Written by: Jessica Johnson, Life Strategies Counseling, Inc.
Children across the world are suffering at the hands of those that are supposed to be their protectors and loved ones. It is estimated that at least 1 in 7 children in the United States has experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year (2020). Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, followed by physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.
Remember, not all bruises can be seen, and not all abuse victims look the same. Child abuse signs can range from physical bruises and/or lacerations to intense reactions to loud noises and raised voices. In 2020, 76% of child abuse perpetrators were a parent to their victim. That is an incredibly high percentage. That means that most abusers are the very people that should show love the most to these children. Child abuse both physical and mental causes lasting trauma in its victims. Adult survivors of childhood abuse are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as smoking, abusing alcohol, and taking illegal drugs. They’re also more likely to report overall lower health than those who haven’t experienced childhood abuse. You can help!
For crisis intervention, information, referrals, and support, contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. For 24/7 crisis support at your fingertips, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting DS to 741741. Victims of child abuse and neglect are strongly recommended to partake in some sort of mental health counseling. Seeing a therapist can help victims grow through their trauma and find peace within themselves. If you are a victim of child abuse and/or neglect, please seek help from your local counseling agency. Your future is bright and you are certainly not alone.