A husband and wife, 36 year old Aimee Friz, and 57 year old Alan Friz of Huntingburg Indiana have been arrested on 46 felony charges, including multiple charges of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Neglect, and Criminal confinement. It is alleged that they kept their daughter, age unreported, in a closet that had been converted into a locking cage. It is further alleged that the daughter had been left in the cage without food and water, and sexually molested by Alan Friz, who is a Huntingburg dentist. Both were released on bail. The daughter and other children in the home have been removed.
Parents, who are supposed to love, protect, and care for their children, commit the most heinous and atrocious acts of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse can be defined as an overt act of commission, or a parent doing something to a child they shouldn’t. Child neglect is a covert act of omission, or a parent not doing something for a child they should. Collectively, these acts are referred to Child maltreatment. Parents may beat, rape, starve, molest, burn, and verbally threaten and demoralize a child. Children suffer physical and psychological damage that can last a lifetime. It doesn’t stop when the child is out of the house. Children that are abused may go to school, looking battered and cowed, where they will become targets of abuse by bullies. Or they will abuse smaller weaker kids as bullies, partly in an attempt to discharge the anger, hurt and confusion they are experiencing at home. In this way, a terrible cycle is carried out. As maltreated children grow older, they are more prone to using drugs or alcohol in an effort to reduce the psychological pain they experience, or they may suffer eating disorders, social anxiety, panic disorder, or PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder). As adults, they may continue suffering from psychological problems, addiction, engage in criminal behavior, sink into or be unable to extract themselves from poverty, and have difficulty sustaining healthy intimate relationships. Psychotherapy, possibly medication, and many sources of support and years of hard work will be needed to recover. But abused children will have a very different world view when they grow into adults.
The damage that child maltreatment can produce is considerable. Those who commit these crimes must be held fully accountable for their actions, up to and including permanent removal of children from their custody. Those who suffered such treatment will have a lot of hard work ahead, but should also have hope.