Aniya’s voice is louder than ever, and she’s telling us more battered kids are at risk (editorial)

Updated: Mar. 7, 2019 at 10:54 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - “Mommy hurts me.”

That's what little Aniya Day-Garrett told people over and over again.

She said it back in May 2017, when she went to day care bleeding from the ear.

She said it to day care workers who did the right thing and took her to the hospital. She said it to a Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services' worker at the hospital.

Euclid girl’s death exposes broken system, detached community -- we must do better (editorial)

According to files at day care – dating all the way back to 2015 – she said it at least eight times.

The day care gave all those files to police.

By March 11, 2018, Aniya Day-Garrett was dead. Dead of trauma to the head. Dead of starvation.

Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend were convicted of aggravated murder by a jury Thursday, almost a year after her killing.

They now face life sentences in prison, but they aren’t the only people on the hook for this little girl’s death.

A little girl at 2, at 3, at 4, telling anyone who would listen that her mommy is hurting her, and the system just kept sending her back.

No one was there to protect this girl, and she was doing the only thing she could do to try and save herself.

County leaders promise reform, but we all need to ensure the system doesn’t break down again.

Aniya isn't the only child who has died, but her voice – a voice I've never heard, and will never hear – is the one I hear right now.

Her voice is speaking for God knows how many other kids who are right now, at this very moment, telling someone they’re being abused, and none of us are there to do what’s right.

None of us are there to stop this abuse.

It has to stop--now.

-This is an updated version of Erik Schrader’s editorial, which originally aired on March 22, 2018. Schrader is the VP and General Manager of WOIO/CW43.

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