There are still a lot of hushed voices and side conversations when it comes to child abuse and what is “real” or not. My goal here is to provide you with answers to some of the myths about child abuse.
Myths about child abuse.
1 -Abused children always grow up to be abusers.
OK, this is a biggie guys. While there are many instances where abused children grow up and learn to repeat the cycle of abuse, it is not a given and highly preventable. Like myself, with a little guidance survivors of abuse can and often do flourish as adults and use their past abuse as motivation to become exceptional parents. For me, there is three things that have to happen before this was possible. 1. Acceptance. I had to accept what happened to me. Accept that it was NOT MY FAULT and accept that I can break the cycle if I try. 2. Resources. For many people this is just not something you deal with it’s something that you LIVE WITH and you need to learn how to cope, process & understand these things. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. 3. The willingness to change. If you’re willing to change it can happen!
2 -It’s only abuse if it’s violent.
Physical abuse is just one kind of abuse victims may be subject to. Often times there is a combination of abuse going on and each type of abuse should be treated in its own unique way. Emotional abuse, neglect, & sexual abuse are sometimes hidden in a way that physical abuse can not be. It’s very important to recognize these different types of abuse and seek specialized treatment for the victims.
3 -Child abuse doesn’t just happen in “bad” families.
This is one, surprisingly, I hear all the time. “I can’t believe it happened to them. They come from a good family” but that’s the kicker isn’t it? Child abuse doesn’t only happen in poor families in bad neighborhoods. Abuse crosses racial, financial, and even cultural lines. Even families that seem to “have it all together” can be facing a very different story behind closed doors.
These are just some of the myths about child abuse that I have encountered recently. The list, sadly, could go on for much longer. I think it’s important to be able to identify between MYTH & REALITY in order to make the best possible decisions for victims of child abuse. Below is some information about how to report suspected abuse and resources for those in need.
Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services.
Contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).
Get information on how to report for individual US States.