Twelve days ago, America experienced one of the worst school shootings in history. Twenty children and six adults were killed when Adam Lanza burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and opened fire with guns and rifles.
The massacre shocked the world and caused the country to ask how and why it happened.The children of Sandy Hook are the highest-profile murder victims, but they are not the only ones.
According to figures released by UNICEF, over the past decade more than 20,000 American children have been killed in their own homes by family members.
America has the worst record of child abuse in the industrialized world, and more children die each week in America than died in the school shooting on that day: Twenty children died on Dec. 14, and it, quite rightly, outraged the world.
Twenty-seven children died the week before and the week after and nobody noticed. Americans and the news media pay little attention to children murdered every day across the country.
A small sample of children killed or nearly killed by parents making news in the weeks before and after the Sandy Hook killings:
Camilia Terry of Cleveland was arrested for killing her three-year-old son Emilliano; she claimed he’d been kidnapped but after his body was found in a trash bag at a landfill, her story changed.
Nicole Fitzgerald of Baltimore stabbed her two-year-old son to death. Jennifer Lynn Emerick of Huron, Michigan, suffocated her 23-month-old son.
Jessica Elizabeth Rhodes of Pennsylvania beat and shook her 14-month-old son so badly it nearly killed him; he suffered brain bleeding and swelling, and eye hemorrhaging.
Kristine Davis of New Hampshire poisoned her seven-month-old son. Veronica Herrera of Boise, Idaho, killed her 2-year-old daughter and burned her body in a barrel in the back yard of her home.
Lashay Patterson and her live-in boyfriend, both of Philadelphia, beat and burned her five-year-old son to death.