Do I Look Like Someone Who Suffered Child Abuse?
Child abuse is one of the most shocking things that an adult can inflict on a defenceless, innocent child. And usually, it’s a family member or a close family friend. Can you imagine how confusing the child must feel? Their abuser is supposed to be looking after them and keeping them safe. Instead, they subject them to horrifying sexual or physical abuse.
This post was originally published on this blog in May 2012. I’m sharing it again to draw attention to this terrible act. Also, it’s fitting for the new niche of Miraculous Ladies.
It’s a speech written by a teenage girl as part of her GCSE coursework. I think she was brave to stand up in front of her class and expose her dark secret about the hell she went through. What makes it more brutal is that the abuser was her mother’s husband. She was only a few years old when it happened.
Her story touched my heart. She gave me permission to share it. I hope it will help someone who is going through child abuse to find a way out of their nightmare.
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Children should be loved and cared for. They are not some toy that you can throw away when you feel like it. Let me ask you. Do you know how many children are abused or experience abuse in their life? Well, let me tell you. One in nine children and young adults experience abuse throughout their lives.
Would you let this happen to your child? Well, would you? I know that the answer would be No.
Many people would say that children that get abused are rubbish and will abuse their children. Do I look like a piece of rubbish? I think the answer is No.
So how many children do you think is on the child protection registers? How about 10,000 – 30,000 maybe? The answer is actually 30,000 children are on the child protection registers. That number is still rising today. Did you know that 17,727 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2011?
Out of the children that are abused, how many do you think die every week? Well, did you know that at least 1 child dies every week in England and Wales? And it is a lot more for babies.
Would you like it if your child, granddaughter or grandson were to die at such a young age? If ‘No’ then do something about it. As I have said before, children are not toys that you can throw away when you feel like it. They are human beings.
Do you remember a time that you were bullied at school? If you can times it by 1000, then you can feel the pain that a child who gets abused goes through every single day of their lives.
Certainly I hope that there is no one in this room who thinks that abusing children is alright. Because it isn’t! And it is completely wrong and criminal.
Surely you can agree with me that child abuse is wrong. Anyone who commits this damaging crime should be punished in the most hurtful and inhuman way that you can think of.
For the people who think that it is perfectly normal to have a sexual relationship with a child aged 6 or maybe even 2, then you should be kept away from children. And be locked up somewhere that you can’t see the day of light.
Almost certainly, there is a child somewhere going through this torture while I speak. It’s not fair.
How long do you think that child abuse affects someone? It will affect them for the rest of her or his life. So don’t you dare tell someone who has been abused to ‘get over it,’ because it was in the past.
Let me bring you back to me. Do I look like I am doing well for myself? The answer would be yes.
Do abused Children look like they will do well in life? Now most of you would answer No. But the correct answer is, it depends on what happens to them.
There are lots of stereotypes about children and young people who are abused and then go into care. Well, most of them are wrong. I am a living proof of this.
Do I look like the type of girl who was abused when she was 2 – 8 years old? Well, I’m about to shock you because the answer is yes. I was abused by my step dad from the age of 2 to about 8 days before my 9th birthday.
So let me tell you that not everyone who has been abused looks like they have. Now let me ask you. Do I look like I am OK? I bet that the answer is yes, but really the answer is no.
Let me tell you about a day in my life. Let’s go with a Tuesday. Well I go to college and talk to my friends, all normal so far. This is where it gets complicated. After college at 2:30pm, I leave and go to therapy to talk about what happened to me.
For those who have children, does he or she have friends at school? Yes, they do. But let me just say that a child who is being abused will have one or maybe no friends at school.
So let me ask you again. Would you let this happen to your child? Well would you? I know that the answer would be No!
Do you think that my mum loved me? Yes, well she probably did in her own way, but it wasn’t enough to stop me from being hurt. She didn’t care, to be honest.
Guess what I have done in my life since then? Well I have been the leader of a volunteer group, got 5 GCSEs out of 9, advised a distinction* in my Level 2 Childcare and doing a Level 3 course in Health and Social Care at college. I regularly babysit a 3-year-old boy for my older foster-sister.
So let me ask you. Do I look like a type of girl to abuse children? I am hoping that you don’t think that I would, as I love children and enjoy being in their company.
So let me ask you again. Would you like it if your child, granddaughter or grandson were to die at a young age? If Not then do something about it.
Just remember that there is living proof of children that do well. I’m just one of them. And I and those people need your help to stop child abuse.
There is a charity called the NSPCC fighting to stop child abuse. But in the great and wise words of my English teacher, charity is not enough. Children everywhere need you. They need your help.
I would just like to take the time to thank all the staff that works in children’s homes. And the foster carers for doing such a great Job with the children in their care.
Photo by savit keawtavee
Have you been a victim of child abuse? What did you do to bring some sort of normality to your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.