Education to prevent abuse
The cycle of abuse may be able to be broken with the help of education. Knowing the warning signs probably helps. If a child that was abused is never taught that what happened to them was wrong, they are likely to fall into the same category, an abuser. They might realize that they were hurt as a child, but they might not know any other way to discipline their own child. If that same child gets to be in a setting where abuse is talked about and how it effects children and is able to say, "I went through that, but it shouldn't have been that way." they might be able to go get professional help and work on healing the wounds left by their abuser. Knowing something was wrong and working through it go hand in hand. Once they work through the emotional damage, they might go on to more classes on parenting and find alternative ways to discipline. I have seen many cases of children that were hit or abused as children that did not know how to discipline their child any other way but did not want to hit children either. In many cases, those children would be without discipline and be out of control. In some other cases, there were children that had been rescued at a young age from an abusive situation, but the pity their rescuers had for them made it so there was no discipline for them either. Everyone was afraid that if they were told "no" they would feel abused again. The scares from their abuse were permanent. They had mental handicaps and bones that would never heal right, but they would most likely do better in life if they had some one that was willing to raise them with proper discipline, explanations, love, support, and guidance. Instead, they slipped further away from normal children because they lacked rules and structure completely. They clung to the few teachers that would guide them when they were doing wrong because they wanted some one that set boundaries for them. Most toddlers do. The cycle could easily repeat for children that receive no discipline and no education on how to discipline. If they are put in a situation where a child is telling them no and they have never been taught not to hit a child, they might find that to be the easiest way to get their point across. They might have something left in the back of their mind that tells them that this is how they were disciplined when they had discipline. Education is a powerful tool. It teaches right from wrong, where to seek help, to know our limitations, and when we have had enough. Education may also save a child from abuse. If a teacher is talking about the warning signs and different forms of abuse that a child has never heard about, they might recognize what they are going through in the lesson. This might be enough for them to reach out and get help, either from social services, a friend, the teacher, or some other person the child trusts.
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