The Family Institute of Connecticut has noted for years the social costs of family decline. Now it is getting so bad that even the mainstream media and our state government are beginning to connect the dots. From a November 21st Courant story:

Treau Bemis was first. The 2-year-old Groton girl died in September after her mother’s fiance, Craig Betancourt, held her face against water jets in a bathtub until she stopped struggling and went limp, police said.

Then came Nathan Murphy, another 2-year-old, this time from Norwich. Police say Nathan’s mother’s live-in boyfriend, Allan Delusso, shook him so hard for so long on Nov. 7 that he lost consciousness and never woke up. The hemorrhages in his brain were fatal.

On Tuesday, it was 3-year-old Andrew Slyter, of Lisbon. State police are still waiting for autopsy results. But the little boy’s body was so battered when it was brought to the Shoreline Clinic in Essex on Monday morning that investigators wasted little time charging Andrew’s mother’s boyfriend, Craig Sadosky, 35, of Old Lyme, with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. The toddler died from his injuries hours later at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The cause in each case may be what some commentators delicately call “Mommy’s Boyfriend Problem”: 

The recent violent toddler deaths — possibly at the hands of boyfriends of the children’s mothers — has state child welfare officials rattled and given credence to recent national reports showing that children left in homes without both biological parents are at higher risk of abuse than those raised in traditional family structures.

“This is the dark underbelly of cohabitation,” said Brad Wilcox, a sociology professor at the University of Virginia. “Cohabitation has become quite common, and most people think, ‘What’s the harm?’ The harm is we’re increasing a pattern of relationships that’s not good for children.”

Connecticut Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein intends to ask the state’s Child Fatality Review Board at a meeting today to probe the issue.

We hope the Review Board will keep this in mind during their probe:

“It comes down to the fact they [the boyfriends] don’t have a relationship established with these kids,” said Eliana Gil, clinical director for the national abuse prevention group Childhelp. “Their primary interest is really the adult partner, and they may find themselves more irritated when there’s a problem with the children [emphasis added].”

The decline in traditional family life–children being raised in a home with their married biological mother and father–has had such a deterimental effect on the nation’s children that even the Courant has taken notice. A sidebar in the print edition of the article includes these “key findings” from three different sources:

  • Childen living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with biological parents.
  • Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with two biological or adopted parents.
  • Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, whether they live with their mother or father.

Bravo to the Courant for reporting on this. Let us hope this will be more than just a one-day story. And bravo to the state’s Child Advocate for asking a Review Board to probe the matter. Let us hope that, like the Courant’s November 21st story, they have the courage to report the politically incorrect truth about family decline in Connecticut.

And let us work toward a culture–and government–that has the good sense to buttress the family instead of re-defining it even further.

One Response to “Infanticides in Connecticut Linked to Family Decline”

  1. on 02 Jan 2011 at 1:30 pmAndrea Stollar

    Treau is my granddaughter and it was not her mothers boyfriend that murdered her, it was her aunts boyfriend. get you info right before you write something.

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