Tag Archives: child abuse statistics

The Child Abuse Cycle

Based on statistics alone, I’m three times less likely to practice safe sex, have an 80% chance of meeting the criteria for at least one psychological disorder by the age of 21, and, if I were a girl, be 25% more likely to get pregnant while I’m still a teenager.* And that’s not the worst of it, at least to me.

What really scares me is that I possess a 30% chance of abusing and neglecting my own children.* Although that’s simply a statistic, it still makes me fearful to have children in the future. I would rather die the most painful, dreaded death before making a person suffer by the hands of their own parent.

90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way.*

The obvious question raised is: why? Why does this horrible cycle of abuse and hurt continue? I’m no expert on child abuse, but as someone who is a victim of it and has attempted to understand it in its various forms, I feel like society as a whole is not doing enough to overcome this serious issue. There are commercials against smoking, bullying, drugs, and using the words “retard” and “gay” with negative connotations, but none informing of the fatal effects of child abuse. I know I’ll receive criticism for being melodramatic and selfish by saying this, but it’s my honest opinion.

When abused children don’t know how to cope, they often utilize the same aggressive behaviors inflicted upon them to make themselves feel better. In some cases, without knowing it, these children are perpetuating the exact practices used to torment them. It’s not even their fault. They just don’t know any better.

14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children, and 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.* According to the American Medical Association, a myriad of abuse victims progress to the point of obtaining professional careers and maintaining a normal, healthy lifestyle but resort to negative behaviors intrinsic to their abuse when additional stress is introduced, such as the death of a loved one or an ended romantic relationship.* It almost moves me to tears that there isn’t more being done to help people whose lives have been perforated by such an unfortunately common cruelty.

The message I’m trying to get across is this: do something. Educate someone about child abuse by telling them a few frightening statistics (to inform them, not to scare them!) or asking someone who looks down if they’re okay – if they’re not, follow up and ask why. Chances are that you’ve met someone who has either suffered or suffers from child abuse, or knows someone who has.

Today, after an incident involving my mom, I felt alone, miserable, and almost suicidal until I talked to my friend about what went down. My family may not be there for me all the time, but my friends are always available, and I’m truly indebted to them. It would be much worse to have no one and no ability to learn about the facets of abuse and how to prevent them from recurring in one’s life.

You can learn more about child abuse or donate to the fight against it by visiting the website for Prevent Child Abuse America, or the website for the Tennyson Center for Children.

Thank you for reading this post, it means a lot to me.

*statistics used were taken from these two websites, though I’m sure they’ve appeared elsewhere:
National Child Abuse Statistics, and
Child Abuse: An Overview

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Child Abuse Prevention Month

Image via Marty Melville/ Getty Images

Imagine waking up wondering whether your dad will beat you because he’s drunk. Imagine having to control every little thing you do – the grades you get, who you hang out with, the way you walk, etc. – because if they’re not perfect, your mom will ridicule you for being stupid, dumb, and worthless. Imagine living completely alone in a rundown apartment without food, water, or love.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month – so please, do something to help children suffering from this horrible treatment. It can be as simple as asking a friend if everything is okay at home or donating through an online charity. Here is the official site for Child Abuse Prevention Month run by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – the site contains fantastic information and ways to get involved.

To show the extent of this issue, here are some troubling statistics from 2007, taken from this site:
– Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
– 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
– About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, thus continuing the horrible cycle.
– The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.

Besides spreading awareness, participating in events, and donating to charities, I plan to write a book about child abuse. I don’t know the story, the characters, or any of the details, really – but I want to write something that teenage victims can relate to. It’s one of my goals in life, and a reason why I try to improve my writing ability.

Just a call could save a life. (image via imageshack)

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