Milwaukee father Joshua Viane was accused of abusing his infant daughter in a case that some say could have been prevented.
On June 30, Viane and his wife went to Summerfest to have a few beers, Fox 6 Now reported. The next day, Viane woke up with a hangover and changed his 21-day-old daughter’s diaper, according to the criminal complaint.
Suddenly, Viane reportedly had an urge to squeeze his daughter – he squeezed her so tightly that her face turned red and her eyes became bloodshot. Medical exams later revealed the girl had several rib fractures.
Viane then allegedly pushed his finger all the way down the girl’s throat and bruised the child’s private parts. According to Viane, he had had the urges to do such things for two years, but that his urges had intensified recently.
“I’m sorry, but I guess I’m not surprised. I’m saddened,” Joyce Felker, executive director of The Parenting Network, told Fox 6 Now. “It’s completely preventable.”
Felker added that stigma behind mental health should be removed, since many people don’t feel comfortable addressing their issues, especially as parents.
“We, of course, have our confidential parent help line that folks could call. And we would have welcomed a call in the middle of the night,” Felker said. “We’re available 24/7 – so that if somebody has an urge or something like that and they say, ‘okay, I don’t want to hurt this precious baby,’ call us and we’ll talk you through it.”
The line is run by professionals with degrees in social work. The Parenting Network also offers parenting classes.
Viane was charged with intentionally causing great bodily harm to a child, high probability of causing harm to a child, and three counts of intentionally causing harm to a child. He is currently in custody and being held on $150,000 bail.
According to Safe Horizon, one in 10 children are victims of child maltreatment, while over 25 percent of abused children are under the age of 3. When it comes to children who died from abuse or neglect, 70.3 percent were under the age of 3.
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