Child Abuse

Girl, 4, Beaten and Zip-Tied to Bed for Climbing in House, Tells Police Her Name Is 'Idiot'Jennifer Denen, 30, allegedly allowed her boyfriend Clarence Reed, 45, to call her daughter ‘idiot’ so often, she thought it was her name. (GCJ)
Clarence Reed, 47 and Jennifer Denen, 30, both of Hot Springs, Ark., have been charged with domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering welfare of a minor after a staff member at Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center told police a 4-year-old girl showed signs of abuse. (KARK-TV)

The 4-year-old girl had deep purple bruises, a black eye, a swollen cheek and a mark on her forehead.

She also had healing scars across her back, dried blood in the corner of her mouth and ligature marks on her wrist, authorities said.

When a police officer asked her what her name was, she had a startling response: “Idiot.”

Her mother’s live-in boyfriend, police said, regularly called the child “Idiot” instead of using her actual name. He also zip-tied the girl to her bed as a form of punishment, according to a police report.

Clarence Reed, 47, and the child’s mother, Jennifer Denen, 30, both of Hot Springs, Ark., are now charged with domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering welfare of a minor.

Police received a call Friday from the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, where a staff member told an officer that a malnourished 4-year-old had been abused in her home.

Reed and Denen, who were at the center when police arrived, were later arrested.

Denen told police that she had seen her boyfriend strike her daughter with a plastic bat and said she’d heard Reed frequently call the child “Idiot.”

She admitted not seeking medical care for her daughter, the police report said.

Reed told authorities that he hit the child. But instead of a plastic bat, he told police, he had used a half-inch-thick wooden paddle, according to the report.

He also admitted zip-tying the child to punish her for climbing the kitchen cabinets.

And although he said he had called the child “Idiot,” Reed told police he meant it as a joke.

Cpl. Kirk Zaner, spokesman for the Hot Springs Police Department, told The Washington Post that a total of six children lived in the house, all of whom are Denen’s. One, an 11-month-old, is her only child with Reed.

Zaner said the 4-year-old girl and the 11-month-old are now in the custody of the Department of Human Services. The four older siblings are with their biological father.

In 2012, state and local child protective services received about 3.4 million reports of children being abused or neglected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of them, 78 percent, were victims of neglect; 18 percent suffered physical abuse, according to the CDC

About 80 percent of perpetrators were parents, the CDC said, while six percent were relatives other than parents. Four percent of perpetrators were the parents’ unmarried partners.


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Child abuse is such an incredibly awful crime. Besides the physical abuse, there is emotional and mental abuse. The results of this abuse can last a lifetime even with good therapy and medication. My heart breaks for this child. I have seen child abuse close up and the scars it leaves. It used to be like battery and no one believed you and the abuse slowly broke you down. You grew up believing you were what you were told you were.


Putting a child into the system isn’t always an answer because the system often makes the problems worse. I hope that this little one has relatives who will be able to take her in and love her and raise her the way she deserves to be raised. People like this should not have children.




9 thoughts on “Child Abuse

  1. renxkyoko says:

    This is so heartbreaking. * I want to erase the image of that child being abused.* How can we make it better for this innocent kid ?

  2. Ms. Vee says:

    I hope she heals emotionally, and physically.

  3. Xena says:

    I hate to think of the emotional trauma that child endured. The mother must also have some type of emotional problem to allow what happened to her child. I hope that they both get help.

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Why are human capable of such evil?

  5. My heart cries out too Barbara.. I hate to think of the emotional damage already done.. As a retired support worker I know only too well the knock on affects of such abuse..
    And I am sickened by parents who allow such abuse and who are abusers themselves..
    My prayers are with the young girl and i hope she receives the healing she needs to help her mind overcome such an ordeal in her young life.

    Sending thoughts..
    Love Sue x

    • Sue, so nice to hear from you. I know exactly what you are saying. i am a child abuse survivor. But it was so long ago that no one talked about it and when I told counselors at school they didn’t believe me. i am glad they were able to get her out while she was that young and I pray she gets the therapy she needs. I would like to take all the children in who are suffering in the world and give them what they need. Just scoop them up and protect them. Hugs and love Barbara

      • Yes Barbara so would I, would that no child needed protecting.. But sadly there are far far too many still in need of help.. And I am sorry you had to suffer as a child Barbara.. I can see why you are so passionate in helping.. xxx Love Sue x

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