Why does child abuse happen? This age-old question is not easy to answer by any means. Why does child abuse happen...the question is essentially rhetorical? There are no straightforward answers to why it happens. There are however many reasons or speculations of what may cause someone to abuse a child. One reason might be stress. Stress can cause people to do things they normally would never dream of doing if they took the time to think about what was happening.
Besides stress, there can be a variety of endless reasons a parent or caregiver abuses a child or children:
• Death in the family
• Job loss
• Money problems
• Alcohol or drug use
• Learned behavior – violence
• Learned abuse – parent abused as a child/the cycle continues
• Child has a learning or behavioral disorder
• Parent or caregiver is mentally ill
• Caregiver is mother’s boyfriend and not related to the child
Any one of the reasons listed or a hundred more reasons may come to the minds as an excuse by a parent or caregiver to hurt a child but the reality is no excuse is ever an acceptable reason to hurt a child. The person who hurts a child is responsible to find a way to alleviate the situation and not resort to child abuse.
A parent or caregiver’s sole purpose on this earth is to provide for the necessities a child needs to thrive, food, clothing, and a safe place to live. In addition, by providing those basic needs a child learns to trust in the parent or caregiver. They learn to trust that they will be cared for and loved.
Parents and caregiver’s are a child’s first teacher. They are responsible in showing a child how to be a good person and a responsible part of the family. As a child’s first teacher a parent is responsible in showing a child how to handle stress appropriately. This includes how to handle the pressures of parenthood.
When we ask why does child abuse happen? The reality is there is no acceptable answer for child abuse ever. There is no answer one will ever here in response to this question that will elicit the response, “oh right, I understand why child abuse happens” or “No, I totally get why you could hurt that innocent little child that trusted you with his or her very life.” That same innocent and beautiful child who continued to love you with all of his or her heart after you hit, hurt, burned, or molested him or her.