Recognizing the signs of child abuse

Local News

DOTHAN, ALA. (WDHN) — A couple allegedly left their child in a hot car Wednesday and used a stun gun, according to Dothan police.

A joint investigation eventually led to David Michael Stewart and Tiffany Sorrell’s arrests on aggravated child abuse charges.

“Well, every case is different, every case has its own unique features to it,” police sergeant, Ronald Hall said.”In this particular case, it was obvious that the child had marks on him. Some of which appeared to be bug bites. Some that did not appear to be from bug bites that resembled burns of some type. Throughout the course of the investigation, it was determined that those marks were a result of a stun gun.”

The police determined child abuse from physical signs, but the Child Advocacy Center said there are ways to see abuse through mental and emotional signs.

“Emotional abuse, which is really real because it causes our children to have those problems, and they’re not able to function in school and do the things they need to do,” therapist Aline Mays-Easley said. “We see a lot of depression in our children that are going though emotional abuse.”

Places like the exchange center help child abuse victims and all abuse victims recover from their abuse.

“So, our biggest program that we have is our counseling program,” said Pamuela Miles, Executive Director of the Exchange Center. “We provide trauma therapy, trauma focus therapy for all forms of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. We see child and adult survivors and kind of work with them.”

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