The latest heart breaker comes from Taunton, where a woman allegedly assaulted a police officer who was helping the Department of Children and Families (DCF) remove three children from her apartment.

Melissa Jean Hope, 34, of East Water Street has been charged with assault and battery on a police officer. The DCF wanted to get the kids away from the mother and her husband, Mathew Hope, because DCF believed the children had been abused and neglected, including sexual assault and keeping the kids in cages.

It's hard to imagine a parent hurting a child, yet every year well over one million kids are physically, sexually, emotionally and psychologically abused. What would make a parent cage their children like animals?

I wish there was a profile of abusers. It would be simpler if all abusers followed a pattern and were easy to recognize. The truth is, child abusers come from all walks of life, period. A parent who has not been taught how to appropriately and consistently discipline a child is an added risk when you bring into the mix substance abuse, addictions, bipolar and other factors that exacerbate the situation.

Most abuse is never reported. If you're currently in a situation where you feel you may be abusing your own child or children, do something about it. Start by simply picking up the phone and calling The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4ACHILD.

The Taunton woman was released on personal recognizance on October 1. A pre-trial hearing will be held in Taunton District Court on November 15.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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