KARA has been reporting and speaking on critical issues impacting abused and neglected children for many years.

this article submitted by long time CASA guardian ad Litem Mike Tikkanen

Sign KARA’s Petition for American Lawmakers to Ratify the UN Rights of the Child Treaty

America is the only nation on earth that is not a party to the international rights of the child treaty of 1989.

Zepora Fortenberry will spend 27 months in prison for watching her boyfriend Charles Homich punch 3 year-old Zayden Lawson to death.

Zayden was one of two foster children this mom cared for along with her two biological children.  For weeks (or months) Zayden and his siblings lived in sheer terror of Zepora’s boyfriend…

Imagine the torture Zayden’s brothers and sister lived through watching the violence repeatedly done to their brother in their home while their mother watched.

Think about being five or six years old and seeing 30 pound Zayden beaten by a large man and the memory of Zayden’s violent death seared into their brain forever.

Think about being five or six years old and seeing 30 pound Zayden beaten by a large man and the memory of Zayden’s violent death seared into their brain forever.

What violence did the other children experience in the home? Will they ever find healing of the terrors they have lived with or will they live dysfunctional lives like so many other traumatized children?  80% of children aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives.

Would a safe & functioning foster care system system have saved Zayden’s life?

 

Child rape and violence are almost always hidden behind family secrecy.

It’s an awful topic that doesn’t sell newspapers unless it’s over the top horrific or the child dies a violent death.

Children have no voice in the homes they are raised in, the media, the courts or the statehouse. Children really have no civil rights – they are property – like pets or women before 1918.

As a long-time volunteer CASA guardian ad litem voice for children in the child protection system, it’s painful to see the horrors of rape and violence done to children and so much of it.

 

Hating the adult perpetrators involved is instinctual and useless.

People who commit this kind of evil come from a place so dark and dysfunctional that murdering a child is just one of the torturous behaviors they are capable of.

We all should want to end or at least slow the torture & madness involved. If we are to end the public health crisis of generational child abuse in our time children need to have the civil rights to safety & a community that supports them.

It is stunning to read the family history of the parents involved in child abuse cases in County Court.

Abused daughters become teen and preteen moms with violent boyfriends, drug habits and no parenting skills.

Generational child abuse was a very real thing to this 3-year-old dying from repeated beatings administered by a violently disturbed boyfriend.

Only a terribly damaged human being could hit a very young child – how broken must you be to beat a 3 year-old to death slowly over time?

If fixing people before they kill or rape a 3 year old’s is what we want, and please agree that is what we want, then accepting generational child abuse as a public health crisis is a first step in solving this awful problem.

37% of American children are reported to child protective services by their 18th birthday in this nation today – unless they come from African American families & that statistic is 53%.

 

Sign KARA’s Petition for American Lawmakers to Ratify the UN Rights of the Child Treaty  & share this with your networks.

America is the only nation on earth that is not a party to the international rights of the child treaty of 1989.

 

 

 

 

From the Star Tribune Article;

An Eagan woman admitted Thursday to manslaughter in connection with allowing her boyfriend to punch her 3-year-old foster child in the stomach for weeks.

Zeporia Fortenberry, 32, pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court to second-degree manslaughter, a felony count that involves child neglect through permitting a pattern of physical abuse of Zayden Lawson until his death in June 2017. A second manslaughter charge alleging child neglect or endangerment was dismissed.

Judge David Knutson immediately sentenced Fortenberry to a term of slightly less than 3½ years and ordered her to pay restitution and a $500 fine. With credit for time in jail since her arrest, Fortenberry will serve the first 2¼ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.

Charles W. Homich, 28, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 13.

“We are pleased to have held Zeporia Fortenberry responsible for her role in this tragic case that claimed the life of this little boy,” said County Attorney James Backstrom.

Thank you Paul Walsh and Star Tribune for reporting on murder and violence done to children.

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