The immediate impact of abuse is tragic, but so too are the long-term consequences – affecting children, their families and their communities.
Child abuse is not usually just one physical attack or just one instance of failure to meet a child’s most basic needs. Usually child abuse is a pattern of behavior which takes place over a period of time. The longer child abuse continues, the more serious it becomes, and the more difficult it is to help.
In homes where abuse occurs, fear, confusion and instability replace the love and the nurturing that children need. Abused children live in constant fear of physical harm from a person who is supposed to care for them. These feelings create huge psychological obstacles they must live with and try to overcome and manage.
Abuse occurs all around us – hidden in plain sight. Abusers work to keep the abuse a secret. Very young children cannot report. Young children many times do not report. Older children live in fear, guilt, shame and do not tell.
“I am a survivor of abuse and my story is like many, many others…
The person who did this to me was a teacher, a coach, a well-respected community member, a church attendee and a trusted confidant. All of the adults around me–teachers, coaches, family, etc.–simply did not have protective measures in place; they also didn’t know what the red flags were. It was their worst nightmare, and it was the life I found myself in.
We can make a difference as Champions For Children, and, as a survivor, I cannot thank the organization enough for the work they do to educate and advocate for the children of today and tomorrow.”
– Vida, Hampton Roads Resident*
*Vida has now moved out of state and continues to follow Champions for Children as an advocate
Does the impact of abuse cost communities?
The cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States is estimated at $258 million per day, according to a study by Prevent Child Abuse America.
Why so costly?
Hospitalizations, involvement in social service systems, mental health care, child welfare, law enforcement and criminal justice courts – it all adds up …