OPINION

The unseen abuse of young children

For several days, television news bulletins were all focusing on the case of the 20-year-old woman who allegedly shook her 7-week-old baby to death because it would not stop crying. Five adults (the baby’s parents and three siblings of the 26-year-old father) had been living in the Neos Cosmos apartment where the baby died. There are allegations of drug abuse on the premises. The electricity and water had allegedly been cut off. Since the baby’s death over the weekend, municipal workers have carried off the former residents’ belongings in supermarket trolleys, preparing the filthy apartment for disinfection. This was an apartment like any other in a block like any other. But the sickness lurking behind closed doors was discovered too late for a child’s death to be prevented. Someone had notified social workers about the apartment’s residents but the complaint – undoubtedly one out of thousands – was not addressed in time. Another shocking fact revealed on television last weekend was the existence of a domestic cage designed for parents to lock up their children when they leave the house. The US-made product, sold via the Internet, is reportedly available in various sizes for children aged from 4 to 17 years of age, according to a report on Alpha channel. A more «advanced» model allegedly comes equipped with a 100-volt electroshock feature for disciplining restive youngsters. This particular model also has a facility to feed children who may be locked up for a long period of time. Evidently, there is a fine line between organized crime and violence on the global level and hidden abuse in the home.