Child abuse comes in many forms and being aware of what they are is our best defence in being able to truly help.
Now I know that sometimes you feel like you should keep your nose on your face and mind your own business. For the most part when we think this it’s probably true, but not when it comes to child abuse.
We need to be more alert to the signs around us. Talking to kids and making sure that they are being treated well at home or any other place that they might go to for that matter. Child abuse doesn’t happen just at home after all. It can happen anywhere at anytime, so to question a child make sure that you are covering all the basis. Make the child understand that whatever is happening to them that it’s not ok. It’s not their fault, they are not the reason the other person is abusing them.
So when someone is concerned about a child that they think is being abused, they should bring it to the attention of a teacher, the police or even Children’s Aid Society. I know that many people have some issues with CAS (Children’s Aid Society) but I am here to tell you something that might just change your minds.
As a child that was abused myself from the age of four until I was eleven by my father, then the emotional and mental abuse that I went through with my mom, I was in the foster care system often. You see after dad went to jail for the charges of molestation against me, mom had a complete nervous breakdown. This left me completely alone. I had no other family that lived close by, nor did anyone want the responsibility of raising me as both mom and dad had been the black sheep of their families.
I was sent to live with a few foster families. I stayed with a family that had a mom, dad and two kids for a short period of a week. They were nice and all but it wasn’t home. I had just finished testifying in court against my dad and had come from such a long history of violence that a “normal family” wasn’t something that I was used to. I just wanted to be home with mom. I needed some kind of bond and I need to feel like I actually belonged somewhere. That someone loved me.
I got to live with a few single moms again nice people but I just felt like I was looked down on. This wasn’t something that I should have to be feeling. I felt like a burden, sadly more so then I did back at my actual home. Then after being bounced around a few times here and there as mom tried to commit suicide over and over again, I finally got settled with a long-term foster family where I remained for almost a year.
They were amazing. I still get choked up now thinking about the first day I walked into their home. They all made me feel welcome. From the dad who was a mailman, mom that stayed at home and now two foster sisters that I was about to become a part of their family. I finally belonged somewhere. I was a part of something truly amazing. A “normal family” were we all had rules to follow and no one was treated differently. Family game nights, movies and popcorn, bike rides and camping, we did everything that a family should have the chance to do together.
There was no anger, no abuse and no hatred. Only understanding, compassion and support. The best part from not just one person but everyone in the family. They were open and honest. They taught me the true meaning of support and love. If it hadn’t been for this amazing family, I would never be the person that I am today.
Yes, I know I was one of the lucky ones to be placed with such a caring and healing family and that not all kids will have such an amazing experience in foster care. But isn’t the fact that they are no longer being abused the real reason to report a child being abused. I would rather see a child in a foster home that yes perhaps isn’t where they want to be or feel the most comfortable in, but it’s till 100 % better than having to live the horror of being abused on any day.
So please report a child that is being abused. You just never know when you might be saving their life. If you don’t want to be known when you are reporting you can do it anonymously.
Please be a part of the solution not the problem.
Knowing when to report the abuse of a child is highly important. Getting the proper information and learning the warning signs of child abuse is all of our responsibility.
Be the voice the children need.