Most of us have a hard time imagining how someone could abuse a vulnerable person, especially someone from their own family. However, new stories of abuse come out every day, each one seemingly more horrifying than the last. It’s so important that we pay close attention to the health and safety concerns of the vulnerable people around us in order to protect them to the best of our ability.
A woman who spent months physically and verbally abusing her own aunt is now behind bars after her crime was finally discovered. No one anticipated that this woman would take advantage of her own kin, but thank goodness her actions were eventually brought to light and she was brought to justice.
After being released from prison, Danielle Shaw, of Liverpool, went to live with her aunt, who has early-onset dementia.
While living with her aunt, Shaw would get angry about minor inconveniences and use them as excuses to abuse her aunt. She would supposedly fly off the handle about something as simple as being woken up “too early or too late” or not immediately getting a cup of coffee. She reportedly stomped on her aunt’s hands, punched her, and threatened to smash her head into a fish tank. The abuse lasted for several months.
“In the last few days, the violence increased,” says prosecutor Karl Scholz. “She would drag her aunt around the floor by her hair and punched her almost daily.”
Shaw also apparently threatened to kill her aunt if she tried to tell anyone about the abuse, and she ordered her to get out of her own home.
Eventually, the victim was so distressed that she left the home and took a bus to a nearby waterway with the intention of committing suicide there. Luckily, however, she didn’t do it right away, instead opting to live in the streets for several days rather than return home.
Police received a call from the older woman’s sister, who was worried because she hadn’t heard from her in a while. They put out a missing person bulletin, and then a bus driver recognized her and contacted police when she boarded a bus to go to her sister’s house.
It was after police discovered the elderly woman that they began to look into her home life and learned how deplorable Shaw’s behavior had been to cause her aunt to run away from her own home.
It is believed that Shaw’s abuse of her aunt may be partially due to her use of alcohol and cannabis. However, her behavior is inexcusable and deplorable.
Shaw is expected to be jailed for the next two years and five months after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful wounding. Her aunt now also has a restraining order against her, and she will be required to pay a victim surcharge as well.