Ever been told a secret and you were shocked but shook it off as children being children? Ever been told something but didn’t want to cause trouble so fail to report it? Ever saw a bruise so obvious it smacked you straight between the eyes? As much as you meant well that is part of the problem,not the solution. If no one reports, but they all know it makes them accountable. It is not good enough to whisper afterwards that you saw it or suspected it. It is not okay to sell your story to the press after it becomes headlines. It is every ones job to report and be accountable to those who cant speak up for themselves be it kids or animals.
Once they tell you, they believe you will help or find help. More often than not, they never tell again. Children are taught if you don’t like something to tell. When they do and no one does anything they are taught that telling doesn’t help. Often the abuser says no one will help and not helping reinforces the threat. Most children have self blame and hate over abuse as they don’t understand the dynamics. Kids should be told to tell again and again until someone helps.
In this country alone a child is raped, beaten or murdered every 10 seconds. Look at clock now and finish reading. Look at clock again and count the seconds. The number will be heart wrenching. The fact is someone knew and never told about the majority of kids abused or murdered. Maybe it was out of fear of causing trouble or being wrong. Maybe they grew up with me and were taught what happens behind closed doors stayed there. Maybe they felt bad for the abuser and excused the behavior because they lost their job or got divorced. No excuse and seeking help can help the abuser seek treatment to possibly stop before the unthinkable can never be undone. On the other hand, your saving a life of a child who otherwise may not be here.
People say children are resilient.True, but they learn coping mechanisms to deal. Years go on before seeking help and years of using the coping skills have to be undone. Do not expect someone else to report. You are someone. We all are a SOMEONE. A reporter is confidential or is supposed to be. You can not be charged with reporting as long as you are honest. Though there are places that threaten that but its not child’s fault corruption goes on. The risk is worth saving a child and fighting corruption at a later date. The only risk you face is by not doing so. It is illegal to fail to protect or report.
When a child trusts you with their most guarded secret then you owe them at least a tip to a child help line. Call national and local lines because it increases the likeliness of followup on child’s safety. Keep track of whom you reported to as well as dates, times and brief description of the incident when the child divulged information to you or you noticed something suspicious. Hear the words they say, even if you know the person being accused.
People are not always whom they seem to be. Child abuse can happen anywhere not just certain lower socioeconomic classes. It can be anyone including your own child you raised better than that. Staying silent doesn’t help them deal with anger issues. It only hurts the chances of saving child. They need help to learn to cope with anger and heal. Do not be fooled by the old saying “it will never happen again.” That is commonly used to charm or manipulate. Next time may be too late. This time they may not stop. No child ever deserves to be abused for any reason, ever. Beating is not spanking. Often they act out because of abuse or neglect.
When a child shares a secret, report. It is not your job to determine if it is true first. It is only your job to hear the cries shared with you and share them. Silence will only cover up the cries. Child abuse is a pandemic and increasing daily. This happens because there are no consequences most of the time. You are allowing the abuser the freedom to walk and harm the child further. Hear the words of that child and seek help. Do not stay silent. It will not get better if no one does or says a thing. Remember alone we are one, together we are an army who can be heard echoing over corruption. Please see: www.voices-amplified.com