Even the phrase ‘child abuse’ can send a chill up the spines to many decent hearted folks around the world. The thought of poor, defenseless children, being abused by those in charge of them is almost too much to bare. So why is child abuse such a rampant crime throughout America? According to ChildHelp.og more than 6 million children are included in reports on the topic of child abuse every single year. For a first world country these numbers are almost unbelievable. But abuse doesn’t stop at bruises and yelling matches. In fact, according to ChildHelp, the United States loses an average of 4 to 7 children per day because of abuse. That is almost 7 child fatalities per day caused by the people that should be protecting them. With this grim portrait in your head, let’s continue on and look at how child abuse victims, those that have survived, can move on as well as the odds that they had to overcome in order to do so.
Digging Into The Numbers: Child Abuse Is Rampant
When you think of the phrase ‘child abuse’ typically you conjure up in your head some image of an alcoholic parent and a lonely, beaten down, little child. While this is no doubt a commonplace version of the sad story, it is not the only one. According to statistics gathered by ChildHelp, one reported case of child abuse is filed every ten seconds. While alcoholism is a rampant issue in the world, it is not that rampant. What this tell us is that these child abuse victims are not all suffering in the stereotypical way. Terrible things are happening behind the closed doors of our neighbors and the people we typically would trust.
The biggest reason that child abuse, much like animal abuse, is so horrifying is that the victim never had a chance to get away. Being born into abuse can lead to a host of physical, mental, and emotional problems down the line–even after the abuser has relented. This is in no way surprising and we will explain how.
Child Abuse Happens At Home
When child abuse becomes fatal it typically occurs with children under the age of 4. Horrifyingly enough, almost 50% of these deceased victims will never have their story see the light of day as death certificates routinely do not reflect their true cause of death. This means that not only are parents, family members, relatives, and friends getting away with murder–they are doing so scott free. To add on another layer of disgust, over 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims knew their assaulter.
Child Abuse Perpetuates A Vicious Cycle
Many folks mistakenly believe that once the abuse stops, things will heal and everyone will move on. This is sadly not the case. Victims of child abuse are at immediate risk to continue perpetuating the violence that they grew up in. According to the statistics, almost a third of these victims will continue on the tradition of abusing their children. This shows how futile the entire process is. In order to ever get past the problem, the country will have to unite as one to stop the hate.
Victims of abuse will suffer from an array of different problems as they grow up. A quarter of abused children will likely experience teen pregnancy while practicing risky sexual ideas. STDs and other diseases are rampant in abused victims. This risky behavior does not confine itself to the bedroom, either. According to studies, almost 66% of victims will continue on to abuse drugs in their lifetime. This drug abuse mirrors the fact that the majority of victims were beaten at the hands of drug abusers themselves.
Understanding An Abuse Victim
It’s easy to be sympathetic to a person that suffered abuse as a child but that sometimes is not enough. To truly be a part of an abuse victims life you must first understand what they actually went through. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of abuse in children victims.
There is this mistaken belief that abuse only exists where physical pain is present. Unfortunately people can be hurt in emotional ways. When a parent routinely neglects their child, ignores their needs, and allows them to get in trouble that is way over their heads–there is abuse. This form of subtle abuse typically goes unreported and unpunished though it is just as damaging.
- Mental Abuse
Remember that old song, “Sticks and Stones”? It was crafted for a reason. Constantly yelling at, degrading, and talking down to a child can cause emotional scarring that lasts into adulthood. An abused child will often feel bullied, downtrodden, and hated due to the words that many bad parents choose to throw at them. The worst part of this scenario is that the children lack any sort of safety valve. Verbal abuse will never leave a bruise and children often times are not reliable, so even if they go public with their story there are good odds that they will be ignored.
- Physical and Sexual Abuse
The most horrifying form of abuse occurs when the abuser puts their hands on the child. Physical abuse results in child fatalities every single day. An abuser many times will not intend to kill their child but there is only so much that a young body can take. The same holds true for sexual abuse. The sexual abuser is often times a parent, guardian, or close relative. Seeking help is routinely ignored due to the assumed familial bonds.
Signs of Child Abuse: How You Can Save A Victim
While some child abuse is easy to spot, it isn’t always that way. There are many shared signs and symptoms that you can watch out for. If the child seems withdrawn and always anxious of making a mistake, doesn’t seem to like their parent, and always has fresh injuries–notify the proper authorities. Abuse can be stopped, but it will take the sharp eyes and caring hearts of people all over the nation.