Every parent wants to keep their child safe. It’s their first instinct since childbirth but what happens when they have done all they can to protect their children and something horrible happened?
According to Ark of Hope for Children, “40 million children subjected to abuse each year [internationally].” ( Ark of Hope ) “Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children) (Child Help ). That is about 9 percent of those 40 million children! And that’s just in the U.S.A.!!!
Many close friends and I have gone through this horrible experience. They are part of the 9% who were abused by loved ones. Statistics show that only 10% of abusers do not know their abuser well. ( Ark of Hope ) The other 90% know their abusers and have had some relationship with them before the abuse.
*Gabriela, of California, said that her abuser was her uncle and cousin. “It started when I was 11 years old. And if something happened before then, I don’t remember because I blocked that part of my life.” (1) And she isn’t the only one. There are many cases just like Gabriela’s, which many have been untreated. Gabriela continued expressing how she felt, “I thought I was the only one in my family that has been the victim to my uncle and cousin. It was so hard to tell someone in my family. The only solutions I had was to run away or tell someone at school.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 listed a study conducted in 1986 and found that 63% of women who had suffered sexual abuse by a family member also reported a rape or attempted rape after the age of 14. Recent studies in 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2013 have all concluded similar results. ( U.S. Department )
Parents can only love their children after an incident like Child Abuse happens. Parents can listen to their children when they are telling them what is going on in their lives. Life is messy, ugly, and cruel. With love and proper treatment, the victims will be on the road to recovery because it is a problem. And it can be happening right next door to each and every one of us.
- Name Changed.