The custodial dad referenced in the case below is left anonymous in this particular article, but his name was CHRISTIAN GAUVIN. More information on this case can be found here:
Child's death spurs community to act
Number of reported cases of abuse are up
Updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2010, 10:10 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 May 2010, 10:10 AM EDT
LAFAYETTE, IND. (WLFI) - In March 2005, 4-year-old Aiyana Gauvin was found beaten and bound in her Lafayette home after what police said was months of abuse and neglect. Her stepmother is now serving a life sentence for murder and her father, a 50-year sentence for neglect. Now, five years later, people want to know, how far we've come and if things have gotten any better.
"I think what is different for the community their awareness. This existed all along it's just been in the last four or five years that the community sees it on the front page," Director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, Region 5, Angela Smith Grossman said.
She said attitudes about child abuse and neglect have changed in Tippecanoe County.
"There is a lot more public awareness around these events. Which we are grateful for, but in the same token, it can lead a public to believe that there is not enough resources being allocated," Smith Grossman said.
Over the last five years, she said the number of abuse and neglect cases reported by the public shot up from about 2,600 cases in 2005 to nearly 4,000 in 2009. But, the rate at which the department substantiated the abuse and neglect charges, remained about the same. She said while there is no doubt there are cases of child abuse and neglect are horrendous, she is cautious to say conditions have worsened countywide.
"It's always a shock when someone in the community is identified a perpetrator or abuse or neglect. And, individuals are surprised and shocked by that. It is surprising and a shock but it happens everyday to someone's kid," Smith Grossman said.
She said now that the community is engaged and willing to report abuse and neglect, they must find ways to stop it before it starts.