Retired teacher targets child abuse

APRIL 5, 2010
Muncie Star-Press

MUNCIE — It doesn’t take much.

Holding one of the dolls that serves as a training aid in the fight against child abuse, Maryellen Frazier gave it a few shakes — sharp ones, perhaps, but hardly anything to match what a furious caregiver might deliver in a flash of rage aimed at a bawling, inconsolable baby.

Just like that, the doll’s brain, visible through its clear plastic skull, lit up with flashing red lights.

The damage — maybe blindness, maybe something far worse — had been done, or would have been were this a real baby.

“They even smell like real babies,” said Frazier, president of the Prevent Child Abuse Council of Delaware County, while other dolls representing drug-addicted and fetal-alcohol syndrome babies rested on a table in her living room.

While these dolls serve to teach young people something about abusive treatment of children, the problem is growing in ways that are much harder to comprehend. [more]