The question before jurors now is did Carri Williams and her husband Larry cause Hana’s death? The devout Christians admittedly did not spare the rod with their children, but prosecutors say they went to terrible extremes, hitting Hana and her younger brother with plastic plumbing pipes, hosing them down with cold water and forcing Hana to sleep in a barn or a four-foot-by-two-foot closet for weeks at a time.
“These things are not discipline or punishment,” said assistant Skagit County prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula. “They constitute torture.”
Prosecutors say the couple withheld food from Hana as a form of punishment and at the time of her death, the teenager weighed just 80 pounds. One cold, wet night in May 2011, she was sent outside as punishment wearing little more than cut-off sweatpants and a T-shirt. A few hours later she was dead from hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition.
“At one point as Hana was out there dying of hypothermia, her mother came out and hit her with a switch,” said Kaholokula
Another tragic end to a young life, a life brought to an end by adopters who removed a young person from her culture and country. As if that wasn’t abusive enough they began to inflict on her abusive, sadistic and violent treatment. You would have to wonder what sort of upbringing Larry and Carri each had in order for them to believe that it was right to treat children this way and was in some way not abusive, helpful but ‘corrective’ and appropriate.
“Every individual enters this world free of evil intentions, with the strong and unequivocal need to preserve his or her own life, to love and be loved. But if children encounter not love and truth but hatred and lies, if they are beaten rather than protected, then it must surely be their inalienable right to scream out their protests at such idiocy and evil. This would be the healthy and natural response to the destructive attacks mounted against them by adults. Such protest would salve their mental health, their dignity, self-esteem, integrity, self-awareness, and responsibility.
But beaten, neglected, and abused children are not allowed to defend themselves. All the recourses bestowed on them by nature for the purposes of self-preservation are out of bounds. Such protest might even cost them their lives.” – Alice Miller*
RIP Hana or whatever this young girl’s real name was. Another victim of abusive parenting by a christian family – how many bad apples can one barrel hold?
*Alice Miller Free From Lies – Discovering Your True Needs. W.W.Norton and Company 2010