Mary Beth Goodman, Brainard, New York

For Nicholas and Christopher, The Reasons Why


I met child abuse when I was a paramedic. My husband and I responded to a call - "child fell off couch" and we chuckled about the "boo-boo forehead" awaiting us. As we drove, the call escalated to "pediatric, full arrest" meaning the child was receiving CPR from first responders. Despite the efforts of many, there was no change in the boy's condition.

It was later revealed that the boyfriend of the child's mother had murdered him, probably by throwing him against a wall.

This small child, with no visible sign of violence on his body, had been brought to the ambulance in the arms of firemen who had toddlers at home. He was wearing only a diaper and his hair was damp, as though he'd just had his evening bath. The image of him, lying on the stretcher is what I tried to reproduce in this quilt.

Now, when I read about yet another toddler or child killed at the hands of those who should be most loving and protective, I want to know - what can I do, what can WE do to keep this from happening. People are outraged when animals are mistreated yet we turn a blind eye to the unkempt toddler next door, or the child who should be in kindergarten, or the bruised child called "clumsy."

After that first brush with child abuse, I was aware of all the reasons abusers give for abusing. Often when the media asks what happened, the abuser/murderer will say "I don't know" or they will give one of the reasons listed in the border of this quilt - their reason why this child is now dead.

What reason is there for abusing and killing a child?

42 X 40 inches 

To Previous Page

To Next Page

Back to CAQ Home Page