I have been pretty bummed the last two days. A couple of days ago, I admitted one of the worst cases of domestic violence that I have ever seen. This young child had been tortured. Tortured for months. Tons of bruises. Bruises everywhere. Bruises on her face, arms, chest, back, buttocsk. She had a terrible, non-survivable head injury along with fractures of her face, chest and arms. She had a liver injury, also. This was all from abuse. This wasn’t a fall. There is no way to rationally explain this. This was domestic violence. This was torture.
The same day that I was admitting my patient, we heard that NFL star running back Adrian Peterson lost his son to domestic violence. If Adrian Peterson can’t keep his son safe, then who can? I will not ever pretend to have the answers. In an advanced society like ours, how is it that we can’t keep our kids safe? As I was standing at the bedside, I just felt that we completely failed these children.
Update: “Domestic violence” is simply too generic a term for what happened to this child. It was murder. It was torture.
My good friend TCB pointed out to me that although our hearts go out to the victims there really isn’t much that we can do. Without our using the NSA to look into every house, we are stuck. We can only report the parents when we see something that is suspicious. That’s it. I’m not saying that we need to do more. I’m saying that I felt, that I feel helpless.