Abuse of Lowcountry toddler sparks urgency for safety

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - According to a police report, 18-month-old Louis Wright sustained five rib fractures, air and blood in the thorax and multiple lacerations of the liver, spleen and pancreas.

Doctors said that during x-rays they found evidence of old skull fractures on the boy. This sad case of abuse brings to light the rampant issue of child abuse.

His mother, Shakera Wright, and 16-year-old Tyrek Varnes are facing child abuse charges. Police also arrested two other juveniles in the case.

Troy Strother, the Executive Director of the non-profit organization "Parents Anonymous," says his office deals with all forms of abuse in children. He says his center has seen a rise in abuse calls, especially during the down economy.

"When the economy is OK, we were getting 10 to 15 calls. Now we are getting 50 calls that parents are stressed and they want to get help before they do something," Strother said.

That is where places like "Parents Anonymous" become a vital resource for both children and their parents.

"It's in our interest to get those parents and transform their lives and address the stresses in their lives so they can be better parents," Strother said.

Strother says often times people may see or suspect abuse going on but are scared to get involved.

"If you have a strong feeling that something is going on with a child, call the Department of Social Services," Strother said.

Strother also says if you ever suspect child abuse going on you can always call the Department of Social Services and remain anonymous.

Not getting involved when you suspect something could mean the difference between the life and death of a child Stother said.

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