Every year in the U.S. nearly one child in 25 is reported to suffer abuse or neglect. The cycle of abuse is passed from generation to generation - a hurt child becomes a damaged adult who, in turn, hurts his or her children. This A&E SPECIAL PRESENTATION: BROKEN CHILD tells the stories of a few of the many thousands of children who have been abused or neglected by their parents. In the past seven years, the number of children who have been seriously injured by abuse has quadrupled. By the time most children are four, psychologists can often tell which of them are likely to drop out of school or become delinquent.
In this A&E SPECIAL PRESENTATION: BROKEN CHILD viewers meet a group of neglected children who have been left alone for three days in a house full of dog feces; a child brought to a hospital with severe injuries inflected by a man while the child′s mother went out to look for drugs; a boy who had been found in his home looking "like he′d bee dipped in mud"; a youth in a juvenile prison who as a child was beaten in the head and is now considered a danger to society; a crack addict who goes straight after she′s eight months pregnant and tracks down her homeless son to try to make a family; an abused 8-year-old whose adoptive parents are afraid they may not be able to contain his tantrums as he grows older; and Benny who has fallen two grades behind since he found his brother dead in the alley he must walk past on the way to school.
The program concludes by noting that abuse and neglect can shape an entire life, and with each new injury the psychological damage deepens. Child protection workers, counselors, foster parents and teachers all witnessed these troubled children growing worse, more disturbed, more angry. All know more could have been done.
BROKEN CHILD, Narrated By Susan Sarandon Premieres on September 2nd at 2:00 pm ET and PT.