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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would you report the abuse? Try to help the child in some way? Or would you tell yourself that what is happening is none of your business and let it go?

I want to hear from all kind of people. It is ok to say you would do nothing. I am not here to judge or condemn I am just here observe and learn.
 

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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that you know someone personally and it is probably a girl. That person is probably being sexually abused and you either don't want to hurt that person by getting their father taken away. Either that, or you know the father of the sexually abused personally. And now, you are at a moral dilema on whether or not to report it. Am I right? PM me if I am right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that you know someone personally and it is probably a girl. That person is probably being sexually abused and you either don't want to hurt that person by getting their father taken away. Either that, or you know the father of the sexually abused personally. And now, you are at a moral dilema on whether or not to report it. Am I right? PM me if I am right.
Good guess but I am a psychologist studying the affects of child abuse on society. I am currently studying how people react to children of abuse. Adult survivors of child abuse often ask me why someone did not stop the abuse when they know other people knew about the abuse. I want to be able to provide them with an accurate answer to that question. Do people just not care? What answer should I give my adult survivors of child abuse?
 

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Good guess but I am a psychologist studying the affects of child abuse on society. I am currently studying how people react to children of abuse. Adult survivors of child abuse often ask me why someone did not stop the abuse when they know other people knew about the abuse. I want to be able to provide them with an accurate answer to that question. Do people just not care? What answer should I give my adult survivors of child abuse?
Well, you can't really give them any answer that will make them happy. I've known women that were sexually abused as children and the only thing that they can do is to the best they can to overcome the serious psychological impact that this has had on them. It's a hell-a-lot easier said than done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, you can't really give them any answer that will make them happy. I've known women that were sexually abused as children and the only thing that they can do is to the best they can to overcome the serious psychological impact that this has had on them. It's a hell-a-lot easier said than done.
I agree, I have seen people both men and woman struggle with past abuse. But I should be able to give them an answer as to why people looked away while they were being abused. The only way I can give then an answer is to study the problem. That is why I joined this forum. So let me ask you personally what would you do if you knew a neighbor child was being abused? Would you do something to help or not? And why? Thanks for answering.
 

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See, my problem is these are the only two forms of abuse really looked at. What about psychological/emotional abuse? Should it really be legal for a parent to come home every single day and tell their kids, that they hate their guts, they're worthless pieces of shit, they should have aborted them, and they wish they would just die? Because, I'm pretty sure, that could fuck a kid up in the head pretty bad. Apparently, that's fully legal, though. I know, because I've turned someone in to child services. All they were interested in was the physical abuse, though they said they would make a note of the other stuff. I was actually rather disheartened to find that out, as it meant had anyone actually given enough of a shit about the way my dad treated me to turn him in, it wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference. He never put a hand on me, but he stayed in my face every single day, reminding me just how much he treasured my existence (sarcasm).

As for the parents I turned in, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. I tried to counter off some of the abuse, by being a positive force in the kid's lives, but it was mainly my selfish feelings for them and their mother, that kept me silent. I knew, that I'd lose my spot in their lives, the moment I turned her and the dad in. Though, I was afraid, that the kids might end up somewhere worse (though when I think about it, I don't believe that's possible), or their mom would kill herself if she fully lost them. Never mind the fact, that she constantly chose to abandon them for men, put them around men who abused her and them, and much like my own home, they had no safe place, as mom and dad were bad enough, but grandpa was a fucking psycho. It cost me four people, that I still love more than my own life, but rare are the moments I put others ahead of me and even rarer the moments I give a damn about doing the "right" thing, so I'm proud I did what I could, legally speaking. I wanted to beat their dad to death with a wrench and pay someone to knock some sense into their mother. Even if the psychological abuse isn't considered illegal, I'll put money on the poor kids ending up just as troubled as me and their mother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
See, my problem is these are the only two forms of abuse really looked at. What about psychological/emotional abuse? Should it really be legal for a parent to come home every single day and tell their kids, that they hate their guts, they're worthless pieces of shit, they should have aborted them, and they wish they would just die? Because, I'm pretty sure, that could fuck a kid up in the head pretty bad. Apparently, that's fully legal, though. I know, because I've turned someone in to child services. All they were interested in was the physical abuse, though they said they would make a note of the other stuff. I was actually rather disheartened to find that out, as it meant had anyone actually given enough of a shit about the way my dad treated me to turn him in, it wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference. He never put a hand on me, but he stayed in my face every single day, reminding me just how much he treasured my existence (sarcasm).

As for the parents I turned in, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. I tried to counter off some of the abuse, by being a positive force in the kid's lives, but it was mainly my selfish feelings for them and their mother, that kept me silent. I knew, that I'd lose my spot in their lives, the moment I turned her and the dad in. Though, I was afraid, that the kids might end up somewhere worse (though when I think about it, I don't believe that's possible), or their mom would kill herself if she fully lost them. Never mind the fact, that she constantly chose to abandon them for men, put them around men who abused her and them, and much like my own home, they had no safe place, as mom and dad were bad enough, but grandpa was a fucking psycho. It cost me four people, that I still love more than my own life, but rare are the moments I put others ahead of me and even rarer the moments I give a damn about doing the "right" thing, so I'm proud I did what I could, legally speaking. I wanted to beat their dad to death with a wrench and pay someone to knock some sense into their mother. Even if the psychological abuse isn't considered illegal, I'll put money on the poor kids ending up just as troubled as me and their mother.
I agree that psychological/emotional abuse can damage a child just as much as physical or sexual. What you went through was just terrible and should not have happened to you. Unfortunately the current system in the US cares very little about psychological/emotional abuse. One day I am hoping that is going to change. For now we need to work on understanding the physical and sexual because if people don't care about that they will never care about the psychological/emotional abuse.

It think it is awesome that you took care of those children. I have met a lot of people that did not have anyone in their life that cared enough to reach out and help. I would call you the Big Good Wolf.
 

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That is my reaction too. But not everyone feels that way. I wish there was more people like you.
I understand what you mean but I can't understand the way some people react by turning their eyes away.
Coming from a place where there is no 'Child service' to even turn the abusers to, People prefer to sweep this under the rug especially sexual abuse.

For physical abuse, there's always the question of 'where is the line?' I got spanked and smacked as a kid, Can't really say it has any effect on me now but sometimes it could have been called abuse.

Emotional abuse would arise with Physical and sexual but on its own, if the child doesn't speak out then one can hardly put two n two together.
Still i think people should learn to care a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I understand what you mean but I can't understand the way some people react by turning their eyes away.
Coming from a place where there is no 'Child service' to even turn the abusers to, People prefer to sweep this under the rug especially sexual abuse.

For physical abuse, there's always the question of 'where is the line?' I got spanked and smacked as a kid, Can't really say it has any effect on me now but sometimes it could have been called abuse.

Emotional abuse would arise with Physical and sexual but on its own, if the child doesn't speak out then one can hardly put two n two together.
Still i think people should learn to care a little more.
I agree. I would be interested in learning your reasoning on why people don't seem to care about these people. I have heard adult survivors of abuse say over and over how others knew the abuse was going on but did nothing. Then they always ask me the big question as to why no one cared enough to get them help. And sadly so far I have not had a good enough answer for them.
 

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Would you report the abuse? Try to help the child in some way? Or would you tell yourself that what is happening is none of your business and let it go?

I want to hear from all kind of people. It is ok to say you would do nothing. I am not here to judge or condemn I am just here observe and learn.
Of course I would report the abuse. I would call the police right away the second that I knew it was happening. What type of sick individual would just sit back and do nothing while a child gets abused? What do you mean you wouldn't judge people who would let a child continue to be abused? Are you serious? I'm going to judge them and call them what they are, sick and disgusting individuals who contribute to the abuse of an innocent child. Anyone who does not report it should be thrown in jail along with the abuser. In fact, most states have laws that make it a crime if you do not report child abuse. I really hope no one in this forum says they would sit back and watch it, or I am seriously going to flip my lid. My girlfriend was physically and emotionally abused as a child, and there is nothing more upsetting than hearing your loved ones talk about their past experiences getting beaten up/emotionally abused. I am a major in Human Development, and I have studied child abuse. The abuse stays around forever in that child's mind. It impacts them when they are a child and an adult. It can contribute to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and many other mental health problems. Children are innocent and helpless, and it is our jobs as responsible adults to help out helpless children when they are being hurt. Only a sick and twisted mind would sit back and let abuse happen. This question should be framed "Would you do the right thing and help an innocent child escape abuse or are you a contributor to the abuse and a criminal?".
 

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They did nothing because they were weak...afraid in some way: of losing a partner, breaking up a family, were afraid of the consequences if they were wrong, scared they might be hurt or the child would be hurt more and nothing would change, unwilling to accept the abuse was really happening, worried they might be turned upon in some way or not be believed and stigmatised, they were jelouse of the relationship they percived between the child and adult, the abuser is a relative whom they love more than they care for the child, maybe they had it happen to them and saw it as normal, maybe they simply didn't have the capacity to care...

They were not strong enough to offer protection to someone vulnerable in some fundamental way. They were/are damaged and incompleate human beings.

But it doesn't really matter why they didn't stop it. They didn't, and that is unforgivable. They deserve pity, and nothing more.

My personal reaction:

I would go to the authorities the second I had any suspicions of abuse, but do so anonymously. I would continue to react in the same pleasant manner as I did before, and carefully monitor the situation. I would attempt to subtly discourage or block opportunities for child and abuser to be alone together, if this was possible, while the matter was investigated and dealt with. If nothing came of the investigation then I would still be in a possition to offer some asistance, or gather more evidence.

If the parents were not involved I might talk to the child, and tell the parents of my concerns. It would depend on the people and the specific stituation, and what I thought they might do, and how they might take the news coming from me. If I thought they might do something stupid (like atempt to kill someone, or not do anything) or it would be easier coming from an authority figure, I would pass my concerns directly to the police/social services.

But I would do whatever I could to prevent it, even if that meant deceit or turning on someone close to me.

Simple as.
 

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They did nothing because they were weak...afraid in some way: of losing a partner, breaking up a family, were afraid of the consequences if they were wrong, scared they might be hurt or the child would be hurt more and nothing would change, unwilling to accept the abuse was really happening, worried they might be turned upon in some way or not be believed and stigmatised, maybe they had it happen to them and saw it as normal, maybe simply didn't have the capacity to care...

They were not strong enough to offer protection to someone vulnerable in some fundamental way.

But it doesn't really matter why they didn't stop it. They didn't, and that is unforgivable. They deserve pity and nothing more.
Feelings are irrational. Those who give in to irrational feelings while contributing to the abuse of child do not need psychoanalysis, they need prison time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Of course I would report the abuse. I would call the police right away the second that I knew it was happening. What type of sick individual would just sit back and do nothing while a child gets abused? What do you mean you wouldn't judge people who would let a child continue to be abused? Are you serious? I'm going to judge them and call them what they are, sick and disgusting individuals who contribute to the abuse of an innocent child. Anyone who does not report it should be thrown in jail with the abuser. IIn fact, most states have laws that make it a crime if you do not report child abuse. I really hope no one in this forum says they would sit back and watch it, or I am seriously going to flip my lid. My girlfriend was physically and emotionally abused as a child, and there is nothing more upsetting than hearing your loved ones talk about their past experiences getting beaten up. This question should be framed "Would you do the right thing and help an innocent child escape abuse or are you a contributor to the abuse and a criminal?".

When I first became a psychologist I never fully understood the extent of closed eyes problem. In psychology classes they discuss this a little but in actual practice this same question keeps coming up. Children are being abused and they know family members, friends and school authorities knows about the abuse but they did nothing to help. I know one person that was gang raped at age eight and not a single person including her doctor did anything about the abuse. That was shocking to me to hear even though I am trained as a trauma therapist. But it happens more often than even I thought. What do I tell this person when she ask why no one was there to help her?

I am going to steal your question and make a new thread. I liked the way it was worded. Thanks for caring about abused children.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They did nothing because they were weak...afraid in some way: of losing a partner, breaking up a family, were afraid of the consequences if they were wrong, scared they might be hurt or the child would be hurt more and nothing would change, unwilling to accept the abuse was really happening, worried they might be turned upon in some way or not be believed and stigmatised, maybe they had it happen to them and saw it as normal, maybe they simply didn't have the capacity to care...

They were not strong enough to offer protection to someone vulnerable in some fundamental way.

But it doesn't really matter why they didn't stop it. They didn't, and that is unforgivable. They deserve pity and nothing more.

My personal reaction:
I would go to the authorities the second I had any suspicions of abuse, but do so anonymously. I would continue to react in the same pleasant matter as I did before, and carefully monitor the situation. I would attempt to subtly discourage or block opportunities for child and abuser to be alone together, if this was possible.

If the parents were not involved I might talk to the child, and tell the parents of my concerns. It would depend on the people and the specific stituation, and what I thought they might do, and how they might take the news coming from me. If I thought they might do something stupid (like atempt to kill someone, or not do anything) or it would be easier coming from an authority figure, I would pass my concerns directly to the police/social services.

But I would do whatever I could to prevent it.

Simple as.
The learned helplessness affect. I have told the same thing to my clients and most of the time they reject these explanations. I have clients that believe there is more to people not helping then they are weak and helpless. My clients believe most people just don't care. There are many things someone can do to help an abused child that does not take much strength. In the case of some of my clients nothing was done to help these people. They firmly believe there are no people out there that cares.
 

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I have clients that believe there is more to people not helping then they are weak and helpless.
By weak I do not mean the same as helpless...I don not think there is ANY excuse for not reporting abuse. I don't buy the idea of helplessness either.

I do however think some people are screwed up big time, and are missing something key in and of themselves. They have a twisted and a-typical view of the world, and other people are selfish cowards or in denial.

There are lots of reasons you could give that fit into these catogories.

But for abuse victims, no anwser will EVER be good enough...because no awnser IS. That's the piont I was trying to make.

A normal person cannot understand why.

That's what I think you should say.
 

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Feelings are irrational. Those who give in to irrational feelings while contributing to the abuse of child do not need psychoanalysis, they need prison time.
I'm not saying I disagree (at least in most situations I can think of), or these reason are in anyway justifiable...but I was asked for reasons. I gave some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
By weak I do not mean the same as helpless...I don not think there is ANY excuse for not reporting abuse. I don't buy the idea of helplessness either.

I do however think some people are screwed up big time, and are missing something key in and of themselves. They have a twisted and a-typical view of the world, and other people are selfish cowards or in denial.

There are lots of reasons you could give that fit into these catogories.

But for abuse victims, no anwser will EVER be good enough...because no awnser IS. That's the piont I was trying to make.

A normal person cannot understand why.

That's what I think you should say.

Agreed. But these people still deserve an answer even if they don't accept it. I am going to see how my clients react to your suggestion. A normal person would not understand why no one was there for them.
 

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Agreed. But these people still deserve an answer even if they don't accept it. I am going to see how my clients react to your suggestion. A normal person would not understand why no one was there for them.
No, rather I think you should be totally honest, explain there are many theories and many things you could say, maybe list some.

But tell them no anwser will never be good enough, because no answer is.

It's not that a normal person would not understand, but cannot...because people who do this are not normal, people who are normal lack the capacity to think in that way. The implication being the abuse victim is normal and fully human, and so cannot understand it either.

The lack of understanding is not a fault in the victim, or due to any fault in them as people (you could say this too) but due to a problem within the people who did not help. They are/were abnormal and sick. It's a good thing they can't understand such people, as it shows they simply do not have that within them.

A better question to suggest might be, does it matter? It is still unforgivable, it will still hurt, and it will never make sense...this is something very painful that they need to learn to acept by themselves, and can only come with time. There is very little you can really do to help acept repeat this in different ways until they are ready or able to incorporate it into their world view...some may never be able to.

I think maybe you need to acept your own limitations as well, even though I can't imagine how difficult that must be, or how much you must want to help. You should be honst about your limitations and the insights you posses, as I think most people would really respect that. Don't try and have all the anwsers, most people realise no one does anyway.
 
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