“Reporting is not a child’s responsibility – it’s an adult’s responsibility.” – Beau Biden on MSNBC this morning.
One positive thing that’s come from the Penn State scandal: the rug that’s been pulled over the immense secret of child abuse in this country is slowly being lifted, and people are starting to take notice.
Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who “tell” and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into adulthood. It is also likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers but from friends and family. – darknesstolight.org
You can’t always know that abuse is happening until it’s too late.
BUT. You can listen when a child talks to you, especially about people who are in hir life on a regular, reoccurring basis. And if something seems wrong, you can investigate it or tell someone else to look into it.
People often use the excuse “well, if I tell the police, nothing will happen, and what if I’m wrong? I’ll look like a jerk!”
This isn’t about YOU. We’re not put on this earth to look good to everyone. It’s up to you to say something when you see something happening – not the children. They don’t have that power, and often they’re not believed.
Tell the parents. Tell the police. Tell CPS. Tell whomever it takes to make action happen. Children are often afraid to speak out – fear of being hurt or hurting someone they care about is just one of many reasons. Guilt is a big factor in suppressing reporting abuse.
You can read more insight in the informative booklet from Darkness To Light, 7 Steps To Protecting Our Children.
One of the ways that I continue to heal – because even at the age of 44, I’m still suffering – is to write about this. Don’t sweep it under the rug if you can, my friends. We need to stand tall and say ” This DOES happen, to people you know BY people you know, and I won’t stay quiet about it anymore!”