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Thread: The Abuse of Children

  1. #1

    Default The Abuse of Children

    I don't know when i became...interested (for lack of a better word) with the occurrence of child abuse. It was somewhere during Tenth grade (last year). I read Dave Pelzer's books (A child called it, The lost boy, and, A Man Named Dave. All really...heartbreaking (but good) books. They are about his life growing up under an (extremely) abusive mother.) I was in a perpetual bad mood over the course of three weeks- the time it took me to read the books, plus some- We had to do a report in English on a social issue in America and my topic, surprisingly, was the lack laws against child abuse. Since all this began, any case or mention of Child Abuse will immediately and fully capture my attention.

    Child Abuse is the one and ONLY thing that can both anger me (beyond all else) and make me extremely sad, at the same time. For me that's like setting a piece of ice on a stove; it's my melting point. If i had the super power to save a child from this fate, i swear to god i'd be using that power every second of every day.

    Today i got into a discussion with my barber about child abuse vs. animal abuse. He said that animal abuse, to him, is more heart breaking than child abuse. Though, he admitted, child abuse was the worst victim crime that could ever be put onto someone. He said that unlike pets, who live solely to make their owner happy and receive all the blind love they can (and to give it back), children have the ability to process. He gave the example of; if you kick a dog to an inch of his life, as soon as he stands back up he'll come right back for you to do it again; he doesn't know better, he cant process.

    I have to disagree with him on ALL accounts. First of all, Child abuse comes, in my books, MILES ahead of animal abuse. To use the same example of the dog. Say there is a child of five years old. his mother punches him in the face and knocks him out. When that child wakes up, who do you think he's going to want? The same as every other child that is in pain, "Mommy." Just as the dog would, the child would continuously go back to the abuser. Also, that child wouldn't know any better. He doesn't know that the way he's being treated isn't the norm, isn't acceptable. For him it's a daily fact of life, for him it is normal. Secondly, child abuse isn't a victim crime. Let me give you a quote from Richard Pelzer's book (related to Dave Pelzer, whose books are stated above) A Brother's Journey, Surviving a Childhood of Abuse.

    "This book is dedicated to all of us that have been through such an experience as this. We are not survivors nor are we victims. We are the ones that have been given the chance to expedience life as few people ever will. We are tempered and made stronger in our foundations through the fire we once knew. The embers that often bring back the memories and tears will always burn. They are a reminder of who we once were. As responsible and productive adults we now have the opportunity to share, understand, and even heal. We must always remember and admit this happens to children we know and children we don't. This happens every day and often in our own neighborhoods. This work is dedicated to all those that step up and make our homes the loving safe haven they should be. I admire and I am inspired by your dedication."

    Some of you may still believe that, no, they still are victims. But, I believe that a victim is a person that takes the experience that happened to them to their heart and brain in a negative manner. If a person lets the experience control their life then, yes, they are a victim. But, if a person abused as a child takes their experience to the heart and brain and comes to terms with it. Yes it did happen to them, yes it was very bad. And they can turn not only their life around, but the generations after them; then no, they are not a victim. Here is another quote from Richard Pelzer's book.

    "My life has changed for the better now that I am able to live with the truth. I am able to control my feelings, and I know where they belong in my heart. Before this book i was only able to prevent them from surfacing. Now i find that i don't have to control that anymore; I can live with them in harmony in my daily life. I understand that these feelings and thoughts are part of who i am. Sharing this story has been therapeutic for me and has brought me closer to my wife and family. the experiences in this book have touched many lives. It will affect my children when they read about my childhood and understand the drastic difference between the way they were raised and the way i was. It will affect my children's teachers and their friends and families once the whole story is finally known."

    and just for extra points i want to throw in this last quote.

    "True piece of mind and heart is something that is earned -- something that is worked on and then achieved. It doesn't happen over night, and requires the love and support of those around us who love and want to understand. May all my readers find true peace of mind and heart that i have found in telling my story."

    What i want to know is how you all feel about this serious and heartbreaking issue. Not a debate but just an entry explaining your views. Thank you for all of you that respond.

    Ps. The band 'BuckCherry' has made a song out of Dave Pelzer's book A Child Called It. If you've read the book this song will mean a lot more to you. But if you haven't read the book, you really should.

    The song should pop up automatically. A Child Called It - BuckCherry
    Last edited by Kyler; 20-Aug-2009 at 02:54. Reason: One more point added, Song added

  2. #2

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    This is kinda debate-ish, sorry, but...


    Quote Originally Posted by Little Tyler View Post
    If a person lets the experience control their life then, yes, they are a victim.
    I don't think it's so simple as that. They can't just "get over it" so easily. They're not just "letting" the experience control their lives. It's usually Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and some people just might be more genetically vulnerable to it.

    And well..... I dunno what else to say. Child abuse is bad.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShippoFox View Post
    This is kinda debate-ish, sorry, but...

    I don't think it's so simple as that. They can't just "get over it" so easily. They're not just "letting" the experience control their lives. It's usually Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and some people just might be more genetically vulnerable to it.

    And well..... I dunno what else to say. Child abuse is bad.
    I'm going to actually agree with Tyler on this one. My friend and I were both abused as children and for the most part, we don't give a damn. Sure we had some short-term problems, but we're fine for the most part.

    However, I think it really depends on the person and how sensitive they are in general. I'm a pretty stoic individual in real life (not over the phone, though) and yet, my little brother is still being affected by all of this. He's the sensitive one in the family. And even if somebody is a victim, there are plenty of things to help them cope with it. (Note how I didn't say 'Get over it'. It's worse than getting a bad test grade.) Even if you have PTSD (like I did) There's a lot of things to help you. Anti-depressants aren't bad. They can really really help people in those situations. (First hand experience here.) So the only real victims are the ones who don't go out and get help. They sit around and cry all day because they were abused and use it as an excuse for everything. (I've known people who have done that.)

    Note: I'm not trying to come off as an arse or anything. I just really wanted to respond to this thread and tell the difference between somebody who's had the experience and a victim.

  4. #4

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    Anti-depressants can be kinda bad. They can make people kill themselves sometimes. (happened to a relative recently) Also, they aren't really a solution. And how are you supposed to simply get help when it costs hundreds to thousands of dollars?! Perhaps those people that "sit around and cry all day" didn't have the means to get help or they don't think "help" will really help. They're not sitting around depressed because they enjoy it, after all.

    And I was not necessarily disagreeing with Tyler. He clarified what he meant in a private message.

  5. #5

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    People can get over it through counseling and that is if they want to get over it.

    *Spoilers*


    I've read those books and the mother pissed me off. She may be mentally ill and emotionally unstable but I have a difficulty time excusing the behavior and feeling sorry for them when they abuse a child and I thought the dad was a coward for not sticking up to his wife. He just let the abuse happen and when he left, he left David and he let his wife control him. Gee was she really bigger than him and stronger? I even thought the same of Richard in his teens. He was nearly six feet and he was still letting his mother hurt him when he can stand up for himself now. He was probably bigger than her now and stronger. If I were being abused by my mother in my teens, I'd be fighting back and hitting her back and pushing her away. Then he explained at the end of the book why he was letting his mother hurt him because he was holding himself back and being that little boy he was and he wasn't that boy anymore and he was now older and bigger. So when he finally stuck up for himself, his mother found another way to abuse him and he explains it in his second book. She now lies about him and makes up stuff about him to ruin his life and make him miserable. He mentions she was a schizophrenic. I knew in Child Called It she had something and she was sick, even Richard knew it since the age of nine. He wrote in his first book he knew she had some mental illness when he was young as nine.

    After reading David's books, it sounds like Cathy was the kind of person who held grudges and she hated her mom and her brother and something happened between her and her mom in her childhood and she never got over it and held that anger. David wrote in one of his books how his mother told him when he was in his twenties how she hated people and her mom and she sure showed her, showed her she can't tell her what to do and I thought, "is that why she abused her son, man she is sick." She obviously took her anger out on one of her kids and she moved onto the next one. I couldn't understand why doesn't she just get rid of David if she hates him so much. Now I realize it's because she needed someone to take her anger out on and she targeted one of her children, then she moved onto the next one when David was finally taken. If Richard got taken, no doubt she would move onto her other child. I thought it might be Scott (aka Stan in David's books) because he was like her buddy and partner to plan the punishments for Richard. When Richard was little, she made him her watch dog for David and her little Nazi as David described it. When I read The Child Called It, I couldn't believe how cruel a toddler can be by planting food in the garage just so he watch his brother get beaten or abused but in his book he explains why he did it. He was afraid of his mother and afraid she do the same thing to him and he said how she get mad at him if he failed to tell her David got food so he just planted food in the tool box and stuff to keep his mother away from him. So Richard was already the victim when David was still living at home, it was like the beginning for him for the abuse.

    I could see why the brothers wouldn't stick up for David or Richard because they were also afraid of their mother. David wrote in one of his books about when he was in the second grade, his mother told his brothers he was no longer a member of their family and they are to not talk to him or look at him or play with him and she threatened to give them the same treatment she gives David if they disobeyed her orders.

    Obviously child abuse was illegal back then too because David got taken and I was so surprised how she could get away with all this and boy didn't the neighbors knew about it? Richard says in his book they knew but they were afraid. I couldn't even believe how it took David's school so long to finally call the police despite that he showed signed of abuse all those years. His second grade teacher did try to rescue him but she got herself fired when Cathy came into the school all dressed up holding Richard in her arms and telling them David was doing all this to himself to get attention because of the new baby in the family. They all believed her and that was the last time David saw his teacher. I figured she was fired for a "false report."

    These books were very sad, Child Called It, and A Brother's Journey. The second one was more better because the abuse wasn't as bad but still very bad but it was different and Richard finally got away from her when he was 17. The Lost Boy, David was away from his mother and there was no abuse but David sure got himself into lot of trouble, he was still stealing and hanging out with the wrong group of friends who were all using him. He was labeled naive in court but he knew full well what he was doing and he knew he was being used but he let them use him so I don't call that naivety. He even said in his book he knew what he was doing was wrong and he knew they were using him but he didn't care because of the years of being ejected from his peers and being alone.

    I can remember my teacher telling be back in the sixties, people minded their own business and whatever happened in someone's house stayed in that house and people didn't get involved. Today child abuse still happens and people still don't always report it because they are afraid and it's amazing how some people can still get away with it. I have been told you can end up paying a fine if you did a false report so what a good way to make people not call child services because they are so afraid about what if they are wrong and what if the kid isn't being abused, they have to pay a fine. That is just so stupid, it just makes people afraid to protect the child.

    I feel no empathy for parents who abuse their kids even if they have some sort of mental illness or trauma, etc.

    I have even read two books called Such Good Boys and No One can Hurt Him Anymore and those two were crime books. The first one was a book on two boys who killed their schizophrenic mother who abused the oldest child and the other one was about a death of a ten year old boy killed by his step mother. It talks about the abuse the two boys got and even though it happened in my time, I was so amazed how the police officers can let the abuse happen and they knew the mother was mentally ill and the family knew but they let it happen. The other boy, the neighbors were too afraid to call child service because they were afraid of the woman and this was in 1992 and 1993.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    People can get over it through counseling and that is if they want to get over it.
    "if they want to get over it"
    This again? How many people would not want to get over it? This doesn't really go for child abuse only either. It's more about confidence that help can actually work and actually having access to help (not to mention other factors). They're not saying "Wow, I enjoy feeling depressed and worthless!" Sure, they have to realize that they need help and seek it, but that doesn't mean they're enjoying misery if they don't or can't.

    I might be nitpicking though. I am sorry for that. It's because I somewhat feel abused because of bullying back in elementary school. I am "over it", I think, but it affected how I interact with others and express myself long ago. I don't know how to change that. So that's why I might be overreacting a bit. And that's to not even mention other problems (for lack of a better word) that I may have (such as being somewhat insecure about my gender/sex). Oh, and before someone says it, I wasn't making myself a target back in elementary school. (because that's an ignorant, rude thing to say and someone always says it) I did my best to fit in, but it wasn't easy.
    Last edited by ShippoFox; 20-Aug-2009 at 22:14.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShippoFox View Post
    "if they want to get over it"
    This again? How many people would not want to get over it? This doesn't really go for child abuse only either. It's more about confidence that help can actually work and actually having access to help (not to mention other factors). They're not saying "Wow, I enjoy feeling depressed and worthless!" Sure, they have to realize that they need help and seek it, but that doesn't mean they're enjoying misery if they don't or can't.

    I might be nitpicking though. I am sorry for that. It's because I somewhat feel abused because of bullying back in elementary school. I am "over it", I think, but it affected how I interact with others and express myself long ago. I don't know how to change that. So that's why I might be overreacting a bit. And that's to not even mention other problems (for lack of a better word) that I may have (such as being somewhat insecure about my gender/sex). Oh, and before someone says it, I wasn't making myself a target back in elementary school. (because that's an ignorant, rude thing to say and someone always says it) I did my best to fit in, but it wasn't easy.
    Well I agree with you on there. Unless you ARE that person, nobody knows what will and what will not work with them. I may be a bit biased and only think about psychiatric medication and therapeutic interventions, but that's because of my upbringing. I apologize if I came off as a mean person whatsoever. I am totally not sure of what to say to somebody who has been abused and does not believe in psychology or doesn't want help. Unless they're going to hurt themselves or others, I'm going to be as supportive as I can to that person. (Which is everybody pretty much.)

  8. #8

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    Shippofox I don't really see how its debatable really. When someone says child abuse you can't ever say they are wrong. Of course everyone hates child abuse, all expect child abusers. (duh)

    I haven't posted until now since I had nothing to add and I knew whatever I would of said would of been meet with resistance and whatnot. So again my point is once someone yells "child abuse is wrong!" they are right and nothing can really be added.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Shippofox I don't really see how its debatable really. When someone says child abuse you can't ever say they are wrong. Of course everyone hates child abuse, all expect child abusers. (duh)

    I haven't posted until now since I had nothing to add and I knew whatever I would of said would of been meet with resistance and whatnot. So again my point is once someone yells "child abuse is wrong!" they are right and nothing can really be added.
    I guess I agree with you completely. You didn't really argue against anything I said. Maybe you meant the part where I said "This is kinda debate-ish, sorry, but..." When I said that, I was only referring to Tyler not wanting a debate. I felt like I was potentially starting a debate by replying to his line about abused children not being victims (it was really only semantics though. he wasn't implying that it's all their fault if they can't be helped easily)

  10. #10

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    This is just a coverall statement to those mentioning something about 'getting over it'.
    Last edited by Sila; 21-Aug-2009 at 02:29. Reason: putting text wall in spoiler tag...

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