One of the things that can be helpful in the healing process is knowing you are not alone. I've found it helpful that, while my story is unique to me, I do have something in common with other survivors. We have invited survivors to share their stories...from abuse to surviving and thriving. We also invite you to share your story, no matter where you are in your journey. Your story can and will inspire others. In this section, you'll find such stories.View items...
When a child is in a dangerous home environment, every effort should be made to get him or her to safety. However, healing doesn’t stop with providing a child with a safer home. Children who suffer abuse often continue to suffer in other ways long after they are separated from their abuser, showing symptoms years or even decades into adulthood. These symptoms can be devastating for them and their personal relationships.
Teenage suicide is a tragic event that is unfortunately more common than many people may realize. Though there is no one who is completely safe from this tragedy, some teens may be more at risk than others. People should always act if they believe that a friend or family member is exhibiting behavior typical of someone considering suicide. Dismissing the worry may lead to tragedy.
Children who have dealt with maltreatment and abuse who serious changes in vital areas of the brain. These changes have been linked with schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, and drug addiction. Abuse during childhood massively increases the risk of victims turning to drugs and alcohol. They may have experienced verbal or emotional abuse, separation or discord with their parents, emotional or physical neglect, or abuse of a physical or sexual nature. Brain scans offer evidence of trauma, even if they had not been diagnosed with a particular disorder.
Many experts have referred to child maltreatment as mental health’s tobacco industry. Evidence has shown that a smoking habit directly causes physical diseases, and leaves us predisposed for others, evidence has also shown that abuse during childhood contributes to a variety of mental illnesses.
Abuse or maltreatment during childhood may shrink vital parts of the brain. Research from Harvard University has found that parts of the hippocampus had reduced in size, possibly explaining why childhood trauma results in psychiatric disorders, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and drug addiction. It’s this link that may allow researchers to find more effective ways of treating childhood abuse survivors. The research offers an explanation as to why childhood abuse sufferers are more prone to psychosis and drug abuse.
According to the National Children’s Alliance over 700,000 children are abused every year in the US. Just over 1,500 children die due to neglect and abuse every year, and Children’s Advocacy Centers serve over 300,000 child abuse victims across the country.
Child abuse doesn’t just leave physical scars, it also leaves a mark on the brain, and possibly the genes. According to The National Academy of Sciences, abused children who suffer with PTSD may experience a unique form of the disorder.
The study’s main aim was to determine whether patients with the same diagnosis have the same underlying biology despite different early environments.
After sabotaging my second foster home it was back to The Stricklands, who I had lived with before in an emergency shelter setting.
It was November 1983 and all the faces were new except for Mark and Jackie who had been there forever.
I had gotten close to Mrs. Patton, my child care teacher, and she had had me over at her house to join her family for dinner; etc. more than once. In a month around Christmas she would have me over again on my step dad's birthday and her family would give me gifts and treat me like I was part of their family. I also had a close relationship with my math teacher who was friends with Mrs. Patton and
For school-aged youth, the second leading cause of death is suicide. For children who have been subjected to sexual abuse, or violence, the risk of suicidal thoughts is greater. Suicide is preventable, though, because youth considering suicide often give off warning sighs. It’s vital that teachers, friends, and parents are able to pick up on these signs in time to seek help. If these signs are present they should not be taken lightly.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental and emotional condition that has its origins in a physical and/or mentally traumatic event that occurred anywhere from a few days to several years in the past. PTSD can develop by one overwhelming trauma as in 9/11 or by a series of smaller traumas or abuses occurring over several years such as living in an alcoholic home. It can be recognized from symptoms such as recurrent and persistent recollections of the traumatic event and recurring dreams of the event.
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.
Books and Other Materials Specific to Child Abuse