Naeem Williams, a former Hawaii soldier, may learn this week if he will be sentenced to death for repeatedly beating his 5-year-old daughter and causing her death.
One of the arguments in his defense is that he was a victim of abuse himself. We take a closer look at the common causes of abuse to find out why Hawaii parents are hurting their children to see if this cycle of violence repeats itself, turning victims into abusers.
Talia Williams died after months of vicious beatings. Her father, Naeem claimed part of the reason for the attacks was that he had been beaten by his dad.
According to the Department of Health's most recent data, parental history of abuse is one of the factors identified as contributing to the abuse or neglect of a child, but it only makes up about one percent of the total number of confirmed cases.
The number of reported cases of abuse has been going down in recent years, but experts believe many more happen they never hear about.
"For every one case of child abuse reported, another five go unreported," said Aileen Deese, with Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii.
Williams had expressed anger over his daughter's inability to be potty-trained.
Frustration by parents, is found in the majority of abuse here in the islands and is the number one reason cited in cases confirmed by Child Protective Services.
"Parents cannot cope with their parenting responsibilities, they can't handle the stress," said Deese.
"When we get really stressed or have power struggles with your child, that's when you get really angry. Sometimes you lash out in ways you wouldn't normally because you are frustrated and don't have the tools to be an effective parent," said Lisa Groulx, with P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. Hawaii.
At a recent P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. Class in Kaneohe, moms and dads came to learn additional skills to make them better parents and better prepared for the challenges of raising a child.
"I thought it was going to be a whole lot easier than it is now," said Kahaluu parent Murray Fairman.
Parents not only listen, they also share their support and experiences with one another.
"The ones that have 5-,10-,15-year-olds, I can see what is going to happen with my 3-year-old as she gets bigger. I know what to look forward to, and not to get overexcited that this seems weird. I'm learning what's actually normal when kids are being raised," said Fairman.
Many new parents may not be prepared to deal with the physical and emotional fatigue of caring for children, especially crying, fussy babies and young kids.
According to CPS statistics, the majority of abuse cases happen to babies and children up to 5 years old.
Parents play a big part in caring for their children, but anyone can have a hand in cutting down on the number of child abuse cases.
"Reach out to your neighbors, to young families that are having a hard time. Offer to watch their kids once or take over food to help them handle the stresses. They need time out," said Deese.
In addition to physically harming a child, abuse can take the form of threatening harm, neglect, or psychological abuse.
Those who works with children are required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse -- not just teachers or doctors but coaches and Scout leaders. Those who fail to report abuse can be prosecuted.