Based on a new report for Fiscal Year 2012, 16 of 37 deaths in the state from child abuse or neglect happened in the Eastern region.
Child abuse pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Clayton of CHKD, says the reason is not explained.
“It’s very sad because these deaths are preventable. It doesn’t have to happen,” says Clayton.
Fortunately, in some cases, action has been taken before death.
One of the recommendations by the Hampton Roads Regional Child Fatality Review Team is “better monitoring and sanctioning of violations of no-contact orders is needed.”
You may remember Matthew and Allie Strawn who were both charged with felony child abuse.
A protective order was issued after the 21-year-old Navy dad was arrested for beating his 11-day-old son while in the intensive care unit at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.
The baby’s mother is accused of violating that order, taking the newborn to his barracks
Where, court documents show, she later found him beating their kid trying to burp him.
Another notable statistic is six of the 16 deaths were caused by a mom’s boyfriend.
This takes us back to November 2011 when 31-year-old Alvin Gatewood was found guilty of beating his live-in girlfriend’s 19-month-old baby.
According to police, both he and the child’s mother, Shaniqua Jones, casually strolled into Virginia Beach General Hospital with the baby who was not breathing and his body was limp.
Doctor Clayton says they take on a pretty hefty case-load.
“We take a lot of cases for investigation compared with other regions of the state,” says Clayton.
Read the full report below: