April is national Child Abuse Awareness Month and in honor of that I would like to bring to you all a review about a book that brings awareness to child abuse. The book is called Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel.
Summary:Ursula Sunshine Assaid is five years old (her father gave her the middle name Sunshine because he wanted her initials to be U.S.A.). She lives with her mother, Susan Assaid, and her mother’s boyfriend, Don McDougall, in Florida. Ursula’s father lives in California. Ursula wants to tell everyone a story. It is about the last week of her life.
Review:What happens when a child misses several days of school and when she finally comes back the signs are all there but no one notices? Or when there are other adults present from time to time in the home but no one says anything? Or when neighbors see the signs that something is wrong but rather than call someone they simply shake their heads and turn the other way? Ursula’s story is a real life example of what can happen when the warning signs of child abuse are ignored.
Readers, I challenge you to read this book. It may not be very easy because this book gives the details everything that Don McDougall and Susan Assaid did to Ursula that last week before she finally died as a result of the abuse. That being said, it is a short book and you could easily read it in stages or all at once, whichever way is easiest for you. This book is an amazing look at what can happen in abusive homes, why it happens, and what can happen when people do not report child abuse when they see evidence of it.
There is a particularly helpful chapter at the end of this book written by a professional about the signs that a child is being abused. If you are someone who works with children in any capacity, I encourage you to get a copy of this book, if for no other reason than to read that one chapter, and share it with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, so as to be aware of the signs.
After reading the book, I encourage everyone to take a look at the child abuse laws in your area. They are usually easily accessible online. If you are in the U.S., you can go to www.childwelfare.gov and find lots of great information on recognizing and reporting child abuse.
The adults in Ursula’s life failed her. Let’s do our best to make everyone aware of child abuse and its signs and make sure that tragedies like this happen to as few children as possible.
Links to buy Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard:**Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard is no longer in print. There are used copies and eBook copies available on Amazon.com:
For those of you who may want to know if Ursula’s case was resolved before you begin the book, Yes, Susan Assaid and Don McDougall were both convicted of their crimes and sent to jail. Don, who did most of the abuse, was denied appeal. Later, when it came close to the time that Don was scheduled to be released from jail, a radio host got a copy of the book and read it over the air. Inmates who heard the story murdered Don before he was released back into society.
Until next time and with happier subjects to come,