Through the Eyes of an Abused Child

My name is Sarah,

I am three,

My eyes are swollen..

I cannot see.


I must be stupid,

I must be bad,

What else could have made,

My daddy so mad?


I wish I were better,

I wish I weren’t ugly,

Then maybe my mommy,

Would still want to hug me.


I can’t do a wrong,

I can’t speak at all,

Or else I’m locked up,

All day long.


When I’m awake,

I’m all alone,

The house is dark,

My folks aren’t home.


When my mommy does come home,

I’ll try and be nice,

So maybe I’ll just get,

One whipping tonight.


I just heard a car,

My daddy is back,

From Charlie’s bar.


I hear him curse,

My name is called,

I press myself,

Against the wall.


I try to hide,

From his evil eyes,

I’m so afraid now,

I’m starting to cry.


He finds me weeping,

Calls me ugly words,

He says it’s all my fault,

He suffers at work.


He slaps and hits me,

And yells at me more,

I finally get free,

And run to the door.


He’s already locked it,

And I start to bawl,

He takes me and throws me,

Against the hard wall.


I fall to the floor,

With my bones nearly broken,

And my daddy continues,

With more bad words spoken.


“I’m sorry!,” I scream,

But now it’s much too late,

His face has been twisted,

Into an unimaginable shape.


The hurt and the pain,

Again and again,

O please let it end!


And he finally stops,

And heads for the door,

While lie there motionless,

Sprawled on the floor.


My name is Sarah,

I am three,

Tonight my daddy,

Murdered me.


This tragic poem is said to have been originally written in 1996 by a Misty Nicole Ramsey of Dell Rapids, South Dakota. It details, in first person, a horrifying murder of a three year old child who is beaten to death by her father. As sad as this poem is, the statistics of this occurrence are without a doubt truly the tragedy.   

A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States.  More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse.  Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4 and About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.  This is evidenced by further statistics such as these:

  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • More than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before their 18th birthday, three times as likely as those without a report of abuse or neglect.
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion

So as detailed through the eyes of Sarah at three years of age, can you imagine how scared, and hopeless she feels?   We hear of child abuse and neglect every day, many times often happening here in our community.  Too often, people are afraid to report or speak out in fear of retribution or being wrong.  Would you rather be wrong and the child safe or be right and know you could have helped end their pain?

For more information on how you can help or to volunteer, please visit AVA-CASA’s website at .  “How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” ~Anne Frank


This column is not intended to be a substitute for any medical or legal advice.

Advocates for Victims of Abuse- Tri-County Court Appointed Special Advocates

P.O. Box 1338 Winnemucca, NN 89446

775- 623-2328, 775-530-9310 or 775-530-1104

Fax: 509-695-4626

The mission of AVA is to empower those victimized by abuse and/or violence through advocacy and crisis intervention and to raise awareness in the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of relationship abuse, sexual violence, child abuse and neglect, and bullying. Tri-County CASA supports and promotes volunteer advocacy to protect the best interests of abuse and neglected children in Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing Counties in Nevada. 

Don't be a victim, become a survivor!