In a previous article we talked about child abuse, trying to get acquainted with this multifactorial and complex phenomenon. In this article, we will break down some myths that are still being reproduced around child abuse.
Myth: Abuse presupposes violence.
Truth: Physical abuse is a form of child abuse. Child neglect and emotional violence, however, can be just as harmful to the child.
Myth: Only “bad” people abuse children.
Truth: It is very easy to say that only “bad” people abuse children. However, things are not just black and white. Many people who hurt children do not do it on purpose. Many of them have been victims themselves and know no other way to be parents. Others may struggle with mental disorders or the use of alcohol and other substances.
Myth: Child abuse does not happen in “good” families.
Truth: Child abuse is not limited to poor families or low-income neighborhoods. It can exist in all socio-economic strata, as well as in all nationalities and cultures. Many times “ideal” families who seem to have “everything ” hide much more behind closed doors.
Myth: The perpetrators are usually strangers.
Truth: The perpetrators are usually close to the child. These are usually familiar people with whom the child has a relationship of trust.
Myth : Child victims will become perpetrators in the future.
Truth: It is a fact that child victims are more likely to repeat the cycle of violence as adults, essentially repeating their experiences as victims. However, the data show that they have the same chances of not becoming perpetrators, but also of mobilizing against child abuse, so that another child can experience what they experienced.
Myth: Most perpetrators have a mental illness.
Truth: This is a myth that has been debunked for many years, with data showing that only 10% of perpetrators have a mental disorder.
Myth: Child abuse is a family affair, and we should not interfere.
Truth: Indeed, child abuse is an issue that is faced by each family individually and individually, however, it should not be left there. Child abuse is a social phenomenon that reaches the limits of the scourge in modern society. Thus, reducing, or even increasing, the rate of child abuse is the responsibility of all of us.
Let’s mobilize, because we all have the right to reminisce about our childhood!
Alexia Stathaki, Psychologist