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Mom In South Carolina Arrested For Child Neglect When Daughter Found Holding Sign Asking For Help

South Carolina has a major problem with child abuse and neglect, and the recent case of Schalinda Ball and her children holding up a sign asking for help is another clear example of the scope of the problem. In the case at hand, South Charleston police arrested Ball saying her young daughter was standing outside of their home with a hand-lettered sign asking for help.

Ball has been charged with child neglect, creating the risk of injury after her 11-year-old daughter and her 1-year-old sister were found outside of a house on Summers Avenue in South Charleston, South Carolina, holding a sign asking for help, based on a criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, when officers arrived, the young girl claimed her mother had left her alone to watch her sister for more than four hours. Later, she also told officers she had been left alone before, but not for so long. Both children were transported to the police station.

It seems that the police located Ball while they were trying to track down the grandmother. Ball claimed she only left the kids at home for around an hour. Ball is currently detained at the South Central Regional Jail on a $10,500 bail.

Statistics show that child abuse, and in particular child neglect, is a growing problem in South Carolina that spiked dramatically in 2015.

Despite millions more dollars being spent in over the last few years on child welfare and child abuse enforcement, public data shows that both complaints and investigations of abuse and neglect have been moving up steadily over the last few years.

Data from the South Carolina Department of Social Services indicates the number of complaints of child abuse and neglect they receive has skyrocketed from 27,370 in 2012 to 30,950 in 2014 and a stunning 40,463 in 2015.

Also of note, the total number of investigations for child abuse and neglect, meanwhile, jumped from 13,218 in 2012 to 16,501 in 2014 and 23,347 in 2015.

The data also shows that in both 2015 and 2016, more investigations of physical abuse of children, 371, and sexual abuse of children, 47, were undertaken in Greenville County than any other county of the state. Greenville County was second only to Charleston County in 2015 in the number of cases of neglect initiating there. By the same token, the most complaints of abuse and neglect originated in Greenville County (3,751) than any other county in the state.

According to child abuse advocates in South Carolina, on average, 600-800 children in the state ages 17 and under die each year from all causes. Among those deaths, around 160-200 deaths are referred to the State Law Enforcement Division for additional investigation because the deaths are violent, suspicious or could not be determined.

Advocates also highlight that the new South Carolina DSS reporting system may mean that more cases are being recognized and reported than in the past.

Source: WLOS
Photo: WLOS

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