Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect

Written by Guest Blogger, Sharon Fox.

Child abuse is more than broken bones and bruises. While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse. Regardless of the type of child abuse, the result is serious emotional harm.

There are several myths about child abuse that need to be addressed. Here are a few of them.

Myths and facts about child abuse and neglect:

MYTH #1: It’s only abuse if it’s violent.

Fact: Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, other people are less likely to intervene.

MYTH #2: Only bad people abuse their children.

Fact: While it’s easy to say that only “bad people” abuse their children, it’s not always so black and white. Not all abusers are intentionally harming their children. Many have been victims of abuse themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent. Others may be struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse problem.

MYTH #3: Child abuse doesn’t happen in “good” families.

Fact: Child abuse doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. It crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors.

MYTH #4: Most child abusers are strangers.

Fact: While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family.

MYTH #5: Abused children always grow up to be abusers.

Fact: It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.

If you know of a child who is being abused or neglected, please contact your local Child Protective Services Department or Police. Every child deserves to live a happy and safe life.

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Sharon Fox
Protect Our Children Foundation

Sharon Fox is an author and child abuse activist. Being a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse is what prompted her to fight so hard to protect the innocenc of children. To learn more about Sharon and protecting a child or children from abuse and neglect, visit www.goodcookin4u2.webs.com or www.protectourchildren.webs.com .

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