When to get help: A Specialist’s advice on
spotting signs of Child Abuse
TOLEDO, OH – Twenty five-year-old Zach Shadix , the man accused of killing 8-month-old Gabrielle Walker, appeared in court Thursday. Walker’s mother Lisa Eck spoke out about the crime saying she never saw it coming.
“I had woke up and went and made the baby a bottle like I do every morning. I went to her bassinet to get her and she was black and blue all over the right side of her face,” said Eck.
Eck told NBC 24 Shadix lived with her, the infant, and her 9 year-old son for 6 months without any problems. Child behavior experts at the Family and Childhood Abuse Prevention Center in Toledo say the one’s closest to you often commit crimes.
“A child is more likely to be hurt and killed by someone they trust,” said Dr. Christie Jenkins CEO of the center.
She deals with victims and their families, warning them of red flags.
“They’re scared, they cry they can be very clingy to the caregiver that’s not abusing them,” said Jenkins of the behavior of abused children.
While children might show a change in behavior there’s also the physical signs with odd-shaped bruises.
“When it’s abuse there’s typically circular motions there’s indentations of actual pieces of objects,” said Jenkins.
Even if an abuser isn’t harming a child psychically, there are often signs in the way they treat adults including getting easily frustrated along with being emotionally and physically abusive.
In addition to short tempers abusers will often have a rocky past. Court documents show Shadix had prior charges in Lucas County for violent behavior.
“If they’re going to do that with you when you’re gone and that baby is completely helpless, they’re going to do that with that child,” said Jenkins.
Right now Shadix is in custody, while Eck says she’s still processing what happened to her child.
If the above signs sound familiar or you have questions about child abuse the center offers free counseling and one-on-one sessions. You can visit their website to find more information.