The Case Of Child Abuse Essay

1266 Words Apr 29th, 2016 6 Pages
she was able to see the conditions that the ten-year-old Mary Ellen was living under. The article written by the American Humane Association said that Mrs. Wheeler describes Mary Ellen “as appearing dirty, thin, dressed in threadbare clothing, and had bruises and scars along her bare arms and legs.” (American Humane Association 2013). After these horrible findings, Etta Angell Wheeler made it her job to find legal protection for this vulnerable child and started the first case of child abuse in America.
In 1874, the United States had only a few laws that protected children from being disciplined with an excessive use of physical force but the State of New York had a law that allowed authorities to remove children from their current homes if found to be endangered of neglect by their caretakers. Mrs. Wheeler happy to had found an alternative solution for Mary Ellen’s abuse problem, she was soon disappointed to see that the city of New York was not willing to help her in this case. With nowhere else to go and desperate for help, Etta Angell Wheeler contacted Henry Bergh a leader and founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. With the support of many disturbed neighbors who were willing to testify and put their declarations in writing against the Connolly family because of their abuse towards Mary Ellen, Mrs. Wheeler felt confident to provide enough evidence to Henry Bergh to start a case against the Connolly family. During the subsequent court…

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