The Meddler today reflects on a heartbreaking and tragic set of circumstances which lead to an infant death over in Perth. Warning: the contents of this story may upset readers.
I struggled trying to find the right words when creating the title for this blog.
Fair warning: I’m going to be talking about a heartbreaking and tragic set of circumstances. I can barely cope with the fact that there are stories like this in the world, let alone in Australia. But they do exist.
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And they make me truly believe there is a case to be made for mandatory sterilisation.
This particular story relates to a precious little girl in Perth who was grossly neglected by her ‘mother’. She was given one bottle a day, if that, placed in her cot (where as a infant, she couldn’t have reached it anyway).
The baby, Destiny, slowly starved to death.
Destiny was unwanted. The mother, Tamara Thompson, said the baby constantly reminded her of the baby’s father, a meth-addict who wanted nothing to do with them. She was too busy dealing with her five other children and reportedly said she was “relieved” when the baby finally died.
I have so many unanswered questions.
What about her other children? Were they grossly neglected too? How did they cope with watching their precious baby sister slowly die?
I have a baby myself and his big sisters, aged 3 and 6, adore him. They notice when he’s gone for an hour or two for a nap, so if he went missing for days at a time they would be full of questions. What did Destiny’s siblings think when she just disappeared?
And how does this happen? In a civilised, well-supported society, how was this family not monitored and reviewed? How did authorities not intervene and physically take the child away when it was clearly not being nourished?
The finer details of this story are marred by heartbreaking complexities, including custody disputes, drug abuse and domestic violence.
And heart is heavy with the sadness of it all.
I have a close friend at the moment who is struggling with infertility, making the pain and tragedy of this situation so much harder to process. A healthy, innocent child is lost, and my friend would trade almost anything to have been given the opportunity to care for her.
Rest in peace little Destiny.
Tamara Thompson is due to be sentenced before Christmas.
Keeping children safe in Queensland
If you have a reason to suspect a child in Queensland is experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, contact Child Safety Services:
- During normal business hours (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday) – contact the South East Queensland Regional Intake Service on 1300 679 849.
- After hours and on weekends – contact the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre on 1800 177 135 or (07) 3235 9999. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also report your concerns to Child Safety by completing an online report form.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger or in a life-threatening situation, contact the Queensland Police Service immediately by dialing 000.
If you aren’t sure who to call, or for assistance to locate your nearest child safety service centre, contact Child Safety Services’ Enquiries Unit on 1800 811 810. Child safety service centres have professionally trained child protection staff who are skilled in dealing with information about harm or risk of harm to children.
When you make a report to Child Safety Services or the Queensland Police Service, your details are kept confidential and your identity is strictly protected.
Sexual Assault/Family Violence
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au
Other Support Services
If you or someone else you know needs support;
Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelp.com.au
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au