Hoaxes & Rumors

Portrait of Child Abuse or Sensationalism?

Portrait of Child Abuse or Sensationalism?

A photo allegedly of an abused child is being circulated on Facebook. The photo depicts a child with wounds and stitches under the eyes, and a caption encouraging those against child abuse to like the photo. But is this actually the image of an abused child?

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No. It is an image of a child who was attacked by a dog in 2008.

The story and accompanying photo appeared on the dailymail.com on April 8, 2008 in an article entitled, Girl, 4, savaged after being attacked by father’s new rottweiler.

In the story, we learn that the child, Sophie Willis of Cardiff (Wales), was attacked by a new pet in the family home. Her father had trained as a dog handler and had believed the dog would be safe to bring around his children. Sophie received prompt medical attention.

The photo being circulated contains the caption:

Like In 3 Seconds :'(

If You Are Against Child Abuse :'( :'( </3
no rude comment :( :'(

As of this writing, the photo has nearly a half a million likes and over 20,000 shares. There are many angry comments directed at “who did this” to the child.

Obviously stopping child abuse is a great cause, but in this case the photo used to promote the cause has nothing to do with child abuse. It’s obvious from the article that this girl is far from a victim of child abuse. Passing this photo around and slapping a “child abuse” label on it is misleading, and probably aimed at gaining likes as much as fighting child abuse.

Bottom Line
This is not a photo of an abused child.

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  • Mikki

    It’s a little odd that she has the same amount of damage on both of her eyes & that her stitches are so horrendous, I’ve seen the damage a rott can do to a childs face, as I have seen it first hand on a friends child…who was asleep when the child tripped over the dog… the damage to her face was way more severe & not as symetrical as this childs wounds…I would say that she had been hit by an adult repeatedly…..

    • Sherry

      Mikki, This is indeed a picture of a little girl, age 4, who was savagely bitten by her father’s new Rottweiler. Please google Sophie Willis dog attack for multiple BBC news articles regarding this incident which happened in 2008.

    • John Voll

      I totally agree with you Mikki.

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