The Horrors of Child Abuse
In May of 2011, I graduated with a degree in education from one of the state universities here in Ohio. Considering how the economy is right now, I was unable to find a teaching position. I worked steadily in the construction field for several months, but I have recently applied to start substitute teaching. Along with subbing comes a series of online classes. One such class focuses on child abuse.
Now, I have no personal experience with child abuse. I was raised in a home with extremely loving and caring parents. The worst thing that ever happened to me was getting spanked (every one of which I more than deserved). My parents would always use the classic line of “this hurts me more than it does you.” I failed to believe that when I was young, but looking back on it now, I can understand what they meant. I would never be able to harm a child, and if you read my piece on the Miracle of Children, you would know how I love kids. My only experience with child abuse comes from the psychology and education classes that covered the topic during my time in college.
As I started the online course, I was simply taking it like a class. I was absorbing the information just enough to be able to pass the test at the end. It took less than five minutes before my attitude entirely changed. I began actually contemplating what I was reading. It began to sink in. The mere thought of child abuse makes me sick. I cannot understand someone’s mindset who has the ability to hurt a child. How is a kid going to defend themself? How is it even fair? It’s not at all. Now, I’m not advocating violence when the fight would be fair either. I’m not truly a pacifist, but violence solves nothing. It takes a great deal of ignorance for any adult to hurt a child.
Child abuse comes in four common ways: physical, sexual, psychological, and neglect. With each type of abuse, the course covered what constitutes that form of abuse and what indicators to look for to be able to recognize its occurrence. With every word I read, the sinking feeling I got continued to worsen. The majority of child abuse is caused by the parents and occurs to children three-years-old and younger. This was shocking and sickening to me. Children that young are entirely innocent and harmless. They depend entirely on their parents to take care of every need, so for their parents to be the ones causing the abuse is utterly disgusting. Children who suffer from abuse can face lifelong consequences. Abused children are also more likely to be abusers later on in life. This is a vicious cycle. I don’t just want to spit a bunch of facts at you; I encourage you to take this information I have given as a form of motivation to further education yourself on the topic.
I realize this isn’t an easy topic to discuss. It is so foreign to me and not at all pleasant to think about. My plea to you is to do whatever you can to help prevent child abuse. Make that commitment to yourself that you would never harm a child. Don’t allow yourself to ignore it if you know of child abuse occurring. I can make the promise that I would never hurt a child, and I know it is my duty as an educator to look out for children. Kids are a gift. They are precious, little miracles for us to enjoy and nurture. They didn’t have the choice to be brought into the world, and they shouldn’t have the option to be loved or not. Children deserve your love and care.