Guest Author - Marisa Seale
It is the responsibility of each and every person to report any form of abuse to relevant authorities immediately. By not reporting abuse, you are as guilty as the perpetrator performing the abuse.
Daily we read about children being abused: sexually in their own homes, verbally and emotionally. Over coffee people discuss the topic at length, organisations spring up like mushrooms and cry out against the abuse. Authorities say programmes are in place to educate children on the topic and to make sure they know their rights; petitions are sent around for everyone to sign; daily there are headlines about the abuse of children; survivors of abuse come forward to share the devastating long term effects of abuse.
Yet, abuse of children has not decreased; instead it has greatly increased the world over.
What is the reason if all the above measures are in place as we are led to believe?
It starts with a person that becomes aware of the abuse and actually does something to stop it. It is at this crucial point that many people choose to do nothing.
Mothers: if your boyfriend or husband is abusing your child, help your child! Do not overlook it because he is the breadwinner or it will cause major disruptions in the family if it comes to light. The affects of the abuse in your child’s life will never leave him or her as long as they live. Too many mothers turn a blind eye to the abuse their children suffer for financial reasons; many in fact take the abuser’s side and tell the child it is “normal” to be abused as it is for the good of the whole family.
People, wake up, abuse doesn’t happen to other people or by strangers violating children; it happens in homes where children are supposed to feel secure and experience unconditional love! They are being abused by the very people that are supposed to protect them!
You may be the teacher that sees the bruises every now & then; you may even go so far as asking the child about them and accept their answer, even when in your heart you know it isn’t the truth- there are just too many bruises too frequently………….but hey, you did ask , so you did your duty. No, you did not. Sorry, but really you did not. You have no idea what the child has been threatened with (maybe the other parent will be hurt, maybe both parents are doing the abuse) or how they have been conditioned never to tell the truth.
All too often people are scared to report the abuse because they aren’t sure and would rather not risk being wrong if they did report their suspicions. People fear the disruptions it may cause in their own secure little lives. They may have to do something more than discuss it leisurely over lunch with friends. Abuse will never stop unless every person takes the responsibility of reporting abuse immediately, even if it is only a suspicion. You may just be helping a child out of a hopeless situation.
There is the chance that you may be wrong. But what if you are right? To be responsible for a child being helped out of a hopeless situation or for people not to like you if you are wrong?
Which is it to be? What choice to you want to make? To help a child or to keep your life exactly as it is? Too often the choice is to not report the abuse, especially if it affects one directly.
Today I want to tell you in no uncertain terms: if you do not report the abuse; you are as quilty as the abuser. Abuse can only stop if it is brought to the attention of relevant authorities. If abuse is not reported; it does not exist to the outside world. Another child is lost. The dysfunctional cycle is carried over to the next generation. The abused child will forever be a dysfunctional member of society or grow to be an abuser themselves.
If the abuse is reported, the cycle of abuse can be broken. That is why it is essential that each and every person assumes the responsibility to report abuse immediately. If we are not willing to take that responsibility, abuse will continue to flourish and provide headlines to discuss in coffee shops.
Report abuse. It is your responsibility. NOTHING justifies not reporting abuse.