THE ADVOCATE’S HOMICIDES, the eighth book in The Advocate Series, released today. This was a tough book to write, but it needed to be done. It took longer than usual to write for many reasons–some personal, some just because of the subject matter of the book, but in the end, I’m glad I wrote it. I hope you enjoy it, and as usual, I welcome your comments either as a review or in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear from my readers.
Here are a few of the early reviews:
“If you have a sense of justice, you’ll love this book and appreciate the ending. The only downside is, you may lose some sleep while you’re reading it.”–Kindle Customer.
“Had me on the edge of my seat. The author keeps you guessing all the way through. The story was well-developed, the characters, even the more minor ones, were very real….She really makes you care about what the children have to go through to get justice. You can tell they aren’t just characters to her.”–Lady Silverlocks
“This IS your personal best. What a spell binder. You need to write me a check in the amount of ‘One Good Night’s Sleep’. I couldn’t put it down. Your ending reads like a concerto at the end of a memorable symphony.”–Rodger
In 1983 April was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month by the president. I don’t know how April was chosen but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we have a month where there is an extra effort made to stop this awful behavior that is so rampant in our society.
According to Children’s Bureau (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) there were 686,000 children abused or neglected in the fifty U.S. states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Of those, 1640 died. Many of those could have been prevented with good community programs in place such as early childhood development programs, parental support, and maternal mental health.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides some good information on how to help your community prevent child abuse.
This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I have spent a great deal of my life fighting this battle. I worked as a child advocate for many years and I continue to do what I can to prevent child abuse. This is a cause you can join as well. There are many organizations joining in this fight this month. I noticed when I stopped at In N Out Burger (my favorite burger joint) they have a program this month where they are collecting donations and matching 3 to 1 whatever they collect up to $250,000. Many other businesses are doing similar things. This is one way to help, but for those of you who can, getting personally involved is the best way.
Teresa Burrell, Author, Attorney, Advocate
Author of The Advocate Series
Montana Seeks New Bill for Child Abusers
I worked for many years in the dependency courts in California with abused children and so often saw very little accountability for the crimes committed. When a child was seriously injured it was generally not the first offense by the perpetrator. So, I’m pleased to see what one state is doing on behalf of these children.
Several new bills have been proposed in Montana to help protect children from abuse. This article explains why they are taking action. http://tinyurl.com/agkq8m5
Senate Bill 160 proposes new felony charges for child endangerment.
SB 198 proposes revising the laws for penalties for assault on a minor. This bill would raise the maximum to 20 years for children under 36 months old and if it causes serious bodily injury, the penalty would rise to 40 years.
SB 113 allows evidence of previous crimes in prosecuting sexual offenses.
House Bill 74 requires disclosure of child abuse from Child Protective Services to law enforcement in all cases.
There is a loop hole in the law that allows registered sex offenders to avoid prosecution for not disclosing their true address. An additional bill has been proposed to close that loop hole.
These bills are supported by both parties and it appears Montana is taking serious steps to help protect its children.
The bills are designed to bring greater accountability for the crimes, but more importantly it would seem that it would help prevent more serious abuse in the future. If intervention is done before the crimes escalate (and they generally do) hopefully it will save many children from serious and permanent injury and often death.
If you live in Montana, please let your legislators know if you support these bills. The public can make a huge difference.