You were the first abused kid I spoke out for. At recess, amongst flying basketballs and kids shouting your name, you stood there, dissociate, blank and very far away.
I was so sure. I mustered huge courage and sat down with the school administrator. I said "Eric needs help. I think he is being abused." I made my case, reporting all the signs and symptoms. I dont know if the school ever investigated or called protective services.
Maybe that's a call I should have made. I didn't know what else to do.
After that, every time I saw him, I would smile, say hi and pat his shoulder. I wanted him to know I cared.
Eric killed himself in prison yesterday. He had murdered a police officer and had recently been sentenced to life. Every time I saw his face, those eyes, on tv, something was familiar, I just didn't know what.
Now I know.
I knew something very bad was happening to Eric. I did my best to try and get help. I didn't do enough. I failed this innocent young boy. His parents/ guardians failed him. The teachers, administrators and bystanders who knew he was being hurt, failed him.
For Gods sake, call child protective services if you suspect a child is being hurt.
A police officer lost his life. Eric's son will never know his dad.
Child Abuse Kills