The previous two years before that (2018, 2017) reports came in of a similar number. The question is...
There are so many of us that just “don’t want to meddle” in other peoples’ affairs and we make light of some very serious situations because our compass of what’s right and wrong is not always pointing to true North. There are so many times where otherwise seemingly good people are willing to turn a blind eye to abuse that is happening right under their noses. The abuse will continue if we, as individuals and as a collective continue to pretend that everything is perfectly fine and normal.
These children might feel that they live in an alternate reality from everyone else around them. They find themselves constantly anxious about others behavior towards them whether it’s an adult or a friend. They wonder why others around them seem so happy. Their peers are willing to participate in peer group activities at recess or in the classroom. They can create masterpieces being unafraid to use their imagination to do so. The happy children seem so curious and carefree willing to connect with the world around them. Abused children learn that connection with the world around them might simply mean more pain and abuse - whether it be mental or physical. These children are constantly afraid of their own innocent desires used as a weapon against them for a personal attack or punishment. They simply do not feel like they have a safe mental space to create and feel supported in doing so. They are in a constant state of anxiety wondering from which direction the next attack will come. They don’t feel free enough from their own mind bondage to allow even a simple giggle to escape their lips at times. And yet, they still have the childlike innocence that allows for their curiosity to be sparked.
The saddest part about all of this is there is a potential for this abuse to continue onto the next generation. If the child abuse is intense enough and the duration long enough then the child will begin to believe that they deserve this kind of treatment. It will soon become their “normal”. There is no rhyme or reason to it. They will start to believe that they are the reason and the cause for the pain inflicted on them by the “loving” (otherwise abusive) individuals in their life. They will believe that they are not worth being loved simply for who they are.
30% of these beautiful souls that have been poorly mistreated will grow up believing that it’s ok to treat their own children the same way or worse. The pattern of child abuse continues on with the next generation as long as the status quo remains the same and everyone turns a blind eye. If there is no one compassionate enough and courageous enough to show love then these children will be lost forever. They will grow up still feeling lost.
What is needed is someone who can counteract these negative personal beliefs in a child. Then, and only then, will the child start to treat others the way that they have observed that person treating them. There’s that Golden Rule of the Bible, “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.” In this way the cycle of abuse has a greater chance of being broken.
I did say 30% and you might ask me about that other 70%. What about them? These are the lucky ones that found someone in their lives to take them under their wing to teach them how to be positive, patient with themselves and productive with their lives and future families. The 70% are able to be educated and have enough intervention in their lives that they can recognize the cycle of abuse in themselves and how it might carry onto those around them.
There is that saying that it takes a village to raise a child and it is true in so many ways. This article is not written to encourage negative judgement upon others especially those parents who are doing the very best that they can. You need to keep in mind that where there is an abused child the parent or caregiver was most likely abused themselves. With a truly humble heart and in the right spirit of things please try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Judge righteously - with good intentions. Continue to seek for guidance on what to do when you come across a child that has been abused. They are in need of your special talents and love.