Child abuse weighs more than broken bones, bruises and scars.
Abuse comes in four categories: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. They all have distinct consequences for the abused and the culprit. Apart from the physical trauma, child abuse can lead to alterations in brain structure and development. With little knowledge about child abuse, you can become vulnerable to misconceptions about the issue. It helps to understand such sensitive things better.
Here are a few misconceptions about child abuse:
1. Abuse only comes after violence.
The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick point out that child abuse, a pattern of not providing for a child’s physical and emotional needs, must be stopped. Many individuals think that abuse only happens when violence is inflicted on a child. This is not necessarily true. Neglect and emotional abuse can be as damaging as the physical abuse, the most popular type. With subtle and undiscovered emotional abuse and neglect, most people are less likely to intervene, and this should be put to an end.
2. Children usually tell someone about the abuse.
Children are considered as tellers of truth, but they sometimes tend to keep to themselves about abuse because of fear. The abuser can be very effective in making children too fearful to talk about what is happening. As mostly observed in the society, abusers tend to become powerful, having a vise grip on the innocence and vulnerability of a child.
3. Children who experienced abuse during childhood will become abusive themselves when they get older.
Abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle of abuse as adults, doing things unconsciously—only mirroring what they went through as children. There are, however, many adult survivors of child abuse that possess a strong motivation to move forward and take definite precautionary measures. They also tend to be overprotective of their children, and become excellent parents.
The four types of child abuse leave invisible and lasting scars that may have a long-term effect on life, damaging a child’s sense of healthy relationships. Abused children tend to develop a lack of trust and a core feeling of being “worthless” or “damaged,” and have trouble regulating their emotions. Know what you can about child abuse, and be part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem.