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When Children Die at the Hands of Relatives

Author Cheryl is and advocate for women, children and animals who are abused and broken. Be a voice for the voiceless always.

A Child Who Never Had a Chance to Live

We have all heard the story of Savannah Hardin. Savannah Hardin's life was in turmoil long before police say the 9-year-old was run to death by her grandmother and stepmother for allegedly lying about some candy she ate.

Divorce and custody documents filed in family court over a period of several years reflect a history of fractured family relationships, with Savannah's divorced parents fighting over her welfare; claims of mental instability and abuse between her father and his second wife; medical problems that required frequent doctor visits; and counseling for the girl who still somehow managed to remain among the top students in her third-grade class.

Authorities say Savannah's life ended in exhaustion earlier this month when she was forced by her paternal grandmother, Joyce Hardin Gerrard, to run for three hours, while her stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, did nothing to stop it.

Justice for Savannah Hardin

An Eye for An Eye

A nine year old dies at the hands of her step mother and grandmother for lieing about eating candy and is forced to run non stop for three hours, causing severe dehydration.

Savannah, a delightful girl, has a seizure and dies, because of two evil women in her life. She never had a chance to have a life.

Looking at these two women, sometimes an eye for an eye wouldn't be such a bad idea. How can any person think that a child could run for three hours and never have as much as a drink of water to quench her thirst. Both women are in jail, but to me that doesn't seem like enough punishment.

Day after day children are being abused, killed, severely hurt, and emotionally scarred and what do we do as a society to punish their killers. Not put them to death, not make their lives uncomfortable, but we house them in a nicely air conditioned jail, with a bed, three meals a day, snacks, time outside, television, and time to do what; think about what they did? No they will never think about what they did because in all reality if a monster can do that to a child, they have no morals, values, or any kind of feelings in their heart.

If you have children and marry again, you better make sure that your new husband or wife loves your children. No child asks to come in to this world and certainly does not deserve to be treated in such a way by someone who is not even their biological parent. They don't even deserve to be treated that way by a family member they have been with their entire life.

Ladies and gentlemen, take care of your children and love them, nuture them so that they can grow up to be loving adults. Do not let someone belittle, abuse, or hurt your child. They not only don't deserve it but they should be loved always.

I pray this little girl is at peace now with the angels and I pray that God will deal with those two women and that they will spend the rest of their days in misery.

The People Savanah Trusted

Her grandmother and step mother

Her grandmother and step mother

Too much abuse to children

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A Fathers Nightmare

A neighbor recounts the horrible day for Savannah. Across the street that day, according to court testimony, neighbors Chad and Jolie Jacobs watched with increasing concern as Savannah ran for more than three hours, with her 50-year-old grandmother shouting: “I didn’t tell you to stop! "As the punishment continued, and Savannah was later ordered to run while carrying firewood sticks, the neighbors assumed that the elementary school student was getting an occasional respite. But that wasn’t true, and by the time the neighbors attempted to intervene, at about 6:30 that evening, Savannah was on the ground, vomiting, as her grandmother shouted: “Get up! I better not have to tell you again!”

The witness accounts from Holmes and Chad and Jolie Jacobs contained excruciating details from the moments that prosecutors argued led to Savannah’s death.

The Father was out of the country and entrusted his daughters care with his wife and her grandmother. What he came home to was a funeral.

They also contained regret: “I wish I had done something a lot sooner." My question to them is why didn't you? How can you watch a child be made to run for hours over a damn candy bar and not intervene. They should have called the cops before the first hour ever came to past.

Savannahs Story

Was the Punishment Enough?

Savannah's grandmother received life in prison while her step mother received twenty years in the state penitentiary, according to Etowah County District Attorney Jody Willoughby.

That sentence was split, providing for a period of three years to be served. Hardin received credit for time she served in the Etowah County Detention Center prior to posting bond in the case, and the balance of the split sentence was diverted to the Etowah County Community Corrections Program.

I can't understand why the step mother did not get life in prison. She was just as responsible for this as the grandmother. She did nothing to stop it. I am so appalled how these people basically get away with murder.

There are so many children abused daily and not one person helps them. Be their voice if you see or hear something that doesn't seem right.


Julie on February 28, 2012:

This is sickening and they should never go to jail but straight to a death chamber

Gwen on February 25, 2012:

It doesnt matter how uncomfortable they are the whole thing is that they should be put to death when they do such horrible things to children. Jail is not good enough for people like this.

Karla Iverson from Oregon on February 24, 2012:

I once worked as a coordinator in a women's prison. These women will be at the bottom of the pile in every situation, and will be treated badly by other women inmates, some of whom are the hardest people you'll ever meet. These women have killed a child, and everyone will know it. They won't be comfortable.

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