We're reported on this case before. What is not made real clear here is that these babies were murdered during VISITATION with their father, DAVID YATES. Newborns don't need visitation--especially with fathers who have a history of domestic violence.
Mother Of Fatally Beaten Infant Twins Speaks Out
Bird-Winbun Encourages Others To Be Vigilant About Child AbuseUpdated: 10:05 pm CDT May 30, 2011
BARABOO, Wis. -- The Baraboo mother whose husband was convicted of killing their infant twins three years ago is breaking her silence.
At just 5 weeks old, twins Tyler and Savannah were victims of a savage beating that ended their lives, tore a family apart and subsequently landed their father in prison.
Susan Bird-Winbun, the mother of the twins, said that child abuse can escalate quickly. She said she is telling her story in hopes of helping to end child abuse once and for all. She said she doesn't want what happened to her children to happen to others.
"What most people don't know or understand is that violence can turn to homicide overnight," said Bird-Winbun.
Bird-Winbun claims that the cycle of abuse that left her children dead started before they were even born, although she hasnt always known that.
"I thought it was just me that made him angry," she said.
The "him" Bird-Winbun is referring to is the children's father, David Yates, who is now serving two consecutive life sentences for the twins' deaths.
Bird-Winbun said she only gained the strength to end her abusive relationship in the week after she delivered the children. She said she hoped for a successful co-parenting relationship with Yates, but never in her worst nightmares did she think the situation could go so wrong. Making matters worse is the blame she carries with her to this day.
"I can only say to people who say I never should have left Tyler and Savannah with him, that they are absolutely correct," said Bird-Winbun.
While the story of the twins' deaths is an extreme one, it isn't an isolated case of abuse, experts said.
Hanna Roth is founder of the Rainbird Foundation, a group committed to ending child abuse once and for all.
She said she believes that statistics don't tell the whole story, because they can never be current, nor exhaustive.
"The truth is, we don't know how bad it is," said Roth. "I see parents take a hand to their child, and smack them upside the head, or on the fanny, on the streets. It's so acceptable they don't even hide it."
Both Roth and Bird-Winbun are encouraged by the recent passage of a bill by the state Senate that requires all school employees to report child abuse if they even suspect it. They said that the legislation is a single yet huge step in a journey of a thousand miles.
"I sit here today because Tyler and Savannah weren't allowed to live long enough to leave their own footprint on the world," said Bird-Winbun. "So I'm going to spend the rest of my life leaving mine big enough to cover what they would have accomplished as well."
Roth stresses that the mindset of hitting a child in the name of discipline, especially considering if the same adult were to hit another adult, it would be considered battery, has to change.
She also said she believes that the general societal acceptance of yelling and screaming at children also has to be modified.
She is also asking for the public's help. She is participating in a rally to help end child abuse set for Sunday, July 31, at the Capitol Square in downtown Madison.
David Yates plans to appeal his conviction. Yates had until the Friday before Memorial Day to formally file that appeal. It is unknown at this time if that has happened. Calls to his attorney were not immediately returned.
For More Info: