Childhood is often said to be the best time of one’s life; however, even with a stable and loving home environment, adolescence can be one of the most confusing and difficult times in a young person’s life. Child abuse can cause physical and emotional scars that may last well into adulthood, as many California residents will be aware. Children who have been subjected to abuse at home may become even more vulnerable, falling prey to manipulative adults as a result.
Young teenager Elizabeth Thomas made the headlines recently, when she was abducted from her home state by her teacher, Ted Cummins. The pair were later located in California. It has been alleged that Elizabeth’s mother, Kimberly, began abusing Elizabeth and four of her nine siblings by means of severe beatings around November 2014, and that this may have made Elizabeth more vulnerable to manipulation by her teacher.
At the time of her abduction, Elizabeth had been living in the sole custody of her father, Anthony Thomas, an arrangement that had been in place since late 2015. Kimberly had been barred from having contact with any of her children since that time, and Anthony has recently filed for divorce from his wife. In Jan. 2016, Kimberly was formally charged with several counts of abuse, and she is due to appear in court soon as part of a review for the forthcoming criminal trial.
Most California families will not experience such extreme situations, as child abuse is often conducted in a manner designed to avoid detection. If ever one does suspect that such events are occurring within his or her own family, taking immediate steps to safeguard the children is essential. Whether one decides to remain in the marital home with the children and eject the abusive partner or to leave and take the children too, there are also legal measures that one may wish to consider in order to protect his or her family. Seeking advice from all appropriate sources can help to heal the damage that abusers can inflict on their victims.
Source: people.com, “Elizabeth Thomas: Mom Allegedly Abused Her and Other Kids“, Chris Harris, April 26, 2017