It’s so easy to be bitter.
I could complain about how screwed up child abusers are all day long. I could call all of my friends and tell them how horrible human beings are and how I wish child abuse would stop existing. I could focus on the negatives, and lose myself to the battle that breaks millions of children everyday.
But I can’t. Not because child abuse isn’t a big issue – it clearly is – but because sometimes you need to simply see the light before you bask in it. We need to know that there is hope for those who have been abused before we can ignite a crusade against it.
And there is hope. Child abuse isn’t like cancer. It’s similar in the suffering that it creates and its deadliness, but child abuse – at least its causes – are much more recognizable and able to be fought. If you notice that a child has bruises or that they seem depressed, ask them why. Spread awareness about child abuse to friends, family, future parents, etc. Parents should establish certain safety measures with their children, like the difference between “bad touching” and “good touching”. Investigate or report any behavior that seems suspicious, because it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.
The thing that gives me the most hope about child abuse is the victim’s potential for growth afterward. Yes, there are many bad things that the victim could deal with later on in their lives, such as becoming child abusers themselves or mental illnesses. Yet I believe that with the right amount of unconditional positive regard and education and care, people who have been abused possess the ability to do great things. This idea is even a term in my Psychology textbook, by David G. Myers…
post-traumatic growth: positive psychological changes as a result of struggling with extremely challenging circumstances and life crises.
This term exemplifies that despite experiencing terrible treatment, those who have been abused are able to be better people in the end. That’s what makes people beautiful, to me – their capability to be stronger and more passionate about something even after being torn down or defeated. Basically, it’s their ability to improve after overcoming the odds and fighting the forces against them that impresses me. This can be applied to child abuse too, as we should try to heal those who have been hurt, and hopefully, stop the abuse from starting at all.
Thoughts? I’ve shared this link before, but here’s the official site for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.