Monthly Archives: January 2018

Long Term

“Sad Boy”, Author Sascha Grosser (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

A new study by the University of Utah confirms that abuse before the age of 5 can continue to have negative consequences decades later [1].

This is no surprise to abuse victims.  We know we cannot simply “snap out” of depression, anxiety, and PTSD despite the well-meaning advice of friends, family, physicians, and strangers alike.  That fact only adds to our sense of isolation.

Researchers found that:

“…those who experienced abuse or neglect early in life consistently were less successful in their social relationships and academic performance during childhood, adolescence and even during adulthood.  The effects of maltreatment did not weaken as the participants got older [2].”

The sad little boy or girl becomes the sad, lonely and/or angry man or woman.  Unfortunately, that anger is often turned inward, becoming another destructive force against which we must battle.

This has nothing to do with will power or self-control, and everything to do with who we were taught to believe we are.  Damaged, deficient, unloved and unlovable — our needs unimportant, our dreams unattainable.  Directly and indirectly, those lessons were driven home until they became part of us.

But the human spirit is amazing.  We somehow survived the onslaught, the dark rain of blows and insults.   Many of us succeeded in the work place.  Some found the internal resources to become artists, writers, and advocates.  Still more became the parents our own parents could not be.

That we continue to wrestle with our demons is no shame.  It is simply part of our reality.

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40: 29).

[1 and 2]  Science Daily, “Tracking the impact of early abuse and neglect – Study led by university researcher shows negative effects may persist into adulthood”, 1/16/18, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116222327.htm.

With thanks to Louise Callen

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Appearances

Child abuse: x-ray of infant with multiple rib fractures, Author/Source National Institutes of Health (PD as work of federal gov’t).

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Another house of horrors was uncovered this week, this time in Riverside, CA.  Thirteen siblings were found emaciated, living in dark and stomach-churning conditions – several shackled to their beds – in a suburban tract home that to all outward appearances seemed normal [1][2].

David and Louise Turpin are being charged with dozens of counts of torture, child abuse, and abuse of dependent adults.  Their children range in age from 2 y.o. to 29 y.o.

Journals by the children have been recovered documenting the torture which included starvation, beatings, chaining, repeated strangulation, and refusal to allow the children to use bathroom facilities or bathe for months on end [3].  Many of the children have cognitive impairment and neurologic deficits as a result.  The 17 y.o. girl who somehow managed to escape and call police is so stunted she looks 10 y.o.  Her 29 y.o. sister weighs 82 lbs.

How is any civilized human being to react to this [4]?  Shock and disgust are followed closely by outrage.  How could this happen, we ask ourselves helplessly.

Regulatory Failure

This was depravity of the highest order, beyond the comprehension of most normal people.  But there was one gross regulatory failure.

The home in question was for the past 7 years listed by the California Dept. of Education as the Sandcastle Day School, a private K-12 campus with David Turpin as principal.

Supposedly the Accrediting Commission of Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) conducts a “comprehensive accreditation of public and private schools” in California, at least according to the US Dept. of Education website it does [5].  One cannot help but wonder how “comprehensive” that process was, in this case.

California does not feel it necessary to “approve” or certify private schools which do not provide special education [6].  There is no licensing required by the 3000 private schools listed with the California Dept. of Education.  There are no audits conducted.  California private schools are permitted simply to file an annual affidavit as to their operation.  Teacher certification is, also, optional.

Of course, there were no annual fire inspections conducted here either.  Had there been, this travesty would have come to light sooner. Continue reading

25 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion

Online Predators

“Danger Mines!” Warning sign re:  hidden mine shafts, Sri Lanka, Author Adam Jones, Source Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

We have all heard reports of online child molesters who haunt websites popular with children and teens; assume false identities; make use of the details on public profiles to entice victims to a meeting; then abduct them.  Any parent’s blood would run cold at the thought.

Far more often, however, it is statutory rape rather than abduction that results from online predation [1][2].

Research shows that the vast majority of teens who interact with an unknown individual online are aware when that individual is an adult, whether the interaction is via email, instant messaging or a chatroom.  Any deception that takes place is more likely to involve love than identity.

If the adult is a predator (typically 10 or more years older than the victim), sex is usually mentioned up front, and most victims who meet predators “face to face” anticipate having sex.  As many as 73% of victims have repeat sexual encounters with the predator.

This is not to suggest that our children do not need protection from online predators.  To the contrary, what this research reveals is that our children remain vulnerable throughout their teens.  A dire warning about abduction will not suffice to dissuade them from dangerous activity.

What is needed is a three-pronged approach, directed at tweens and young teens; older teens; and young people of all ages inclined toward high risk behavior.

Naivete (Ages 12-14)

Tweens and young teens may mimic sophistication.  They do not, however, have the maturity to engage in intimate relationships.  Nor can they protect themselves against the advances of a predator without training.

Children in this age range need to be educated about the various types of websites that exist, and alerted to the risky situations they can encounter online.

Parents and guardians should clarify that it is wrong for an adult to make romantic overtures toward a child, attempt to elicit a sexual response from a child, or take advantage of a child’s curiosity about sex.

It is important that tweens and young teens be provided opportunities to practice resistance and refusal techniques.  Children should be assured that rudeness toward an adult is entirely acceptable in self-defense. Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

“What to Do if You Still Love Your Abusive Ex” by Catherine Liu

“Weeping Woman” by Arnoldus Borret (c. 1880), Leiden University Library/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (Accession No. 36A221), (PD)

We cling to bad relationships for any number of reasons.  

Sometimes we assume the time we have invested in a destructive relationship is too substantial to relinquish.  But that is merely grief distorting our reason.  The loss of a year — or a decade — does not justify the loss of another.

Sometimes we believe the passion we feel — unreciprocated as it may be — is the only thing that gives our lives significance.  But that is false.  Our lives derive significance (and joy) from many sources:  faith, nature, children, family, friends, work, charity, and creativity to name a few.

Ultimately, what gives our lives meaning is the fact that we are children of God, made in His image.  Nothing and no one can deprive us of that attribute…though it is all too easy to forget, when we have been subjected to abuse.

This is a helpful article laying out 7 steps for victims to follow, if an abusive ex-lover or spouse still has an emotional hold on them.

“1.   Acknowledge that he Never Loved You

No matter how much you try to bargain with yourself, and no matter the lies he told you, people always show you how they feel about you by the way they treat you. Acknowledge that he doesn’t care about your feelings. He doesn’t care about your confidence or self-esteem. He will only flourish when he’s belittling you and you’re suffering for his ego. Screw that! You’re better off without anyone than with someone like that! You deserve someone who can give you support, patience, kindness, empathy and can reciprocate real love…”

TO READ MORE GO TOhttps://stepstowardhealing.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/what-to-do-if-you-still-love-your-abuser-7-truth-bombs-to-get-you-over-him/

Catherine Liu blogs on Improve Your Life After Abuse at https://stepstowardhealing.wordpress.com

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

15 Comments

Filed under Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Religion, Violence Against Women