Knowing more about child abuse and neglect empowers you to take action. In Texas, every adult is a mandatory reporter of child abuse. To combat misinformation, and in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month 2023, we’re sharing 5 myths about child abuse and the facts you need to know to help prevent child abuse.
1. Physical abuse is more common
Over 80% of child abuse cases in Texas are the result of neglect. Likewise, the majority of child abuse cases in the U.S. are due to neglect rather than physical abuse.
Neglect is a serious issue and is a result of parents’ failure to provide necessary food or shelter, lack of appropriate supervision or permitting a child to engage in high-risk behaviors.
2. Child abuse doesn’t occur in wealthy areas
This is a damaging stereotype. Child abuse occurs in every demographic. It is critical that we all stay alert and be vigilant about spotting the signs of child abuse no matter where they are.
3. Emotional abuse isn’t as damaging as physical abuse
Emotional abuse occurs when one person manipulates another in an emotional way, like using words or actions aimed to insult, control, frighten or isolate them. The damage caused by emotional abuse typically occurs over a long period of time and can lead to a critical disruption of mental health and daily life. Emotional abuse includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, engaging in constant criticism and withholding love, guidance or support.
Emotional abuse can be a form of psychological trauma that has an impact on the nervous system similar to physical trauma. One effect of ongoing emotional abuse is complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD causes a variety of symptoms that can make everyday life significantly harder to endure.
4. Those who have suffered from child abuse can’t experience healing
Healing is possible for anyone who has suffered from child abuse. Child Abuse Prevention Month 2023 reminds us that experiencing love, care and stability are all important to a child’s healing process. Trauma-informed care integrates knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices while actively avoiding re-traumatization, and it’s a vital part of providing healing to the children in Upbring’s care. It is practiced by our Foster In Texas parents and those who work at Upbring programs, including our children’s centers, education programs and foster care.
5. The cycle of child abuse can’t be broken
Breaking the cycle of child abuse means ending the tendency of children who were abused to become adults who also abuse, which results in their repeating the traumas they’ve experienced.
We believe breaking the cycle of child abuse is possible. Upbring is breaking the cycle by implementing sustainable, positive changes that advance child well-being. Upbring brings healing to communities by providing trauma-informed care and empowering children, families and communities.
Upbring’s direct action approach, combined with our commitment to change on a systemic level, means our impact will be felt this Child Abuse Prevention Month 2023 and for generations to come.
Be a part of our mission to break the cycle of child abuse by learning to spot the signs of child abuse and sharing this article with your friends and family.