For individuals who become victims of abuse, the negative effects don’t end when they grow up and leave their abuser behind them. They may have spent years in an abusive situation that included physical, sexual, or emotional trauma. Childhood is when you essentially learn what the world is like, learn about things like trust and rules and respect. When trauma to that degree is caused by a caregiver, it can affect the victim for the rest of their lives.
Tyler is a 28 year old survivor of extensive childhood abuse and neglect. In an effort to spread awareness about how pervasive childhood abuse can be, Tyler has given permission to share his story here. From a very small town, Tyler experienced abuse into adulthood and to this day has an unbalanced relationship with his abuser. Unfortunately, the town he grew up in is quite poor and isolated, with stories like his being all too common there.
When children become the victims of abuse or suffer from neglect, they will rarely verbalize the problem. This can make it difficult to determine as a bystander whether a child is being abused or neglected. Adults who suspect something is not right may not always say something when given the opportunity--this is due to the combination of social stigma surrounding criticizing others’ parenting styles and simply not knowing if what they are seeing truly points to a child who is being victimized.
When The Blue Ribbon Project was founded, one of the key principles in mind was the recognition of volunteers and their support of the community. The fight against child abuse and the support of children in our community is what we stand for. This "community effort" is a vital part of our mission and our foundation.