A to Z Challenge: Giving Victims a Voice

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Good morning! Five more days of my first A to Z Challenge. Almost a survivor of the challenge! 🙂 This year, I am focusing on child abuse and sexual assault in hopes of bringing awareness to the horrid situations happening on a daily basis worldwide. Today lets focus on two of the VICTIMS of some of the most infamous child abuse cases and give them a VOICE.

Jeffrey Baldwin (1997-2002)

Jeffrey Baldwin was raised by his grandparents, Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman, after he and his sister were removed from their parents’ care due to allegations of abuse. Sadly they went from the frying pan into the flame.

On 30 November 2002, Jeffrey’s grandparents called emergency services saying that he had stopped breathing. Workers immediately noticed that his body was “covered in sores, bruises, and abrasions” and his weight was less than what it had been at his first birthday, five years later.

On 19 March 2003, Elva and Norman were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. It was revealed in court that Jeffrey and his sister were locked up at night with furnace vents shut, forced to eat with their hands on the floor, and drink from the toilet. T

o the grandparents, they were purely a “dollars and cents” matter, as they were receiving government support checks.

Justice David Watt, of the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice, found them guilty on 7 April 2006. Elva was sentenced to 22 years and Norman 20 years.

On a positive note, another Canadian, Todd Boyce, started a crowd-funding campaign to create a bronze statue in Toronto’s Greenwood Park of Jeffrey dressed as Superman (his favorite superhero). The statue was unveiled on 18 October 2014.

Victoria Adjo Climbié (1991-2000)


Victoria was an eight-year-old girl in London when she was tortured and murdered by her guardians, great-aunt Marie-Thérèse Kouao and Carl Manning (Kouao’s boyfriend). Sadly and similarly to the case of Terrell Peterson, due to “blinding incompetence”, the police, social services, NHS, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and local churches all failed to properly investigate the evidence of abuse that led up to her murder.

On 24 February 2000, Victoria was semi-conscious and suffering from hypothermia, multiple organ failure, and malnutrition when a cabbie took her to the A&E at North Middlesex Hospital where she was then transferred to the ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital.

She sadly died the following day at 3:15 pm.

It was discovered that Kouao and Manning had been burnt with cigarettes, tied up for 24+ hours at a time, and assaulted with bike chains, hammers and wires by her guardians who were both found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Sadly, nothing was done for Victoria who would be celebrating her Sweet 16 this year but in part because of this case organizations such as Every Child Matters (2004) and The Children Act (2004) were launched with the aim of giving every child the support they need to:

  • be healthy
  • stay safe
  • enjoy and achieve
  • make a positive contribution
  • achieve economic well-being

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Lest we forget the children who were murdered #childabuse #murder #truecrime #childabuse #endchildabuse #atozchallenge #jeffreybaldwin #victoriaclimbe

Continue the Conversation

What can WE do to continue giving voice to the victims and freeing them from the horrors?

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  1. betty

    April 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    At least some organization was started as a result of the horrific abuse against Victoria, but both cases indeed are so sad. Sad that the own family can inflict abuse like this.


    1. Joy

      April 27, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Yes there is some small comfort knowing that Victoria and Jeffrey will not be forgotten.

  2. TheCyborgMom

    April 26, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I'm glad that Victoria's abusers/murderers were sentenced for life. How could Jeffrey's not be? 20 years is not enough! And they were his grandparents? Horrific!

    1. Joy

      April 27, 2016 at 3:10 am

      i know, right? Grandma and Grandpa are supposed to be the ones you go to visit for cookies and hugs and to be spoiled, not murdered. 🙁

  3. @IsaLeeWolf

    April 27, 2016 at 2:49 am

    So appreciate your bringing awareness to these issues, but I just can't bring myself to read the stories about children, especially with their pictures there. Heartbreaking.

    1. Joy

      April 27, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Heartbreaking indeed; i love though that Jeffrey will be remembered thanks to a statue that a crowdfunding project.

  4. Courtney Turner

    April 27, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Hi Joy, I came across a poem by Diane Wakoski about her relationship with an abusive husband. It was really well done – I'll try to email it to you. Maui Jungalow

  5. A Tarkabarka Hölgy

    April 27, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I can't even fathom what makes someone do things like this to children. What goes wrong in a human being that they would do something like this? I don't think we'll ever be capable of understanding that…

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  6. Patricia Lynne

    April 27, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I hate these stories. They break my heart. I'm not maternal at all, but I can't fathom how someone could do that to a child. Children are supposed to be happy and carefree. It's horrible when their lives end in pain and sadness way too soon.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  7. Nkem

    June 29, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    This was so sad to read about – unfortunately, this happens more than we can even account fork. Thanks for bringing awareness.

  8. Emmanuel Damian

    June 30, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    They will never be forgotten! I really hope we can spread awareness!

  9. Christine

    June 30, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    This is heartbreaking and upsetting to read! Thank you so much for raising awareness so we can all help end child abuse.

  10. Adebimpe

    July 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

    This is very heart touching, patience is all that is needed for both parents are guardians, we all have been kids before, kids would always be kids, handling them with care is very important.

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