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Ennis Daily News

Help stop the cycle of child abuse

Child abuse is a horrible thing. It can lurk as a secret within a family for years, and manifest itself in a variety of ways.
Young children have a limited worldview, and before they start school, the only frame of reference they have is their home life. Imagine if, as a small child, your parents didn’t treat you with the love and respect that is required for a child to grow up well adjusted. If you were abused from the beginning of your life, you would think it was normal.
The sad thing is, abuse is normal to many children. What is also sad is the fact that there is most likely an adult reading this now who grew up being abused. In my experience, I’ve met all kinds of people. And some, in developing deep friendships, have revealed to me they were abused as children.
Some of them broke the cycle, as they were so traumatized that they would never lay a finger on anyone else. Unfortunately, some people were so used to abuse that it was the only way they knew how to deal with issues, and continued the cycle of abuse.
While I was lucky enough to have loving parents who raised me without violence, child abuse has hit closer to home than I would have liked.
In today’s story about preventing child abuse, there is a statistic that says in the United States, three children die from child abuse every day. This is a fact that breaks my heart every time I think about it. But what happens to the children that don’t die? If no one knows about how the child is being physically, emotionally or psychologically mistreated, the abuse continues.
This is going on all the time, everywhere. It is happening in Ellis County. It is happening in Ennis. I don’t get passionate about many things, but this is an issue that is so important. There is no excuse for child abuse. This is one matter where there is no gray area. These are children. Every child deserves to grow up in a healthy environment and live to have opportunities to pursue their dreams.
Everyone can help. Abused children are scared, and most of the time won’t speak up for themselves. If you even just suspect abuse, call the child abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400. Child Protective Services will investigate, and if it turns out there wasn’t abuse, that will be the end of it. When it comes to this subject, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But if abuse has occurred, you might have saved that child’s life.
Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Apr 17 2009. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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