The brutal abuse of Wyatt Rewoldt has led to the birth of a proposed bill that could crack down on vile child abusers. According to Fox News, the boy’s mother, Erica Hammel, feels her son’s traumatic life experience is much more than just an isolated incident.
Now, she’s fighting to make sure the woman responsible for her son’s injuries, and all other child abusers, never have opportunities to harm children again. Little Wyatt’s injuries have led to the birth of a unique bill called Wyatt’s Law, which would require child abusers to be part of a registry to make their actions known to others, much like the mandatory requirement for sex offenders. According to the Independent Journal Review, the petition for this law began with a life-altering incident that occurred back in 2013.
I didn't want to read this but am glad I did. They need to pass Wyatt's Law nationally. https://t.co/ELSa54BvTZ
— La-Shawn E Price (@lashawneprice) March 10, 2016
Erica Hammel reportedly had serious reservations about sending her son Wyatt to stay with his father and his new live-in girlfriend, Rachel Edwards. Initially, she assumed it was only fear of the unfamiliar, but she soon learned her reservations were warranted. On November 1, 2013, Hammel received gut-wrenching news when she learned her one-year-old son Wyatt had been brutally beaten and that he was near death as a result of the horrific mistreatment he suffered at the hands of his father’s girlfriend, Rachel Edwards.
It has been reported that Wyatt suffered “brain injuries, head trauma, a skull fracture, broken ribs, and eye injuries, according to a doctor that treated the boy during seven weeks of rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital of Michigan,” reports Macomb Daily. The injuries are reportedly consistent with “Shaken Baby Syndrome.”
Needless to say, Hammel was devastated about her son’s condition, but shortly after, she discovered something else about Rachel Edwards that she was totally unaware of. Apparently, Edwards had a history of abuse with the previous child abuse convictions — a felony in 2011 and a 2013 misdemeanor charge not long before the harrowing incident that led to Wyatt’s injuries.
WYATT"S LAW Mom of beaten baby wants child abuser registry https://t.co/qRjXHOj245
— The Truth 24 US (@TheTruth24US) March 5, 2016
Hammel adamantly believes that, if the convictions of child abusers had been made public, her son may not have been a victim. She would have been able to justify that gut instinct she had before allowing her son to go with Edwards and his father. In a previous hearing back in January of 2015, she spoke out about her son’s injuries and how she feels Wyatt’s Law could prevent other defenseless children from suffering the same injuries as Wyatt.
“I just want to make sure she never can abuse a child again,” Hammel said at the hearing. “I thought she made herself look even more guilty and like a coward,” Hammel said. “She can’t own up to her own actions, and it’s disgusting to me she can feel no remorse for what happened to my son.”
According to Detroit Free Press, Edwards was sentenced to 33 months to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to the second-degree child abuse charges in connection with Wyatt’s injuries.
[News] Wyatt's Law introduces Child Abuse Registry list to Michigan http://t.co/gXLvWFr60N
— Diane Aksten CPA (@DianeAksten) October 17, 2015
Wyatt’s story has garnered national attention, as many others agree that child abuse registries should be mandated nationwide. Now, petitions have been launched in other states, and Wyatt’s Law has been introduced into legislature. Although Wyatt has made vast improvements, he still has a long road to recovery ahead.
Do you think there should be a public registry for child abusers? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]