Throughout society, law enforcement officials and child abuse advocates and foster care attorneys implore citizens who witness crimes to take an important step: “See something? Say something.” An Okeechobee, Florida, mother has been arrested for not reporting suspected abuse of her two young children perpetrated by her husband.
Detectives with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) reportedly arrived at the family’s home this month on reports of child abuse. Investigators reported that the children, aged 2 and 4, suffered bruises and black eyes. One child had hair pulled out, the police reported. It was characterized as “extreme physical injury,” according to news reports.
Police arrested the husband, Curtis Roston Beachum, on charges of felony aggravated child abuse and felony child abuse without great bodily harm.
The children’s mother, Annastasia Williams, was charged with felony failure to report child abuse within the same home and two felony counts of child abuse with great bodily harm.
“He was a bad man,” the girl told a detective, according to news reports. The mother “was aware of the abuse but failed to protect (the victim),” stated the detective. Read the story here.
Child abuse happens everywhere. But it often occurs in the seclusion of the family home. Whether suspected abuse or violence is witnessed by family members, neighbors, school teachers, or other citizens, it’s important that we all take the next step: If we see something, we must say something.