EXPLAINER: How to recognize signs of child abuse

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:52 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Amore Wiggins now has a name after being affectionately known as Baby Jane Doe for several years.

Her skeletal remains were found on January 28th in a mobile home park back in 2012. Her body showed signs of malnourishment, over a dozen fractured bones and blindness in one eye, leading investigators to believe a great deal of abuse happened to Amore. An area church released a photo of what may have been Amore, but did any adult notice she may have been in danger?

“If you notice a change in their behavior, maybe they are suddenly becoming more aggressive that’s a sign of abuse, or if they can start becoming more withdrawn, that’s a sign of abuse,” says Clinical Therapist Susie Olive-Allison.

While we know little about Amore’s personality, Susie says always watch your neighbors.

“If you have a neighbor, or notice someone in your neighborhood, who has a child who you don’t see very often, or it doesn’t look like a child lives in the house, say something, that is the reason to speak up,” says Allison.

Susie Allison has been a clinical therapist for over three years and says these cases happen often in the Chattahoochee Valley, and we have to work together to keep cases like Amore’s from happening.

“It’s always better to speak up than stay silent in these types of situations, sadly it’s stuff that we hear, every day not to this extreme, but we deal with clients that have been victims or witnesses to crime, and the stories that they tell us are very very heavy,” says Allison. Allison says in cases like Amore’s, it’s important that we keep her name alive.

“She’s not just a Jane Doe, she’s a little girl, and she had a full life ahead of her, and children that age are full of possibility and to have that take from her at a young age, Amore Wiggins I think it needs to be said,” says Allison.