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Sexual violence is a serious problem, and it has devastating consequences. The challenge we face in making our society safer includes, an understanding of the offense risk and patterns, as well as resources. It is this knowledge that can inform our decisions on reporting, investigation, sentencing, and more.

All too often, cases of child abuse or neglect go unaddressed. Victims of abuse, especially children, will seldom report their abuser to authorities. This can be due to many different reasons, but the bottom line is that it’s simply not reasonable to expect an abused or neglected child to be their own advocate. It is for this reason that many adults who work in a position that may allow them to help advocate for the child are tasked with being mandated reporters.

The American Society for the Positive Care of Children estimates that almost 2,000 children suffer from abuse every day, with roughly 1,600 abuse-related deaths every year. This includes infants, young children, and teens. Possibly because it is so heartbreaking, child abuse isn’t often talked about. With this many children suffering every day it is clear that the time has come to start the conversation. In order to spread awareness, it’s important to understand the different types of child abuse.

     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.

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.

Emotional abuse is not considered as serious as physical or sexual abuse. But it is. The thoughts and poetry contained here were written by a 13 year old girl after having endured years of emotional abuse by her mother.

The following words and poetry were written by Kallel Hunter. She has graciously allowed me to share them with you.

There are approximately 175,000 youth ages 10–18 in foster care in the United States. Of these youth, an estimated 5–10 percent—and likely more—are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). Like all young people, LGBTQ youth in foster care need the support of a nurturing family to help them negotiate adolescence and grow into healthy adults. However, LGBTQ youth in foster care face additional challenges.

We do not clearly understand why some mothers abandon their babies, but feelings of denial and economic issues are thought to play a large part in the problem. The senseless deaths that occur when babies are abandoned need never happen. Alternatives are available for mothers who find themselves pregnant and unable to care for a child. If you know someone who is pregnant and may need help, there are ways that you can help.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but bullying and name-calling can emotionally scar me forever. Not the original ending to the classic verse, but probably the more accurate one. It seems that broken bones will heal far more quickly than a battered soul. Does this sound overly dramatic?

There weren't a lot of statistics, because no one thought it was a problem. But then in 1990, Ramsay Klawsnick found that adult females were abusers of male adolescents 37% of the time and of female adolescents 19% of the time; and in six studies reviewed by Russell and FInkelhor, female perpetrators accounted for 25% or more of those abused. In 1996, The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect conducted a widespread investigation on the maltreatment of children.

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