While the shrill sound of a continuously crying baby can bring all of us a little anxiety and desire to help, there are some people who can reach a level of frustration where they choose to act dangerously aggressive. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a type of abusive head trauma that happens when a person shakes or slams a child in an attempt to stop them from crying.
Sadly, every year thousands of children are victims of this type of abusive head trauma. It is considered a serious crime and an extreme form of child abuse.
In 1994, Bonnie Armstrong stood beside her daughter Tiffany at a children’s hospital in Texas. Tiffany had been shaken and beaten and was fighting for life. Bonnie made a promise to her small daughter at that time, that if she would fight to live and breath, Bonnie would turn this evil tragedy into something good. Through love and faith, Bonnie and Tiffany both kept their promises. The Shaken Baby Alliance was born.
The Shaken Baby Alliance (SBA) was created by parents whose children were victims of SBS and wanted to focus on the positive changes they could create from such a horrible tragedy in their lives. Starting literally at their kitchen table, these mothers were driven with passion to find resources for their children and to help other families.
Today the Shaken Baby Alliance has three main programs that reflect their mission.
1. Support Services for Victim Family
When a child is abused, members of the family are plunged into a circumstance which is terribly devastating, frustrating and frightening on many levels including physical, emotional and financial.
2. Support offered to Professionals
This includes Forensic Investigative Training. SBA provides a complete range of training programs for professionals including medical practitioners, law enforcement, First Responders, legal professionals, and child protection.
Upon request, SBA also gives case consultation services to legal and investigative professionals involved in child abuse cases. This includes crime scene investigation, technical support, analysis, expert witness recommendations, visual aids and timelines.
Currently, all of the SBA case consults have had successful legal outcomes which has made the demand for their services skyrocket!
3. Education for Prevention
SBS risk factors include unstable family situations, premature babies, young parents, uneducated child-care providers and socioeconomic status. When Babies Cry… We Cope is an SBA Prevention Education program that offers education and resources targeting these vulnerable populations. Hospital nursing staff members can share these resources with new parents. High school and middle school students benefit from the curriculum when presented by teachers and SBA staff. It’s also been made available for groups like scouts, child-care providers and churches. The DVD, When Babies Cry is given to over 2000 community members annually by SBA.
There is no authentic statistics that tell us how many children are injured by Shaken Baby Syndrome every year. However, many specialists believe that is is over 1500 kids. The leading cause of child abuse deaths are head injuries. Most head injuries happen in babies less than one year old and are the result of physical abuse.
Today, Bonnie is the Execute Director of the Shaken Baby Alliance. Her daughter Tiffany, now in her mid twenties, has suffered cortical visual impairment, seizures and other disabilities. Yet she has volunteered at several animal shelters and attends community college.
The work Bonnie has done with the SBA has turned Tiffany’s tragedy into something inspiring. She assembled an A-Team of experts, who deliver top-notch training to professionals and offer invaluable support for victim families.
Helping a family who has experienced this kind of tragedy can be as simple as gifting an unused vehicle to the Shaken Baby Alliance. Donate your car for kids who have been victims of this type of crime and help prevent another child from this horrible kind of abuse. Call us today at 1-800-237-5714, or click here to go to our online form.