Guest Author - Kelli Deister
It is difficult to believe, but October is upon us and marks the beginning of the holiday celebrations. The stores already have the shelves of Halloween decorations and racks of Halloween costumes on display. Children around the globe are starting to talk about what they will dress up as on Halloween. Television stations are now advertising scary movies, just in time for Halloween. Movie theatres will be filled with those that catch a thrill from watching gory and blood-filled horror movies.
The general theme for this particular holiday celebration is - the scarier, the better. Furthermore, for the general public, the monsters that they dress up as, or the monsters that they pay good money to go and watch in the movies, are fake and cannot harm them. Once the movie is over, the movie goers leave unharmed. Once the terrifying costume comes off, life goes back to normal and there is no fear in the life of the one that was wearing the costume.
Now, I want to introduce you to the life of the child abuse victim. Children that are being abused, in any form, must face their own monsters on a daily basis. Their abusers are their monsters. For the young victim that is being molested, it is a constant trauma they must endure as the lights go out and their monster enters their bedroom. For the victim of physical abuse, it is also a constant trauma they must go through when their monster pummels them with their fists, feet, or other objects. Lastly, for those victims enduring the vicious words, names, and threats, it is also a constant trauma.
These children must face their monsters every day. They have no where to run to and no place to hide. They are continuously battered in some form and live in a daily fear. While everyone else is laughing and playing in their scary costumes, the victims of child abuse are cowering and trying to avoid being battered one more time. There is no celebration for these victims. There is no joy. There is no pretend. There is only the reality of their vicious monsters. The child abuse victim's only hope is for someone to come and rescue them from their monster.
If you know of any child that is enduring abuse at this time, please don't hesitate to call for help. Children are defenseless against their abusers. Their abusers weigh far more than they do, as well as towering over them. The abuser's threats are very real to their victims.
Not too long ago, people in our society believed that it was none of our business when we heard the screams of a child. People believed that it was a private, family matter and the parent was doing what he/she felt best to do while disciplining their child. People were also scared of retaliation if the abusive parent found out who called them in for suspected child abuse. Our society still teeters on the fence when it comes to mental, verbal, and emotional abuse. Some professionals feel they cannot do anything about these types of abuse. These patterns of thought, if they remain in place, will allow and enable many future cases of child abuse in our society. It is time to stop the cycle of abuse! Get involved! Help a child by reporting suspected child abuse.
This article kicks off a month long series of articles related to Halloween. I will be writing about such things as shopping for Halloween costumes, Trick-or-Treating safety reminders, what you can do to help child abuse victims for Halloween, and child abuse survivors facing our fears.