Shaken Baby Syndrome(SBS) is an injury a baby cause by being shaken violently and repeatedly. The shaken can cause swelling of the brain, internal bleeding detached retinas leading to blindness, mental problem, and death. It’s a severe form of physical child abuse that result in an injury to the brain of an infant child which is Abusive Head Trauma(AHT). All the victims suffer serious form long-term health and medical problem range from vision problems, development delay, physical disabilities, and hearing loss and one of every four child die. In the United States, between $1500 to over $10,000 Shaken Baby Syndrome cases are reported each year. The children who suffer from shaken baby syndrome range from ages 3 months to 4-year age. The average hospital bills range to over $150,000 and the life time treatment cost over $180,00. Most of the cost are not over by insurance and family have to pay out of pocket expenses. The perpetrators are normal the father or mother, other family members, friends, and caregivers that causes this violent crime against an innocent child.
The reason why SBS is a justice issue because not all of the perpetrator are punished that same for the crime. There is no retribution in most of these case, when all evident are presented the perpetrator are not punished or pay its debt to society. The criminal case can take up to three to six years are long depend on the state justice system. The perpetrator will only receive jail or prison time only is the child die and than it become a murder charge. The injustice, when the child doesn’t die and the perpetration don’t face jail time and only receive suspended probation for two years depend on the they criminal records. The time frame of the criminal proceeding takes such as long time, it makes it hard to file a civil suit because of the statute of limitations. Most states statutes of limitation range from one to three years to file a civil suit and if the criminal case is not completed not civil law suit can be filed.
The story of Baby Kimar, at 14 months became a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome in the hand of her Child Care Provider. The perpetrator was charge with a Class C felony in Fayetteville, NC. The criminal proceeding taken three years to completed and because of the timing, the statute of limitations had run out. The perpetrator only received two years suspended probation because of a guilty plea and could only be around her own children. There was no trial and no explanation on why the perpetrator injury the child. Another a mother whom daughter was also a victim of SBS and waited six years for the trial to complete. Upon that six years the case was dismiss and perpetrator charges was drop. The was no no justice for either mother and many other families that have to deal with the disappointment.
The action that should be taken for justice is to have all child abuse cases should be treated the same. The same sentence should be carry for both murder and attempted murder towards a child. The time frame for any child abuse that have a long term health consequence should be reduce so that justice is served in those cases. Make SBS a Crime that the charges will be time serve in jail/prison whether or not the child live or die. The Federal and State Law need to be the same across the board with the charges for SBS.Congress has a Bill called the S.3003-Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010, that set out the ways to stop SBS. The CDC also have information for family and child care provider to inform the society about the danger SBS and what can happen to a child. We need a awareness to allow people to know about the punishment that will happen if you commit a crime like this to child.