Hearing the Cry for Help is Not Always a Simple Task
Did you and your family have a happy Christmas Season? The season of goodwill to all men. When the world celebrates their own meaning of the Christmas Message,
Somewhere there were no Jingle Bells or the sound of Christmas Songs. Or, the joy and laughter of opening the wrapping paper of toys.
Somewhere there was darkness,pain and abuse.
A Cry for Help that Counsellors the world over must tune their ears to hear!
Too often that cry for help has been ignored or not heard. There are countless reasons child abuse can happen. Immediately one’s thoughts turn to sexual abuse but it also includes physical and mental abuse. It is every adults responsibility to tune our ears to hear this cries for help.
As professional counsellors you are at the fore-front of listening and guiding children understand that they are not responsible they are the victims. However there is an opportunity to respond to those emotional calls for help and support. To hear those jingle bells once more as they accept and rebuild their lives with our help.
Although child abuse is highly emotive those adults who are subjected to abuse need our care and resources also.
Europe is fast becoming the global hub of child and adult abuse. Everyone agrees not a phrase to be proud of but how many are willing to devote part of their lives to offer emotional support and help to anyone who suffers abuse in their lives. Silent screams of pain and shame.
- Remember that abusers often befriend the child and the child’s family in order to gain their trust
- Always look for group situations to involve your child in rather than placing your child alone with one adult.
- The abuser shames the child, points out that s/he let it happen, or tells her or him that their parents will be angry.
- Some children who did not initially disclose abuse are afraid or ashamed to tell when it happens again.
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will have been sexually abused by their eighteenth birthday. Consider this the next time you walk through a mall or down a street and see several or many children at play.
- Only 1 in 10 children reports the abuse themselves. Those children who keep the abuse a secret or who tell and are not believed are far more likely to suffer psychological, emotional, social, and/or physical problems that will most likely follow them into adulthood.
- 22% of abused children are under 8 years old.
- The average age of abused children is 9.
- 34% of victims are abused by family members.
- Monitor your child’s internet use. The internet has become a favourite means for paedophiles to interact privately with children. Their goal is to lure them into physical contact after gaining their trust.
- Those who abuse children have no characteristics that “set them apart” they do not have special clothing or mannerisms they are just like us appearing trustworthy. The average paedophile is just that – average.
- Some children are too young to understand. Many abusers tell children the abuse is “okay” or a “game.”
- In fact, it is a common tactic of abusers to first establish a trusting relationship with the parents of the child.
- Many young children are abused by larger, older children.
- Listen quietly. Children have a hard time telling parents about troubling events.
- Stay Alert – Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being abused. Signs are often there but you have to spot them.
- Believe the child and make sure they know it.
- Don’t ask questions. This could be confusing to the child, make her upset, and could damage criminal prosecution of the offender.
- Assure the child that it’s your job to protect them and that you’ll do everything you can for them.
- Report in all cases of suspected abuse, whether inside or outside the family. The child’s safety is much more important than any emotional conflict you may have to face. Remember: you are the adult.
- Don’t panic. Sexually abused children who receive psychological help can and do hear.
Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Let your heart be light
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.
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Child Abuse are you Listening?