Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Honor of a Special Boy- My Cousin: Vincent James Hill

As a mother I would lay down my life for my child, so I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone can abuse their own child. I mean, your child is a little part of you so why would you hurt a part of you? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

As I sit here and write this, I am reminded of how I felt about child abuse 3 weeks ago. You hear about cases of child abuse on the 10 o'clock news, or you read about it in the newspaper and you may be sad or horrified for about 20 minutes, but then you pray for that child and by the next day, you have forgotten about it until the next evening when you read or watch it again. It’s a cycle that keeps on going and soon it’s just a routine, so you really don't put a whole lot of thought into those kids other than its just sad and awful. But you really never THINK about it affecting your family. Abuse is something that happens in other families, but not in yours right?

13 days ago I can say that I never thought that one of my family members would not only be abused, but also murdered. Even as I write this, I think it sounds so dramatic; Beaten and murdered. That's only on TV right? That can't really happen in your family and most definitely not in MY family.

12 days ago, March 27, 2010, Vincent James Hill, my 19 month old cousin was physically beaten literally to death. He became another statistic. Did you know that in Texas in 2009, 280 children died because of abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or guardians, and 68,326 children were confirmed victims of abuse or neglect? On any given day, there were more than 17,000 Texas children and teenagers in foster care. This is just in Texas; there are 49 other states.

Vincent was brutally beaten and killed because of Child Abuse. His mother and her boyfriend were arrested and are being held on several different charges.

I thought long and hard about this blog and how to write it and I decided that for me personally, I never really got it, again I heard about it and I was sad for the kids that it affected, but I didn't understand how real it was until this happened to my family.

My family happened to be here in Leander celebrating my 6 year old's birthday when we got the call that he was in the ER. At that time we didn't even know what was wrong, and weren't being told much. That was at 3:30, at 4:40 my Grandmother got the call that Vincent had passed on and I NEVER, repeat NEVER wants to be a witness to that again. She fell apart. What was supposed to be a weekend of celebrating ended up being a weekend of agony of not knowing what had happened. It wasn't until Sunday that we learned what happened and how and why he died.

From this point on this post is going to get harder and harder to write. I have family that will be reading this, so I need to be mindful of their feelings and do my best to be objective.

But for me the reason that I feel so compelled to write it is because I want people to know how real it is and to know what the families go through. Of course I can only tell it from my point of view, so it’s definitely one-sided. Please keep that in mind.

Most of all I want you, the readers, to read it and maybe you will know what signs to look for with other kids that you know. Maybe you will take my story to heart and you will try to create awareness within your community about preventing child abuse.

There are several different types of child abuse; it’s not just physical. It can be emotional, verbal, or sexual. Even neglecting a child is a form of abuse.

As most of you know, I am a very supportive coach’s wife. But I am also married to a coach that is beyond supportive of his wife and together, along with the Rouse Raider Coaching Staff, we host a Women's Football Camp each year for a charity of our choosing. We chose back in January, but the wonderful coaches wives and I decided together to change this year's charity to Child Abuse Prevention in honor of Vincent James Hill.

So, Vincent buddy, I wish our family could have done more for you to prevent this from happening so, hopefully, with R.D.'s help, you and he can guide the Rouse Raiders in a direction that will make a difference in another child's life.

*Note* See My Story (there is a tab at the top of this page) to read the story from MY end.


  1. *Big Hugs* Brandi,
    I can not even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. I worked for a crisis center and I saw this everyday but have never had it hit so close to my family. Vincent is a precious child and his death will not be in vain.

  2. Thank you so much Channa. I had no idea that you worked for a crisis center. I would love to talk to you about ideas to incorporate
    CA Prevention into our football camp. THat's the tricky part, but the girls and I will see that we do it right! I would love some input!

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  4. I just want you to know "One person can make a difference" In Wichita Kansas Two Grandmas are making a difference.
    We started by buying 100 yard signs that say Be Aware Child Abuse can be anywhere CALL 911 Those signs are taking the fear our of reporting suspected Child Abuse. People are serving notice. We are watching and we will call 911. In some cases people call a hot line and no action is taken. That is why everyone should always call 911 first. We are now up up to 500 signs and 1,000 bumper stickers.

    Our story has been on three TV channels here and in the Wichita Eagle Newspaper. The Associated Press picked up our story. I know it was in the USA Today, Orlando Florida Sentinal,New York Daily News, Wilmington Delaware al over Kansas Nebraska and the internet.

    Our signs are yellow with black print and show up nicely. We would very much like to see these signs go up all all over the United States. As for the bumper sticker What is more important a shiny car or saving a child's life?
    Remember You can make a difference. one sign at a time.
    This is about empowering everyone to stand up for God's children no matter their age. Children need to know they can Call 911.

    Thanks for listening Grandma B.Kay at