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Jan 24, 2011

Mother of 3 padlock children inside their home

Mary Tatum

It’s an offence that is all too common, but often goes unreported and unpunished. Today a Belize City woman was charged with Child Neglect for allegedly leaving her three children alone inside a wooden house, with a candle burning and the door padlocked from outside. Twenty-eight year old Mary Tatum was read the single charge this morning and was granted bail of four hundred dollars; her next court date is March fourth. But Tatum is going home to a lonely house because her children have been placed in the care of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. On Friday evening, police were alerted that the children, ages one to four, were locked inside the house on Freetown Road. They went to the house and entered through a window. The children were removed from the house through the same window since the door was padlocked, pictures were taken of the house and Social Workers were called to take the children. Tatum was detained when she showed up at the police station looking for her children. She says she only left home to sell a cellular phone sim card.

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10 Responses for “Mother of 3 padlock children inside their home”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Girl, I don’t think you intended to cause your children harm but you should only have a sim card if you have a cell phone or two. Why the hell does a cell phone take precedence over electricity & the safety of your children. I do think that with some parenting classes you can turn this around, consider this a lesson learned & a warning to parents who are doing the same thing.

  2. MADDYVANDDIJK/DEREALIST says:

    This woman is another sad case to deal with, single mother of three, no job, no education. This seriously puts her kids at risk of danger cause by her negligence. So much could have happened to those poor kids while she was busy selling a cellular phone card.
    No matter how many cases of deaths or murdered children in Belize unfolds before the people’s eyes on the news, some parents continue to put their kids at risk by sending them on errands, or locking them in their homes with a burning candle,………………………….. Why?

    I have to applaud the person that made the call to the police in this case. More neighbours need to do the same to help protect kids in Belize.

    Keep her kids until she learn some responsibilities, don’t send her to jail this time, but force her to work until she can afford to pay for electricity and a proper baby sitter for her kids.
    We need to make examples of parents in Belize, I swear.

  3. shy says:

    Where is the father in this picture? Why he couldnt be minding them ? Seems like another poor woman being left to raise her kids alone with no help as tho she made them herself and not with the help of a man.

  4. cg says:

    you know its difficult to go somewhere with your kids in toe…but i would rather them give me a big ole headache than leave them unattended for any reason. my kids give trouble while i’m around, imagine when i’m not with a candle burning?…there are plenty of women going around with more than 5 kids or even 9…and still manage to get things done, there is no excuse, these charges should stick each time to give these women some common sense.

  5. RadicalBelizean says:

    This is sad story. I don’t believe this woman meant any harm to her kids. Just an ill-thought out set of actions. Too many women in Belize find themselves in this situation. I think there is really a lot of work to be done around family planning, awareness of the consequences of single motherhood, and poverty. Probably starting at first form in the high schools, or even earlier for both sexes. The community spirit Belize once had seem to be dwindling, once upon a time you can ask neighbours to watch you kids for an hour or so, or get the neighbours’ kid to do a favour for you but that doesn’t seem to be the norm anymore.

    Its unclear whether Ms Tatum is married or a single mom from this news item but we really need to start discussing these incidents by the fact that children have a mother and a father and stop re-enforcing the notion that childrearing is solely the responsibility of the women. So please start mentioning the fathers whether they are present in the kids lives or if they have absconded. Start naming and shaming the fathers too.

  6. Proud Belizean says:

    Good job on charging this lady for neglect. We saved lives….

  7. somiah says:

    Being a single mom is a choice today, there are all different kinds of birth control and is given for free in Belize and third world countries @ the clinics, yet women choose to have these children for their own selfish and ignorant reasons. Look at their ages, 1 – 4… It is sad but all too common, thank God for the outcome of the story, it could have ended very tragic..

  8. Princess says:

    Please get your facts straight before you start to judge anyone. There must be a reason for doing this. One prime example could be that she needed to put food on the table and hence the reason she went out to sell that sim card. I know its wrong to leave children unattended, but if she is poor and does not have anyone to keep an eye out for her then what can she do.

  9. jessyjames says:

    YOU KNOW WHAT ….. I HAVE SEEN PARENTS SENDING CHILDREN RIGHT AFTER SCHOOL TO SELL…, WHILE THEY STAY HOME AN WATCH NOVELA OR MAKE MORE PICNIC WHIT NO GOOD MAN WHO LIKE TO DRINK.
    YOU CAN SEE CHILDREN FALLING A SLEEP IN FRONT OF THE BANKS AT PARKS , BARS
    SELLING FUDGE AND IF THEY DONT SELL THEY WILL BEAT THEM UP. WHAT U THINK HAPPEN TO THESE CHILDREN ARE THE YGOING TO SCHOOL WELL FED NO! HELL! REALLY I SAW AN INCIDENT WHERE A NINE YEAR OLD SELLING CONFITAS WENT INTO A BAR , YES A BAR AND U KNOW WHAT HAPPEN , I SAW A MAN GIVING THE CHILD A 10.00 AND TOUCHING THAT CHILD ON HER PRIVATE PART YES …, I TOOK IT MY BUSINESS AND CHASE THAT CHILD HOME
    SEE WHAT BECOME OF CHILDREN LIKE THOSE AND WE SHOULD TRY HARDER . BECAUSE CHILDREN DON’T HAVE THE FAULT YOU KNOW U DON’T HAVE A JOB A DECENT MAN TO GIVE U MONEY AND STILL MAKING MORE PICNI …..TELL ME IF THIS NANANCE INSANE

    LETS DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MAN ……………….PARENT D ABUSE CHILDREN….

  10. Check it out says:

    legalize abortion, free tie-off at public hospitals, political and community leaders need to preach and live with certain family values. Dr Gayle said it if a woman has 6-8 children she will never get out of poverty in her lifetime, if on the other hand she has one or two, their chances of a better life are greatly increased.I agree that the names and photos of these deadbeat dads should make the news. it is amazing how many women have 8 children and still claim to be “single mom’
    we just went thru a census maybe the statistical institute of Belize can give us that fact . how many families are single parent, what percentage are legally married.( which is something that is rapidly dissapearing from our society). this is the root if we don’t adress this we will be facing these cases over and over and more innocent children will die due to abuse and neglect. Belize needs to make hard decisions we are failing as a country, check the human development index stats

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