Monday, October 13, 2014

Child Abuse - Breaking The Silence


Child abuse is defined as the physical, sexual or emotional 
mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Children who have a history of neglect or physical abuse are at risk of developing life altering issues which include, but are not limited to developmental problems, mental illness, anxiety, depression, and will act out and behave in inappropriate ways...
Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal and break the cycle. By learning about common signs of abuse and what you can do to intervene, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

Child abuse is wrong and there is a fine line between discipline and abuse!

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. All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child’s sense of self, ability to have healthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school.

Don't get me wrong, I have two children and I have had to discipline them both at various times in their lives, however they have never been beaten - They have been educated.

I am by no means a perfect parent but i have done the best I could, however I can understand a parents perspective in smacking a child for doing wrong and will accept that in some scenarios it is probably deserved, however that is just an opinion....

This article only scratches the surface and deliberately does not go into too much detail. I am no expert on this subject, although i have encountered this several times in my life and my passion for eradicating this is strong.

Some people reading this will have suffered abuse, some people reading this may feel, even now, that they cannot tell anyone about what happened and it is my hope to put those people in touch with experts who can help, support and guide them.

Here is a short list of links that can help, support and guide those who have suffered, those who still suffer and it is my only wish that this article helps victims and generates a greater awareness of the signs for us all to see...


http://www.childline.org.uk

http://www.nspcc.org.uk

http://www.childhelp.org

https://www.facebook.com/RunningfromHellwithEl

http://elfarris.com

By contacting any of these websites / Facebook pages or even contacting myself at Daveswordsofwisdom@gmail.com you will get the information & support you need.

Thank you ~ Dave Hedges

42 comments:

Patt.Taborri said...

David, thank you for writing this concise, well-written article. I am a grown up now, but a victim of every form of child abuse there is and have been in therapy to help me through the wounds it left. I hope your article reaches many people and touches hearts, helps people realize if they are abusing thier children and helps them stop. Every little bit helps. Thanks again.
Pat

Jaime Johnson said...

David, I too thank you for writing this. I am also a grown up now but am a child abuse survivor, not a victim. :) I have struggled from the moment my abuse started and after 13 years with out the abuse, the journey have been a roller coaster and is far from over. The emotional and mental affects you even when you are no longer a child. I was told by a preacher once in Sunday service, recently, that not having a relationship with God is like being a child who has suffered abuse. That hit home to me how severe child abuse is and I am a survivor of it. Keep on making a difference and educating the ones who don't know or understand child abuse. God bless!

Anonymous said...

no matter how many times they say GET OVER IT !!!! I cannot !!! gets worse as time goes by :-(

Anonymous said...

My adopted son was neglected and possibly sexually abused....at 19 he still struggles in so many ways. People think he should just put the past behind him.....I wish he could but it is so difficult for him. This is going to be a lifelong struggle for him.:-(

Anonymous said...

Beautiful messages and posts!!

Anonymous said...

Omg i carnt stop crying iv just stumbled on this page cos i saw u on fb and there was a post on about been a parent i coulnt stop readiing its how i feel about my daughter, iv lost my hart beat i feel apart of me is missing and i carnt do nowt about it, reading all your post is exclay how i look at life but ppl dont understan or get me, and when i stared reading about child abous and how to save a child i coulnt belive it as my daughter 15 and got pregnat i was there for her cos she my everythink so if it made her happy i was happy, her boy friend left her thoug her preagncy but bit my tong when she had him bk when baby was born i gave him bbenifit of dowt so he stared to live with us there was been a propper unit at the bigining then things started happing bit by bit and the last thing he did i carnt prove but he is a moster for wot his done i carnt get into it on here but i rang socal sevesesso they toke himand had test and didnt come bk gd so his in there care i now i saved my grandchild and i saw it for wot was truly going on and i spoke up iv lost my daughter that monster in her head she young and she thinks i ruined her life, but iv done the best ting for her life and her son when she gets him bk she be in a mother baby unit and i know she be the best mom i could hope for her, and im not a perfect mom to but id never see no harm i petected her from seeing bd as much as i could and i made her feel loved bye me every day but i now it will get better but it hurts i had to right u this and i know u understan x

kat Venes said...

People who say get over it have no idea, no idea how much it hurts and further victimises an innocent who has already been so harmed and would love the pain and difficulty to stop. They dont know what its like to struggle to even talk to people because youre so afraid, or to work consistantly or study when youre having flashbacks or traumatic disassociation, or how awful it is trying to enfure the beginning stages of relationships with such deeply ruptured trust,picking people who hurt you because you cant tell any different, seeing relationships fail and going thru the hurtvover and over, how hard it is to care for yourself in basic ways when you were not csred about..... In spite of that, so many of us are heroic! We get up again and again and again. We learn what healthier love feels like and what warning signs of bad character to look out for. Bit by painful bit we give more love, generosity, cobsideration , protection than we ever received. Most therapists in my experience deal inadequately with abuse and trauma. I found Emotional Management Technique and NLP ( neurolinguistic programming) excellent turning points to assist and educate emotionally, and i find yoga and remedial massage ( from safe professional in business setting that you feel at ease with!!) to be very helpful in recovering bodily awareness and self love, comfort and relaxation . I really hope you find happier days, knowing each time you can accept and learn from a painful past, it ceases to victimise you, and your compassion and scope to help others increases, and the world needs such people.

kat Venes said...

Congratulations on protecting your daughter and grandchild, you are very brave and loving, and my heart goes out to you for your pain in your daughters rejection, hopefully she can come to understand the love in your actions and reconcile with you. Life is too short .

kat Venes said...

I know how much it hurts, and i also know how much of a shining light and fortress of strength and sanctuary one kind loving commited person can be, how much difference kindness truth and couage and dedication can make. Never underestimate the importance of your ongoing care of him or what you have already given. We cant change where weve been, but we can change our attitude to it and make different choices in the future. People learn self image, , self esteem, self care from those around them. Some of us didnt get that as children, and feel worthless or ashamed or guilty for being alive. Showing someone you care, helping without criticism or blame when they are weak or struggling is often the lift they need to clear the hurdle and begin to regain a sense of acheivement and confidence. Blessings.

April Bartaszewicz said...

Dave, at first, I thought I was alone. I'm an adult now, but I am also a survivor or childhood sexual abuse. I've never told anyone of this. I've got mixed feelings. Am I wrong to love my father because he is my father, to hate him for what he's done to me.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Dave.....being an ex victim myself, this is something powerfully close to my heart!!Alot of people do not realize how many children are abused every 60 seconds.It's people like you that raise this awareness and you are greatly appreciated for it !!

Anonymous said...

I feel the what u r saying is so real because as a young woman have been through alot of hurt n pain in life n have had a very hard.time going through life know i struggle with mental illnesses. But i have come to find someone who loves me very much n tries to help me with all the pain that i continue to go through to this day....i am so greatful to have my husband in my life because i don't deal well with what happened to me as a young child ...and always wondering why why why ....why me a little girl who was so innocent its crazy to me but i live with it everyday but i am stronger know because i have overcome so many things and i am still living so i thank god i am still here....

Anonymous said...

Dave, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dave, People seems to think its going to be ok if they turn the other cheek and do nothing. I stand up for every child, I would rather see that child in a safe home than be hurt in any way. I gave opened my home to several children. Though they are grown now they all stay in contract and consider me there mom. I also want to let people know my sister risked her lively hood the other day bye standing up for a child. Life is to short to stand bye and let any child get abused. Loves and prayers. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I am a adult survivor of sexual abuse as s child I have been to many therapists over a lot of years because I was told it was dealt with between the family but it didn't get dealt with it happened over and over and over I had no-one to talk to I'm glad it is so publised so much now and thankyou Dave for putting on facebook maybe if I had someone to talk too in the late 50s I would have not made the mistakes in my relationships of being with abusive controling men I had two failed marriages I had one child from each marriage my oldest is 37 my youngest is 31 and all I wanted to do was protect them keep them safe and to always come to me and talk to me about what ever they needed to talk to me about I was married to second husband for 20 odd yrs when I found out he was abusing his stepdaughter I just couldn't beleive he could ever do something like that she was 3 when we got married. I was only married to the 1st one for 5yrs I was to young when. we got together I had been with him since the age of 14 but he didn't know how to be a dad and spend time with his daughter so it was up to me to look after everything he was to immature to take the responsibility I left him when my daughter was 6mths old and I had no other relationship with any man I concentrated solely on trying to be a good mum I had to work but she was well looked after by my girlfreind who was great with her her father didn't want access to see her until she was nearly 2 so I was a single parent she only had me to depend on she was a baby no trouble slept well fed well it was still hard to do everything on my own I had to take on two jobs to pay rent and to survive with a baby I took her with me when I did a cleaning job on the weekend during the week my girfriend looked after her when I met my second he was kind he was really good to my daughter he had been married before but he never had kids he adored my daughter we went everywhere together the 3 of us little did I know down the track he would be a predator and abuse my daughter he liked to have a drink he wasn't abusive on it it wasn't until I lost a child that he started abusing alcohol it two yrs for me to fall pregnant that meant there was six yrs between the two girls he was over the moon when she was born it was his little angel but his drinking didn't slow down at all I was hopin it would but things got from bad to worse I wanted to leave him that's when I started therapy to have someone to talk to he had made things impossible for me to have friends so I had to do things behind his back and buy anything behind his back he wanted the power and control over me then one day when he was yelling at my eldest to ground her she yelled at him saying I will tell mum what you have been doing to me when she told me about the abuse I got on the phone rang the police to get him arrested and get onto sexual abuse people he was charged he was seeing a physciatrist I wanted him thrown in jail I don't know what's happened to him I don't want to know. Reply

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I too am grown now,but was sexually abused by my brother for years and never told anyone till now! I'm very depressed all the time and there's nobody to tell. Im also abused physicially and emotionally by my husband of 12 years and my daughter is showing signs of being an abuser.I feel so lost and limited

Vilma said...

Children need to be protected and loved once they are brought here on this earth. Unfortunately, we have too many monsters in our midst. We may not be perfect and we all make mistakes but sexual abuse of a child and constant emotional and physical abuse are not mistakes. Very young children sometimes become early abusers because they act out what the adults do to them. We need to be vigilant and protect our children at all cost.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel, believe me, I went through all of the abuses listed and finally when I was in my 30's I found an awesome therapist. She helped me get past a lot of the issues I was going through, there are still times in my life where someone will say or do something that bring the past back up but it is easier to deal with now. I am in my late 50's and have been struggling with this for years but you can overcome a lot of the feelings. You also need a lot of positive people in your life, people who will accept you no matter what and don't be afraid to talk about what has happened to you. I talk about what happened to me when I let people get close to me. Most people will accept you and your ways if they want to be friends with you or involved in your life. I am no longer ashamed of what happened to me, after all, I was just a little girl when it happened, 7 yrs old and it lasted til I was 14. The key to all of this is a great therapist, family members who believe you and great positive friends who accept you no matter what.

Anonymous said...

No, you are not wrong to hate your father for what he did to you. It was my step father who did it to me, it lasted from the time I was six or seven until I was 14 or 15. I did tell people when I was 13 but people didn't want to believe or were afraid to get involved. My stepfather died over ten years ago and told me on his deathbed that he would not tell my mother what he did to me but he did apologize to me at that time. Honey, you need to get yourself into therapy, I found a therapist when I was in my 30's, she was awesome!! It took me several therapists before I found the right one though. You will probably be very untrusting of people, sometimes even cold towards people, show no emotion on your face even though you feel it on the inside. I am in my late 50's now and I wear my heart on my sleeve but there are times when someone will say or do something that brings up the bad things that happened to me and I have to work through that but it is easier to talk about now.

Anonymous said...

I lost my grandaughter to child abuse at 2 1/2 years old and am still heart broken to this day... please go to her website and read and share her site with others.
http://kimslittleangel.webs.com/

Anonymous said...

Some of you think that every little thing is abuse. If someone gets on to their child in public, if they yell at their child or if the spank their child. I was spanked as a child, and when I was a teen I was sat on by my mom while she hit me multiple times. She did not break anything. I don't hate her for it and I don't need therapy for that. I may need therapy for my step-dad putting his hands where they didn't belong. And whomever posted May 5th, 2013 @ 11:27 am, you need to use spell check, b/c too many of your words are incorrect and you are an adult. Sometimes parents stick their nose where it doesn't belong, they think they know what is going on when they do not. Don't congratulate when you do not have the entire story. I have dealt with DCF, from people who do not know, my children had to endure a complete invasion of their privacy b/c of a school teachers wrongful accusation. DCF came to my home, spoke with me, inspected my entire home, my oldest child had to be viewed by their doctor who took pictures of his body, all because he had a scratch (from the cat, which he told the teacher and the teacher did not believe him). Just like when my mom punched me in the face when I was 27, I had put a temporary restraining order against her and my coworkers at first thought it was my spouse. People you need to know for sure what you are reporting before you do it. False reports cause too much heartache, and overload our system when the system needs to be working on REAL CASES!

Paula Baker said...

It continues to amaze me at the number of people that have endured the atrocities of child abuse and the amount of it that is still happening in today's world. I just published a novel about a young girl that was abused from age 3 thru 18. It is published as fiction and many people have asked me how I managed to write such a powerful book ... I just tell them it was "inspired" by true events. Truth?? I lived it. I have to say in reading many of these posts it made me very happy to hear many of you call yourselves "survivors". I too feel that way and am so thankful that I finally chose, on my own, to seek professional help to rid myself of the demons that nearly took my mind. If any of you out there are still suffering, PLEASE .. seek help .. it's out there, I promise. I "didn't tell" either until I was nearly 40 years old but thank the good Lord I finally did. I'm not sure where I'd be today if I hadn't. I have a beautiful family, I'm happy and strong, and the ghosts/demons of the past are just that .. the past! If you've been to a therapist and you don't think it has helped, find another one! There really are some wonderful doctors and therapists out there that can help you. Please seek help ... don't let yourself be destroyed by your abusers .. don't let them win! My heart is truly breaking for all of you but you CAN be whole again ..don't give up hope!! If I can ever be of any assistance I can be contacted on my website which I hope prints out here. Many, many thanks to Dave Hedges and this site ... it helps to just be able to talk about it sometimes. May God be with you all!!

Paula Baker said...

My website is www.paulabakerauthor.com

Anonymous said...

I hate child abuse you don't want to know what I would like to do to them feel sorry for all the kid that have been abuse I was never abuse like that bitch that kill her kid in the bath tub they give her life then change it to live in a nut house

Anonymous said...

i was abuse when i was little I am an adult now and only just told my family what happend 2 me. This pain i feel all days every day is to much. My family have been really good with me but i still feel so alone on my journey so weak worthless dirty I can't help but think of myself as damaged goods.not sure i can get through this pain its to hard

Anonymous said...

I was also abused all of my childhood. I was abused by both parents, physically by my dad, emotionally by my mom and sexually by trusted adults. I was later abused by my ex-husband. I am a survivor. I have been in counseling now off and on for 30 years. I have good days and some bad days. I deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression almost every day, even with counseling and medications. I have c-ptsd and struggle every day but I am a survivor. I volunteer at the organization that has the shelter I escaped my abusive ex-husband to for 17 years now. I volunteer because for most of my life I tried to get help but no one helped me, not the police, not teachers, not neighbors or friends. Much later I had a chilhood friend tell me they knew what was going on when I went to school all black and blue and her parents had thought I would commit suicide because they knew the abuse was really bad, but no one helped me. I called the police frequently for help, there many times my father spent a night in jail or a hospital to get sober and he even was taken out in a strait jacket. He was so violent that the police came all the time with several officers. I still did not get help. I volunteer because I don't want anyone to go through what I did and not be able to get help. I still have difficulty trusting anyone and live with my dog. I sure understand why vets with ptsd can get therapy dogs, I don't know what I would do without my dog. I struggle every day but I am a survivor and anyone that thinks that child abuse doesn't affect you for the rest of your life has no idea what it is like.

Anonymous said...

Jaime Johnson may I share your comment on my fb as I have a similar story and are just coming out of the end of a terrible tragedy in my own family and I would like to quote what you and your paster has said because it is so relevant

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kat Venes for putting it so well. People who don't understand have no idea how fortunate they are. The only way to truly understand what it is like is to have lived through it. I even had a repressed memory come back to me. I'm glad I was at work when it happened because it gave me something else to concentrate on. By the time I had the time to fully process it I had gotten over the shock, otherwise I would have probably had another panic attack. Most people only recognize the physical signs of abuse, but the physical scars are minor compared to the emotional ones. They don't understand why we have trouble trusting, or why we seem "standoffish". Why don't we make friends easily, and so many other things. My one teacher in high school wrote in my senior year book, "A little shy, but shyness never hurt anyone". If only she knew. I wasn't "shy", I was scared to death to do or say anything my father might disapprove of. It was safer to keep me eyes down and my mouth shut. Now I walk with my eyes up and look at people in the eye, but it is a constant struggle everyday. Sometimes it seems I take one step forward and two steps back, but then I stop, remind my self that I am worthy, and start moving forward again. By the way, I no longer have panic attacks, I've removed the people from my life who were the cause of it.

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you for telling the truth that people need to know. At age 5, l was a State Ward in Care.... No explanation needed lm sure. In Australia, we now have a Royal Commission now. Took us yeas of petitioning. A support system set up by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is www.openplace.org.au counselling is provided. Other services are minimal cost. You have done an amazing feat in having the boldness to speak. Thank-you in Grace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this article, I am a victim of sexual abuse by my Father, yes the one person that a little girl is supposed to cherish! It happened when I was 14 and continued until I was 18. I started seeing the same signs that I went through with my brother and I refused for it to happen to him. I immediately went to the police and made a report, because I did not want my brother to go to the pain I went through. After the charges came out I lost my whole family, my brother doesn't speak to me, and my Mom thinks I had it coming. Because of this I have PTSD, Panic Attacks, and Agoraphobia. I always thought that I was the only person this has ever happened to until I started sharing my story. My Father doesn't blame me he knows I am a victim of his sickness. I am a survivor and I can live each day knowing that I saved my Brother from this abuse and I wish that this wouldn't have happened but as the Lord says things happen for a reason and I am stronger because I survived this! Every single one of you is a blessing and although we will never know why us, we can be stronger knowing we survived this. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I will never know the pain you are going through but know that you have an amazing guardian angel looking over you! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I am almost 69 years of age. I was sexually, emotionally, and physically abused by my father with mother's approval. My father died last year. Yes, I still hated him and he knew it. No I never told him what I thought of him (out of respect for his old age). I attended the funeral, but could not go to the burial site until weeks later. My siblings have turned against me, but I expected that. They had not gone through what I had. My mother apologized to me for her actions toward me prior to her death, but my father never did.

Anonymous said...

The wounds to your heart and mind don't really heal. They just get covered up by scar tissue and every once in a while they bust open again. Never withhold your love from a child just because they did something you didn't approve of. Don't put them down or abandon them. Keep your hands to yourself they are not beating posts or sexual toys. They are gifts from God and should be cherished and not seen as an inconvenience and made to feel unloved and unwanted.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is you are a heartless person.

Denise said...

Dave, I am an adult survivor who did not get the help until I was in my mid 20`s. I was sexually abused by more than one person from age 6 until I was 14. It has been hard but it has also made me the strong person I am today. To everyone who reads these posts.....you are NOT alone! There are many, many people of all ages, races, male, female, you name it but we all have dealt with many different forms of abuse & must stick together even if it is on a beautifuL page someone has taken the time to put together for us to vent. Yes there is going to be negative things said against us but chin up! We are better than those who decide to come on here & degrade us. May God Bless you aLL!

Denise said...

Thank You Dave!!!

Anonymous said...

i also am survivor of sexuall abuse by an older brother I was about 11 when it started till about 15 for the next 10yrs I blamed myself the doubt was always there that I asked for it to happen because I never said no to him I also started doubting my sexuality at age of 26 and still a virgin I met my angel whom I have been now married to for 24yr in the beginning I kept it bottled up inside then one night I blurted out to her what had happened to me as a child she never spoke about it to me but believed me told me she was there for me anytime I needed her I have tried on many occasions to seek professional help but always stopped myself as I find it very hard to open up with strangers the ppl who say u will get over it eventually trust me u don't theres not a day goes by that I think what I done to deserve it I could sit here writing all night but tears r building up I have never spoken to my brother since and will never forgive him I see him but to me he died all those years ago

Anonymous said...

i am dealing with this at the moment with my own children. i was also abused by my ex husband and now he thinks it is ok to abuse my children. i have three away from him and trying to get the other two away from him too. alot of abuse is related to drugs and alcohol. this man is under investigation for sexual sins also so my heart goes out to you for the suffering you had to go through but like me you can rise above it.i too was a victim as a child to an abuser but these days i am stronger and good on you for turning into a beautiful butterfly. have a great day pat and god bless

www.sheilastevensongroup.com said...

David, Thank you for bringing forth awareness about this horrible scourge on the most innocent of our citizens, and on our society as a whole. The statistics, number of people who have been abused are staggering.Here in London, Canada I host a "Learning and Support Group for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse". We gather to dispel myths, gain knowledge, get questions answered respectfully, and find comfort in knowing we are not alone. I am also a survivor of all four types of child abuse, over more than 15 years, by both parents. My healing process was a long journey, and at the end of several years of therapy, my former therapist asked me to write a book. It is titled "HOPE for Survivors of Childhood Abuse"; an autobiographical Work Book of healing, which I am pleased to say has been put in the resource library of our Police College in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada. As a professional life coach I work with people who are struggling with deep emotional and self-esteem issues, many of who have been abused. It was actually a client who directed me to this site. For any who may be interested in working with me, in a safe environment, whether in person or over the phone (land-lines only outside of Canada), please visit my website for more information: www.sheilastevensongroup.com. I was worth being healed. You are worth being healed. You deserve the best that life has to offer you. Believe it. Get help. Please...get help, and take the power away from the perpetrator.
Again, David, thank you. As we join together to bring awareness and break the silence, we have hope of stopping child abuse. That will be a great day!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. Has this person never heard of dyslexia although there are a few who make false allegations most are true and takes a great deal of courage to come forward so please think before you speak

Anonymous said...

People just have no idea the scale of abuse that is happening to children not just in this country but country,s all over the world for every video these scum watch that is someone,s child being abused they are sick and dont care that those children,s lives are being ruined .

Anonymous said...

I think that if you don't have anything positive to say then be quiet. And all the brave people on this site I admire you. Ignore people who are horrible don't give them any time.