A 23-year-old woman was arrested in Sanford, Florida on April 26, after police received an anonymous report about an Instagram video that captured the young mother abusing her 1-year-old child.
On Tuesday, authorities were called to the Windridge Circle area to question 23-year-old Tya Posley about the incident but they found no scratches or evidence of abuse on the infant upon arriving at the scene. Minutes later, officers received an email containing the horrific video.
According to the police report, in the shocking Instagram Story video, Posley could be seen yelling and slapping the young child on the face and back as she screamed, per WFTV:
“Your daddy wants to post s**t right, he wants to fu**** post s**t and not answer the god damn phone. I hate your a**!”
The person who tipped off investigators claimed that the abuse had been going on for nearly a year. Police immediately returned to Posley’s home and arrested her on child abuse and bodily harm charges. Detectives said initially, Posley denied hitting the child, but after reviewing the social media video, they were able to identify her as the person seen and heard in the damaging post.
“The video showing what this helpless infant endured is both gut-wrenching and infuriating,” Sanford police chief Cecil Smith said in a statement. “Though social media often brings about many challenges, today is a day I am grateful for it as it brought forth swift relief and protection for this young child.”
Posley was sent to the Seminole County Jail following the incident, but she was later released on a $2,000 bond. The child was removed from her custody by Child Protective Services.
Child abuse cases have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic in 2019. According to Statista, that year, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System documented that there were 656,251 victims of child abuse in the United States. Child neglect cases saw a slight decline in 2020, at 618,399 victims, but the trend is still concerning.
Some states have reported more cases of abuse than others. In 2020, about 65,116 unique victims of child abuse were reported in Texas, the most out of any state. “In that year, California, New York, Illinois, and Florida rounded out the top five leading states with the most victims of child abuse,” Statista found in their report back in January.
Sadly, 2019 saw a tragic uptick in child abuse-related deaths. Child service agencies estimated that nearly “1,840 children” died as a result of abuse and neglect that year, Child Help reported. That’s nearly five children a day, but tragically there could be more cases that have gone unreported. Studies show that 50 percent of child maltreatment fatalities often go undocumented, a problem that we must address as soon as possible.