Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Jan. 26

Mothers must put children's safety first

This is not going to be pretty, but it's something that needs saying, so say it I will: the victims' own mothers are opening the doors to the butchery and rape of little children.

I spoke about this recently on my radio show, and mentioned the discovery of the mutilated bodies of little 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and her best friend, 9-year-old Krystal Tobias. At the time police had not yet revealed that their alleged killer was Laura's own father, a man recently released from prison who had a history of violent behavior. I did not have any idea then that his horrendous crime and his involvement in it would offer terrible proof of what I was about to tell my listeners.

Stop and think about the number of children we have buried in the past few months and ask yourself just what is wrong with America. There is news that a 16-month-old-boy in New Mexico, who along with his stepfather, is missing after the child's mother turned up dead just hours after police answered a domestic call.

There was an Amber Alert out for the boy, whom someone saw at the family's apartment about 1 p.m. Sunday when police responded to a domestic dispute between his mother and her husband. She let this man come into her life, and doing so may have cost her her own life and probably her son's.

I am going to say this until I am absolutely blue in the face: God bless single mothers. But when a man asks any woman to show allegiance to him above her allegiance to her children, even if the man is the child's natural father, that woman needs to run as fast as she can in the opposite direction. Get that man out of the house.

If Laura Hobbs' mother had taken this advice, instead of opening her home to the husband who had been in prison for attacking her and chasing neighbors with a chain saw, Laura and Krystal would be alive today.

What could she have been thinking when she allowed this thuggish ex-con with a history of violence within 10 miles of her daughter, not to mention the peril she faced herself in living with this man who had already assaulted her?

Yet we find so many women today who in one way or another did not get the love they needed from their own or their child's father and are looking for what they didn't get at home. They are looking for that hug and that squeeze and a whispered "I love you," and they are willing to expose their children to the danger of having a strange man living in the house in order to have a relationship.

If you have a child, that is your responsibility 100 percent and I don't care if that means you have to be celibate and do without an active social life until your child is old enough to take care of himself or herself.

I realize that there are a few stepfathers out there who are fine men, but there is a preponderance of men who are anything but. If you think that the child is coming between you and a man, you are apt to think you have two choices: get rid of the child or allow the new man to live with you and thus have an opportunity to have sex with the child.

I am tired of reading stories of women who brought a stepfather into the home who ends up raping or killing the child.

If celibacy is the only answer, it's better than burying your child. I know you want hugs and love, but why not try getting them from your child? And when your child is old enough to care for himself or herself you can start a new relationship. But right now, that child that you brought into this world is your primary responsibility. He or she comes first, above you, and above any love interest you might develop.

If you are going to have a child, love it; and if you can't love and cherish and protect it, don't have it.

The common denominator in the great number of cases of child rape and murder is the presence in the home of live-in boyfriends and stepfathers. Recognize that.

E-mail Mike Reagan at for Mike

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