I can honestly say I have a happy and relatively successful life at this point in my life, so most people that know me would likely never guess or even fathom that I have what most would call a ‘dark’ and ‘tragic’ past. I was a victim of child abuse at a very young age and as in most people in those cases it was someone that should be trusted – a family member.
Most people unlike myself don’t end up so lucky in ‘turning out okay’. To give some prospective on that here’s how those with child abuse in their past play out:
~ Individuals who reported six or more adverse childhood experiences had an average life expectancy two decades shorter than those who reported none.*
~ In 2012, state agencies identified an estimated 1,640 children who died as a result of abuse and neglect — between four and five children a day.
~ 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.
~ Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
Those are just some of the many fall-outs of child abuse.
How did I end up not in those shocking & terrible statistics? Trust me that is something I contemplate daily. It’s been a long journey and it will be a life-long journey. In fact after I came to terms with my issues and moved on I even earned a psychology degree in hopes of helping others and understanding the human mind through tragedy better.
People often grasp the concept of physical scars but seem to neglect emotional scars. The first real step in being able to move forward after anytime of traumatic ordeal is accepting this fact that you will have an emotional scar – for life.
These types of situations almost always shape who a person in some sort of fashion. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing and ‘playing the victim card’ will not help you in the long run. Yes each of us who had this happen is a victim but viewing yourself that way empowers the person at fault, not you. So empower yourself by using this terrible thing as anything else in life, a learning and growth experience. It took me a long time to realize that but once I did I was able to really move on.
Did you know that, every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States that involves more than 6 million children? In fact, the US has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. To put this into further prospective, a report of a child abuse is made every ten seconds. EVERY TEN SECONDS! Of the various forms of child abuse physical abuse makes up 28.3% of cases and shortly behind it sexual abuse makes up 20.7%.
Parents can help these numbers go down by always questioning their kids on if people have harmed them or touched them in inappropriate ways. For those that are victims, were victims, or whose children are or were victims seek help. Whether you or your child admit it now or not, it does indeed have a mental effect and getting help is absolutely not a sign of weakness.
Below are a few helpful links and some local places to get help or report abuse.
https://www.forsyth.cc/DSS/child_protect.aspx (see links in yellow on right)
* All statistics from Child Help Organization