Myths and Facts About Child Abuse


Myth: If the child doesn't report the abuse or run away, it can't be that bad.


FACT: A child can still love an abusive adult and crave his/her attention, even if it hurts. Children often think the abuse is normal. Others think they won't be believed. Children know they can't survive on their own, and may be reluctant to give up friends, school, etc.


Myth: Abusive parents hate their children.


FACT: Many abusive parents are emotionally immature. They don't understand a child's needs or behavior or have unrealistic expectations of about children. In times of stress, they vent their frustration on something within their power--their children.


Myth: Children encourage sexual abuse by acting seductive.


FACT: Abuse of ANY type is entirely the adult's responsibility. Children who dress and act in a manner way beyond their years are conforming to peer pressure and are aiming to please, not asking for sex.


Myth: Parents have a duty to discipline their children any way they please.


FACT: Parents have a duty to discipline their children, but "discipline" is not the same as abuse. Discipline and guidance teaches children rules and self-control. Beating, shaking, whipping, etc., teaches them to hurt others to force obedience.


Effects of Child Abuse:


Children who are abused tend to deny that the abuse is occurring. They may daydream that they are elsewhere or that the abuse is happening to a stranger. In most cases, they accept the blame for the abuse and believe that they are 'bad.' This usually results in withdrawal and in turning off feelings to protect themselves from emotional pain. They may engage in approval seeking behavior from adults, such as: "being perfect."


Other effects include:

difficulty with love or trust

poor self-image

permanent physical disability

anti-social/violent behavior

death - suicide or homicide

drug and/or alcohol abuse

troubled relationships



eating or sleep disorders

caring or loving too much, which is co-dependency



self-destructive behavior

Child Abuse

Myths and Facts

Child Sexual Abuse

Possible Signs


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