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The Cycle of Abuse is No Excuse

Society doesn't allow excuses for parents who abuse their children. Fortunately, child abusers have all the power and plenty of resources to change their habits.

It is not society's duty to show compassion or exhibit psychological understanding toward abusive parents. It's a cold harsh world out there for adults who were abused as children and continue the tradition through their own innocent babies.

Why such a cold harsh world for the abusers?

Because--There's no excuse for abusers not to utilize the hundreds of resources available for getting the help they need.

What is society's responsibility is to report child abuse as quickly as possible without being afraid.  

I have never been one to stand idly by when a parent slaps a two-year-old in the face in public. Nor do I look the other way as a parent threatens their child with physical abuse to take place later, out of sight from the public eye. As a matter of fact, I don't leave the scene until my call to 911 yields officers to the rescue. They know how to handle abusive parents without making it even worse for the children.

How do I define abuse?

While I don't believe in spanking, I do understand that there are a few rare circumstances where the occasional "fanny pop" never harmed anyone. My abuse antennae goes up based on the tone and dialect of an angry parent. If the tone is hateful, belittling and threatening, or escalates to physical factors, all bets are off. I'm calling in the professionals over at 911.

Or...perhaps I could try asking the parent for their name so I can report them to the Forsyth county Department of Family and Children Services. That'll go over real well.  Maybe I'll get a slap in the face as a bonus.

Child abusers are often compelled to tell everyone, "This is none of your business!"

That may be true, but reporting child abuse is everyone's business.

Don't just leave the hard job up to teachers and public figures who are legally obligated to report abuse. Do your part. Look for specific behaviors exhibited in abused children. Learn how to recognize the signs of abuse including sexual, emotional, physical and neglect.

There are also other ways to report child abuse.

You can call the National Child Abuse Hotline- 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

You can also contact Children Without A Voice. It's the non-profit organization headquartered in Alpharetta that helps fight child abuse and crimes against children through education-- including parenting classes. Children Without a Voice was founded in 2007 by Lin Seahorn who understands all too well what it's like to grow up in an abusive home. Seahorn's goal is to help both children and parents break the cycle of abuse and find peace.

Whatever you do, don't ever ignore your instincts. If it looks, sounds and seems like child abuse, why run the risk of allowing it to continue?

Contact the appropriate authorities and let them make their assessments.

At the end of the day, you'll know you didn't make an excuse for the cycle of abuse.

Karen May 26, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Great article! Makes it clearer/easier to report. ALL of us have a responsibilty to report and try to help these families. Thank you.
Kristen Berry May 27, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Karen, You are so right. If we all saw it as our duty to report genuine abuse, it would ultimately help (and heal) families and children in distress.

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