SHATTERING THE SILENCE – CAUSE AND EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – 01.29.2014

CAUSE AND EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

SHATTERING THE SILENCE GRAPHIC

Child Abuse.  Two words that should not go together.

Child abuse is horrific and heart breaking.  It is difficult to even acknowledge.  However the reality is, we need to acknowledge it.  We need to stand tall, look it straight in the face and say No More.  Acknowledging the child abuse that happens each day in our world is the first step to change.  The second step is to educate yourself about child abuse and what you can and should do to begin making a change.  The third step is sharing.  Once you have acknowledged the reality of child abuse and educated yourself about it, how to spot it, how to report it – then next thing you need to do is share what you have learnt with others.  The more awareness we can raise and the more we educate ourselves and others, the closer we are to change, to making this world safer for our children.

Abuse occurs in all cultures. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, what color your skin is, what your religious background is, or any other mitigating factors. No one is immune to abuse.  Abuse comes in many different forms, physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse and neglect.  Over the next four weeks I will be touching on each type of abuse and offering some knowledge about what exactly each type of abuse entails, how to spot it and how to report it.

The time for change has come – and arming ourselves with this information will save children’s lives.  Ending child abuse isn’t going to happen overnight and it may not even happen in my lifetime, however that will not stop me from laying down the foundation for the movement to end child abuse.  These children need us all. They need us to speak for them. They need to know that they’re not alone. Children who are abused are more often than not being abused by someone who is supposed to love them, take care of them, and above all, these children trust these people, their abusers. When they are being abused by a person who’s all those things they feel like they have nowhere else to turn. That was the case for myself and many others when we were kids. It shouldn’t be that way now. I’ve often heard people say they don’t want to get involved, not their business, not their problem. Just because it is out of sight out of mind for you doesn’t change the fact that a child is being called names, beat, raped, or murdered. If you see signs of a child being abused or feel it in your gut don’t turn away, because if you do the next time you see that child could be the day their being put in their grave.

Please join me next Wednesday as we take a better look at the physical abuse children face.  Together, we can make a difference, we can be a child’s hero.

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~ by LTWH on January 29, 2014.

12 Responses to “SHATTERING THE SILENCE – CAUSE AND EFFECT OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – 01.29.2014”

  1. Yes your right and I know what it’s like when and where there is nowhere to turn. I once sat outside a junior high schools councilor’s office for over an hour with a black eye in Oregon in the 1960’s. I still remember his name being Sanders and he didn’t bother to see me.
    My stepdad would even sit down and masturbate while I watched TV. and laugh his head off. I tried running away but guess what the states solution was for it. The Cuckoo Clock’s mental institution. By that time I almost agreed with them as I couldn’t take the mental and verbal and physical abuse anymore and couldn’t sleep at night. My mother just pretended it all was attention seeking symptoms.
    If I had been more “awake and aware” I guess I would have tried growing up myself by myself all alone. That’s what I finally ended up doing anyway.
    I’m sorry I still tried to believe in them and wasted all my time thinking they just might still “love” me when all I knew was hate.
    Your right about the social class not being a factor as they lived in one of the most beautiful homes in Oregon.
    I don’t care if they read this because someday I’m going to write a book about it.
    I hope it will help someone else.

    • Hello Michelle. There’s several things I need to say about your story. My heart goes out to you & all others that have had to endure horrific pain. Even though at times feel as if you’re alone rest assured that you’re not. I thank you for having the courage to share something so painful, so private with us. As Nadine has said I don’t sugarcoat anything. So if I come across as being harsh I apologize i’s not my intentions. What you have been through is awful. To be abused in the manner that you were & to then not have your mother protect you, support you, or love you added on top is almost unbearable. What happened isn’t your fault, it’s not your cross to bear. You are not required to carry that burden with you throughout the rest of you days. So many times we reflect back on our lives wondering about what if’s, what didn’t, what should’ve & could’ve. Stop….don’t…there’s nothing any of us can do to change certain events in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with crying over what has been done to us. Nothing wrong with falling to your knees shaking your fist at God asking “why God, why me, why?” Then you need to somehow pull yourself together, rise up, tell yourself “I am worthy, I’m am wanted, I am loved, & I am a Survivor.” True you can’t change the past, but you can strive for a better tomorrow. You not only have to tell yourself this you have to believe it. I understand with wanting my abusers to pay dearly for they had done to me. We’re not perfect & God knows that which is why He forgives us. I was homeless at 17 & was looking forward to going to bsic training so that I could get as far away from the painful memories that I could. Because I was raised in the church & my abusers where active members in our church I wanted to get as far as I could from God.I drank heavily every night for 20 years just to numb the pain, to push it so far back that I didn’t have to deal with it, & often i would be the 1 on my knees shaking my fist at God “why me, why am the 1 who doesn’t have any family, what is wrong with me that makes me not worthy enough to be loved?” Then I realized that the 17 years I was abused wasn’t my fault. I am worthy, I am loved, & I needed to be free from this prison I put myself in. I had to let go of the anger, the feelings of vindictiveness, & the hatred that I had. It was consuming me, it was killing my soul, & with every night I would drink it was getting me that much closer to death. I prayed God to help me, to heal me, & guide me in the direction that He wanted my life to go. I forgave them, I forgave the members in our church & community who had 1st hand knowledge of it. I had to forgive myself. All those years I referred to myself as a victim . Thinking of myself in that way allowed them to continue to have control over me. Never again will I ever let anyone have that power over me again. I finally found my voice, I found my peace within because I am a Survivor & because of Him I am free. Find your voice, find your peace, finally be free. (I apologize for the length & want to invite you to our group on facebook called Shattering the silence. As for the book thing we together can make that happen. I’m not an expert per say with a college education. I’ve lived it. I’ve survived it. You will too. )

  2. How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold
    There can be no triumph without loss. No victory without suffering. No freedom without sacrifice. Lord of the Kings
    May a light shine our way to help the children help themselves as we go with them their way from darkness and evil-me

  3. Yes, child abuse is horrific. I dealt with it at the age 3 to 21. by my birth Mother. I was the only girl, with three brothers. all would take turns beating me, while my mother watch and laugh. she never wanted me, and would tell me everyday of my life! I’m a grown woman, and she still feels the same way. I cried many nights, and morning, asking God to remove me from this earth at the age 17. my pains are still there I can only asks God, to keep me strong, and always know….he has the power. I can talk about my story to anyone now because I’m heal, thanks to the almighty God. I would love to have a child and give them real love. let them know you are somebody, and God, loves you so much. It’s my business, and my problem to be there for any abuse kid.

    • We have similar a stories Mary. I was adopted at 8 months. I found a picture they had hidden away of me in a body cast. I found out later that I was thrown down the basement steps. when I found out that i was adopted I prayed often that God wld get me out of there or let me die. I’m not going to into specifics but the next day all hell broke loose & for the 1st time ever I stood up for myself & fought back. needless to say they kicked me out & thx to my friends I had a place to go for the next 2 mo b4 leaving for basic. Your pain never goes away u just become more accepting of what happened especially when it sinks in that u can never change the past. I was blamed for so many things & told for yrs that I was nothing. that I wld never amount to anything. it was a long time b4 I was able to not think that & realize that I am worth something. what happened ito me was their fault. not mine & I shouldn’t carry around their guilt. You’re exactly right about God. There have been many times were it not 4knowing He loved me & He wld never forsake me I wldn’t be here today. I pray every night thanking Him for all the good He’s bestowed upon me & the strength He gives me 2 get through the hard times. You & I have talked several times we have the same goal in mind. I know the outcome will help so many. I commend you & the other survivors in turning something that was awful into something that is good for yourself & others. We will get through it together & be stronger because of it.

  4. Thanks to everybody for their painful testimonies. Especially to April Ann Stemann. I wrote a little about what I went through but I assure you that it didn’t even come close to all of it. We should all write a book together and we all would be excellent writers and I think we should encourage the children to speak out and tell about their abuse even if they have to knock on the next door neighbors door and tell them to call the police.
    I have lived in Italy since 1975. I met my husband after I prayed for a family of my own up on a youth hostel hill in Lourdes. I prayed until I saw the procession of candle bears down below. I met my husband a couple days later and I must of knew him in another life time as we bounded immediately. I wear a Soufeel charm bracelet with all the precious moments of our life together including pets. The Birth of our son Daniel. He’s Italian. I went home very rarely and always felt uneasy and scarred getting off the plane to see my mother and my step again. I knew I wasn’t welcomed but I wanted to see Mom again in hopes of rekindling a fire long dead. You see he changed her thinking about me. It was either him or me or he would divorce her. She choose him. I was only seven. Here I go writing that book but why not? Maybe we should write it for the children and entitle it “If Your Being Abused!”
    Thanks for all your contributions and keep contributing! Like April says it was not our fault but we did and will survive it.
    Let’s shine out light for the children and become their guide.
    By the way I say a great film on Vuse the otherday called “Amazing Love”

    • Michelle Greco, I strongly urge you to contacty myself or Nadine soon. We are in the beginning stages of writing a book. It’s being written by survivors like us who want to get their story out there, to help others, & make much needed changes.

  5. . Especially to April Ann Stemann because she wrote to me specifically but all of us are worthy testimonies of the horrors of child abuse and how we were made to think we were at fault and deserved it because we were made to believe we were all or either “stupid, ungrateful, hateful, angry,” as in my case all of these. As far as my stepdad was concerned I deserved having my face smashed every time he saw me. Which is what often happened until I shut down and became a mouse but even then my presence was annoying.
    Mom died and I flew home to be with her in her last days but she went into a coma while I was arriving. After she died my rich stepdad kicked me out and I didn’t attend her funeral but literally walked out of his and my half-brother’s life. He told me the inheritance was all in my half-brother’s hands and I better change my attitude toward my step Brother whom was significantly turned off by me also by this time. It amazed me how all the relatives suddenly disappear when your no longer significant to your parents anymore. How people are more afraid of being sued when put on the spot as my psychiatrist was then taking a stand.. It Always amazed me that money talks more then the heart. I showered mom with so many expensive gifts over the years that I couldn’t afford in hopes of making her love me but all I did was walk out with a cloth purse and I left everything else there as I couldn’t walk under the hot sun with my badly bruised leg with a suitcase. I had to get my self-home.
    Strangely I don’t desire any of her keep sakes from her family anymore that were once so important to me.
    I also found out by myself that I am illegitamate when she had me believe otherwise.

  6. I do not know if April has spoken with each of you regarding the book her and I are writing – we are compiling stories written by abuse survivors. We want you to tell your story (all names can be changed), and we want to give victims of abuse hope and comfort, and more importantly, the power to move from victim to survivor. If any of you would like to be a part of this book – please just email me at NadineRisi@hotmail.com
    Thank you all for speaking here – your courage and strength is a testament to your inspiring soul – and humbles me.

  7. I came from a situation with a mother who believed beating children with objects was a good thing and that parents who explored alternative discipline were the cause of modern American society’s ails. She got a rude awakening when even one of the most traditionalist states in the Union said she and her man who held an identical even more harsh ideology unfit and seized their children. If you ask her she will say Social Services was nosy, “getting in her business”, and stole her children. If you ask her now grown children including yours’ truly they will stifle tears and express IMMENSE GRATITUDE for their concerned teachers, vigilant social workers,and caring surrogate parents at the local children’s home where we grew up. Our abuse was physical and psychological. I remain nervous and extremely disturbed by loud voices and noise till this day along with shrinking away from any sort of touch. My older sister still has nightmares about crying and screaming at our mother,”Mommy I love you! I’m sorry!” while being beaten with a belt or extension cord. Because adults in positions of authority in our lives did their jobs we were ultimately rescued(something our mother taunted would NEVER happen because she was our could do whatever she wanted and we better keep our damned mouths SHUT.). If more adults recognized and advocated for children in distress then child abuse homicides would plummet.

  8. Being abused by my father left scars that have affected my whole life it took me 22 years to give back the guilt and blame that I had carried since I was a little girl , a child who should of been protected from the pain and suffering I endured by the person who hurt me . For a long long time my only memories where the ones torturing me I couldn’t turn them off like watching a horror movie over and over again , I struggled to remember happy memories .22 years later I phoned my dad and told him how much I hated myself ,and how damaging his actions had on my life and I was giving him his blame back . It was his burden to carry not mine ,I was just a little girl an innocent child whose future was scared by his actions and i hoped that karma would pain him as he had pained me . I finally put my pain to rest , I will never forget what he put me through but I feel my scares are finally starting to heal . I new in my heart I had to try and find peace with what he did to me or let it destroy me completely stop being the victim and become the surviver . Time is the only healer and believing it wasn’t your fault he made the decision to hurt me it was all on him I was the child he was the adult helps you to hate yourself a little less and realise your better than him

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