Guest Author - Kelli Deister
People often speculate as to why abuse happens. Some wonder if the abuser has mental health issues. Others believe it happens to low-income families. Or perhaps, some think, it could be due to over zealous religious beliefs. Lastly, some wonder what the victim could have done to trigger such a harsh response. After all, some vocalize, there has to be a reason as to why abusers hurt their loved ones the way that they do. Itís as though it would be easier if we could find and acknowledge a reason as to why children are treated so cruelly.
The reality is that there are no boundaries when it comes to child abuse. It doesnít happen to only a particular group of people. Lets look at the reasons listed above. Yes, some do abuse because of the state of their mental health. These abusers may not know or be able to comprehend that what they are doing is wrong. They may, in their state of mind, think that what they do is justified.
Abuse does not happen only to families that are low-income. Having little resources does not always equal abuse. Just because a family is listed as low-income does not mean that the parents of that home will abuse their children. Being low-income does create stress for families; however, it is my opinion that it is not singled out as a given, when it comes to abuse occurring in the home.
When it comes to religion, I am reminded of a scripture in the Bible that talks about the rod of discipline. I have witnessed people that spank their children many times, based on a particular scripture. It is unfortunate that some people do quote the scripture while they spank or hit their child harshly or severely.
So, when it comes to finding a reason for abuse happening in the home, which of those listed above does it most pertain to? None. There are no boundaries when it comes to abuse. It doesnít happen just because there is a lack of income. Nor does it happen in homes due to the strong beliefs of a particular religion. Granted, abuse occurs in homes in all of the areas discussed, but it does not draw the line there.
Abuse knows no boundaries. It happens in homes that are low-income, as well as homes that are financially strong. It happens in homes that have strong beliefs in religion, as well as homes that do not believe in religion.
Does child abuse occur because the children have done something wrong? Does it happen because of a childís behavior? Do the children do something to deserve the harsh punishment? The answer to all three of those questions is a definite no! No child deserves to be hit, screamed at, kicked, pinched, punched, spanked with a belt etc. Children do not do anything to deserve abuse. The responsibility of abuse falls squarely on the shoulders of the abuser. Abuse, I believe, occurs because it is all about power and control. Many abusers, if not all, abuse because they seek complete power and control over their child. As the child grows, so does the need for power and control over the child.
It isnít about a physical control only. It is also about a control over a childís thinking, emotions, and decision making abilities. It is about controlling oneís child so that they can not be independent. The abusive parent wants their child to be completely dependent upon them, in my opinion. That is how the power and control works.
Again, abuse knows no boundaries. It isnít singled out for any one particular group of people. It happens in the poorest of homes, as well as the wealthiest of homes. It happens in the homes of those that go to church, as well as those that donít. No one is immune to the tragedies of child abuse. It is all about power and control.