said spanked kids are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial. They said their findings are incredibly consistent, and show no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes.

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” said Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”

Spanking and physical abuse results had the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.

“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors,” Gershoff said. “Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.” —Study: Spanking leads to bad behaviors, not better manners

 

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