U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger honored the family of Kilah Davenport on Thursday; months after the approval of the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act. Kilah was a 4 year old girl who was severely beaten by her stepfather, Joshua Houser, that left with permanent brain damage. Houser fractured Kilah's skull by ramming her head through a wall after she soiled herself.
Kilah was unable to walk or talk and was confined to a wheelchair following the brutal attack. Sadly, Kilah passed away three weeks before her 5th birthday from complications of the attack. Houser was convicted and sentenced last month to 7-10 years in prison for felony child abuse and inflicting serious bodily harm on the toddler.
“She always said [she would] be a star one day. We just didn’t know it would be like this,” Kilah’s mother Kirby Davenport said.
Today MyFox8.com reported Ms. Davenport called the day bittersweet. She was excited to receive the pen President Obama used to sign the Kilah's Law, but her heart ached Kilah wasn’t there.
“My son is actually one-and-a-half, and when we say, ‘Where’s sissy?’ he points to the sky and says, ‘Sky,’ Davenport said. “And he fully gets it.”
Kilah's family pushed for a "federal law and Pittenger sponsored it. He presented the family with a framed copy of the legislation that helps create tougher penalties for child abusers. He believes it will save many lives."
“Absolutely this is going to put pressure on the states to take a look at their laws,” Pittenger said.
Pittenger stated in his speech that the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act was "one of the few laws of real substance that has made it out of Congress recently. He said that ending child abuse is incredibly important." Ms. Davenport believes this action will be her daughter’s legacy.
“I cannot be more proud,” Davenport said. “Kilah was given this journey long before she was ever my child. And I was given that journey as her mother. And I’m thankful and grateful that it was given to us because we made a difference.”
Pittenger admits it was a challenge to get the law passed. He told Channel 9 "he tried to get the White House to host a special signing ceremony, but he said he never received a response from the administration."
Child abuse and neglect is a growing epidemic in the United States. It's hard to rationalize, but statistics show a child is abused every 10 seconds and 5 children die each day due to violence and neglect. As heartbreaking as it is these statistics are increasing daily.
Learn how to protect your children from abuse by learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse. One local organization making a difference in the lives of children is Dreamcatchers for Abused Children. Dreamcatchers is a 501 (c) 3 Michigan based non-profit child abuse and neglect awareness organization, dedicated to educating the public on the signs, symptoms, statics, intervention, prevention to assist victims and survivors in locating the proper resources to help achieve and enable a full recovery. This amazing organization is ran by two moms on a mission to end violence towards children.
For more information on Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, visit their website at: http://dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com