Child Abuse: Myth versus Fact (Part 2)

child abuse

 

Thank you for coming back to wrap up this two part series on myths and facts about child abuse with us. Although we are attorneys specializing in defending those accused of child abuse and neglect, we are also parents who understand that child abuse is a very real problem in today’s world. So on that note, we hope to address a few commonly misunderstood beliefs, or myths, about child abuse, and replace them with facts.

 

MYTH:

Children are usually abused by strangers.

 

FACT:

While Hollywood has certainly played up this angle, making it appear that as long as children are kept safe from strangers they won’t be hurt, it doesn’t reflect reality.  Statistics show that children are actually more likely to be abused by someone they know, rather than by a stranger. Additionally, reporting the abuse is often even harder when it’s someone they know, because they fear the repercussions of “tattling” or not being believed.

 

MYTH:

My child would tell me if someone abused them or hurt them.

 

FACT:

The sad fact is that many children do not report abuse. The reasons vary, but it appears that a common explanation is either fear or shame. It is critically important to teach children at an early age about dangerous or abusive situations. It is also important to teach children what to do if they should encounter one. Parents need to reinforce with their children the importance of recognizing abuse, and make sure to be supportive when a child does speak up. However, equally important is teaching a child the importance of honesty, and the tragic consequences of lying about someone.

 

MYTH:  

Children are resilient, they’ll be fine regardless of what happens to them.

 

FACT:

While children are amazingly resilient, and they do adapt to change quickly, abuse in any form has lasting and often very damaging consequences. For example, results from a study done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows that children who were removed from their homes as a result of severe neglect or abuse suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of veterans who fought in the first Gulf War.

 

MYTH:

Someone else will report an abusive situation, so I don’t need to get involved.

 

FACT:

People are often reluctant to get involved in emotionally charged or uncomfortable situations. Sometimes this is for fear that there will be repercussions from the accused, or because they are afraid of making a scene, only to discover that they were wrong. While we encourage that people exercise good judgement and not make false accusations, the truth is that  recurring child abuse is very often preventable. It just requires someone to take the first step and report it. Last year, in the U.S. alone, over 1,500 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. Almost 1,250 of those children were younger than 4. A little courage and kindness on the part of the communities those children live in, could go a long way towards changing those statistics for the better.

 

We understand that child abuse is a hard subject to talk about, so thank you for joining us for this breakdown of common myths that surround child abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one have been falsely accused of abusing or neglecting a child, you are going to need immediate assistance from an attorney with experience in this area. The defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent decades protecting parents and caregivers against false allegations, and keeping families together. Call us at 866 766-5245. We are here to help you.