Supporting Victims of Child Abuse

I was aware that I could not trust what others said before I entered kindergarten. When my father touched me in a manner that I didn’t enjoy or that hurt physically, he would add, “I know you like this.” My early years were really difficult. It was difficult for me to remember isolated information, acquire sound-letter correlations, or recall anything I had heard but had not seen. The texts I got from my abusers were sent to stop me from telling anybody what they were doing to me. I learnt to remain quiet in order to protect the terrible secret, and the silence turned into my jail. I believed I was the only youngster who had ever gone through such adversity. I believed that I was so terrible that I needed to keep everyone at a distance. It was alone. I engaged in a variety of silent acting out because I believed I was unable to speak, hoping that by doing so, someone would notice how drastically wrong my life was. Either my actions were unnoticed or I was commanded to act properly and be a nice girl. I often used a small knife to saw on or cut my wrist throughout third and fourth grade. I behaved strangely, laughed too much, and retreated from others. I work as a school psychologist nowadays. Although I have surmounted my academic obstacles, I am still struggling with some of the emotional effects of abuse. Shirley Schenk The messages regarding my abuse were also meant to silence me and shield my abusers. I was quiet and reserved, yet I also dared to take risks and gave little thought to harming myself. I was referred to be “accident prone.” I was informed that I was insane and that if I ever revealed my true identity, “someone” would take me away and I would never see my family members again, or I would be murdered. These threats scared the hell out of me. I was always at the top of my class and a very excellent student. I was terrified to be imperfect, looking back now. I was concerned about what may occur at home. I made a concerted effort to preserve my safe haven at school by keeping quiet about my maltreatment. I can recall a few occasions when I begged instructors to take me home with them. I now run a school bus and like having regular interactions with kids in a less regimented setting. When I see signs of child abuse, I let others know what I hear and see. Always, I would choose to take the child’s side. Making the report would be preferable than ignoring what I know. Linda Buckner When I was requested to lead groups for abuse survivors in 1987 at a university counseling center, I had little knowledge of the prevalence or consequences of abuse. We had underestimated the number of women who had experienced abuse as youngsters. In no time, we had 4 groups and a waiting list with more than 50 names. I became aware of the astronomical price of keeping the family’s secret. I discovered the emotional suffering that can be brought on by feeling different. I was horrified to realize how ignorant I had previously been about the effects of abuse as a teacher. I vowed to help in some way in giving those survivors a voice so they could help today’s kids and teach us what it was like to live with abuse.

I was aware that I could not trust what others said before I entered kindergarten. When my father touched me in a manner that I didn’t enjoy or that hurt physically, he would add, “I know you like this.” My early years were really difficult. It was difficult for me to remember isolated information, acquire sound-letter correlations, or recall anything I had heard but had not seen.

The texts I got from my abusers were sent to stop me from telling anybody what they were doing to me. I learnt to remain quiet in order to protect the terrible secret, and the silence turned into my jail. I believed I was the only youngster who had ever gone through such adversity. I believed that I was so terrible that I needed to keep everyone at a distance. It was alone.

I engaged in a variety of silent acting out because I believed I was unable to speak, hoping that by doing so, someone would notice how drastically wrong my life was. Either my actions were unnoticed or I was commanded to act properly and be a nice girl. I often used a small knife to saw on or cut my wrist throughout third and fourth grade. I behaved strangely, laughed too much, and retreated from others.

I work as a school psychologist nowadays. Although I have surmounted my academic obstacles, I am still struggling with some of the emotional effects of abuse.

The messages regarding my abuse were also meant to silence me and shield my abusers. I was quiet and reserved, yet I also dared to take risks and gave little thought to harming myself. I was referred to be “accident prone.” I was informed that I was insane and that if I ever revealed my true identity, “someone” would take me away and I would never see my family members again, or I would be murdered. These threats scared the hell out of me.

I was always at the top of my class and a very excellent student. I was terrified to be imperfect, looking back now. I was concerned about what may occur at home. I made a concerted effort to preserve my safe haven at school by keeping quiet about my maltreatment. I can recall a few occasions when I begged instructors to take me home with them.

I now run a school bus and like having regular interactions with kids in a less regimented setting. When I see signs of child abuse, I let others know what I hear and see. Always, I would choose to take the child’s side. Making the report would be preferable than ignoring what I know.

When I was requested to lead groups for abuse survivors in 1987 at a university counseling center, I had little knowledge of the prevalence or consequences of abuse. We had underestimated the number of women who had experienced abuse as youngsters. In no time, we had 4 groups and a waiting list with more than 50 names. I became aware of the astronomical price of concealing the family’s secret. I discovered the emotional suffering that may be brought simply by feeling different. I was horrified to realize how ignorant I had previously been about the effects of abuse as a teacher. I resolved to help in some way in providing those survivors a voice so they could help today’s kids and educate us what it was like to live with abuse.