Are You Aware Of NEGLECT

The Abuse That Is So Open To See? 

By Ange Fonce

NEGLECT is the most COMMON form of ABUSE in our Societies. 

And because it is so common most people do not regard NEGLECT as ABUSE!

Although I have focused this article on children... many adults suffer from these forms of abuse I have mentioned in this article especially the vulnerable and the elderly.

So please read on...

Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones... while physical abuse might be the most visible sign other types of abuse such as emotional abuse or child neglect also leave deep long lasting scars.

Some signs of child abuse are subtler than others and by learning common types of abuse and what you can do... you can make a huge difference in a childs life... the earlier abused children get help the greater opportunity they have to heal from their abuse and not perpetuate the cycle themselves... learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse and help break the cycle... finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers.

While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves not all child abuse is as obvious. 

Ignoring childrens needs... putting them in unsupervised and dangerous situations or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse... regardless of the type of child abuse the result is serious emotional harm.

Myths And facts About Child Abuse And Neglect

MYTH 1... It is only abuse if its violent.

Fact... Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse. 

Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging and since they are more subtle others are less likely to intervene. 

MYTH 2... Only bad people abuse their children.

Fact... While it is easy to say that only bad people abuse their children it is not always so black and white. 

Not all abusers are intentionally harming their children... many have been victims of abuse themselves and do not know any other way to parent. 

Others may be struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse problem.

MYTH 3... Child abuse does not happen in good families.

Fact... Child abuse does not only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. 

It crosses all racial... economic and cultural lines. 

Sometimes families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors.

MYTH 4... Most child abusers are strangers.

Fact... While abuse by strangers does happen... most abusers are family members or others close to the family.

MYTH 5... Abused children always grow up to be abusers.

Fact... It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults... unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children. 

On the other hand many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.

Effects Of Abuse And Neglect

All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. 

Some of these scars might be physical and emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life damaging a childs sense of personal esteem and ability to have healthy relationships and ability to function at home at work and at school. 

Some effects include...

Lack of trust and relationship difficulties. 

If you cannot trust your parents... who can you trust? 

Abuse by a primary caregiver damages the most fundamental relationship as a child... that you will safely and reliably get your physical and emotional needs met by the person who is responsible for your care. 

Without this base it is very difficult to learn to trust people or know who is trustworthy... this can lead to difficulty maintaining relationships due to fear of being controlled or abused... it can also lead to unhealthy relationships because the adult does not know what a healthy relationship is.

Core feelings of being worthless or damaged. 

If you have been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good it is very difficult to overcome these core feelings... you may experience them as reality

Adults may not strive for more education or settle for a job that may not pay enough because they do not think they can do it or are worth more. 

Sexual abuse survivors with the stigma and shame surrounding the abuse often especially struggle with a feeling of being damaged. 

Trouble Regulating Emotions 

Abused children cannot express emotions safely. 

As a result the emotions get stuffed down coming out in unexpected ways... adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety... depression or anger. 

They may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out the painful feelings.

Types Of Child Abuse

There are several types of child abuse and the core element that ties them together is the emotional effect on the child. 

Children need predictability... structure... clear boundaries and the knowledge that their parents are looking out for their safety... abused children cannot predict how their parents will act... their world is an unpredictable frightening place with no rules. 

Whether the abuse is a slap... a harsh comment... stony silence or not knowing if there will be dinner on the table tonight... the end result is a child that feel unsafe... uncared for and alone.

Child Neglect

Child neglect is a very common type of child abuse.

It is a pattern of failing to provide for a childs basic needs... whether it be adequate food... clothing... hygiene or supervision. 

Child neglect is not always easy to spot. 

Sometimes a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child such as with a serious injury... untreated depression or anxiety. 

Other times alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe.

Older children might not show outward signs of neglect becoming used to presenting a competent face to the outside world and even taking on the role of the parent. 

And at the end of the day neglected children are not getting their physical and emotional needs met.

Warning Signs Of Child Abuse And Neglect

The earlier child abuse is caught the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. 

Child abuse is not always obvious and by learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need... of course just because you see a warning sign does not automatically mean a child is being abused. 

It is important to dig deeper... looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs if you notice something off.

Warning signs Of Neglect In Children

Clothes are ill fitting... filthy or inappropriate for the weather.

Hygiene is consistently bad... unbathed matted and unwashed hair... noticeable body odour... untreated illnesses and physical injuries.

Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments... is frequently late or missing from school.

Risk Factors For Child Abuse And Neglect

While child abuse and neglect occurs in all types of families even in those that look happy from the outside... children are at a much greater risk in certain situations.

Domestic Violence. 

Witnessing domestic violence is terrifying to children and emotionally abusive... even if the mother does her best to protect her children and keeps them from being physically abused the situation is still extremely damaging. 

If you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship getting out is the best thing for protecting the children.

Alcohol And Drug Abuse. 

Living with an alcoholic or addict is very difficult for children and can easily lead to abuse and neglect. 

Parents who are drunk or high are unable to care for their children and make good parenting decisions and control often dangerous impulses. 

Substance abuse also commonly leads to physical abuse.

Untreated Mental Illness. 

Parents who suffering from depression an anxiety disorder... bipolar disorder or another mental illness have trouble taking care of themselves much less their children. 

A mentally ill or traumatized parent may be distant and withdrawn from his or her children or quick to anger without understanding why. 

Treatment for the caregiver means better care for the children.

Lack Of Parenting Skills. 

Some caregivers never learned the skills necessary for good parenting. 

Teen parents for example might have unrealistic expectations about how much care babies and small children need or parents who where themselves victims of child abuse may only know how to raise their children the way they were raised. 

In such cases parenting classes... therapy and caregiver support groups are great resources for learning better parenting skills.

Stress And Lack Of Support. 

Parenting can be a very time intensive difficult job especially if you are raising children without support from family... friends or the community or you are dealing with relationship problems or financial difficulties... caring for a child with a disability... special needs or difficult behaviors is also a challenge. 

It is important to get the support you need so you are emotionally and physically able to support your child.

Recognizing Abusive Behavior In Yourself. 

Do you feel angry and frustrated and do not know where to turn? 

Do you see yourself in some of these descriptions painful as it may be? 

Raising children is one of lifes greatest challenges and can trigger anger and frustration in the most even tempered... if you grew up in a household where screaming and shouting or violence was the norm... you may not know any other way to raise your kids... recognizing that you have a problem is the biggest step to getting help.

If You are in the USA... 

Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD to find support and resources in your community that can help you break the cycle of abuse. 

For the UK... you can either contact your local Social Services direct or contact the N.S.P.C.C on their national HELP line...0808 800 5000

If you yourself were raised in an abusive situation that can be extremely difficult because children experience their world as normal. 

It may have been normal in your family to be slapped or pushed for little to no reason or that mother was too drunk to cook dinner... it may have been normal for your parents to call you stupid... clumsy or worthless or it may have been normal to watch your mother get beaten up by your father.

It is only as adults that we have the perspective to step back and take a hard look at what is healthy and what is abusive. 

Do any of those ring a bell for you now or from when you were a child? 

The following is a list of warning signs that you may be crossing the line into abuse.

How do you know when you have crossed the line?

You cannot stop the anger... what starts as a swat on the backside may turn into multiple hits getting harder and harder. 

You may shake your child harder and harder and finally throw him or her down.

You find yourself screaming louder and louder and cannot stop yourself.

You feel emotionally disconnected from your child. 

You may feel so overwhelmed that you do not want anything to do with your child. 

Day after day you just want to be left alone and for your child to be quiet and meeting the daily needs of your child seems impossible. 

While everyone struggles with balancing dressing... feeding and getting kids to school or other activities... if you continually cannot manage to do it... it is a sign that something might be wrong.

Other people have expressed concern. 

It may be easy to bristle at other people expressing concern yet consider carefully what they have to say. 

Are the words coming from someone you normally respect and trust? 

Because denial is not an uncommon reaction.

Breaking The Cycle Of Child Abuse

If you have a history of child abuse... having your own children can trigger strong memories and feelings that you may have repressed. 

This may happen when a child is born or at later ages when you remember specific abuse to you... you may be shocked and overwhelmed by your anger and feel like you cannot control it and you can learn new ways to manage your emotions and break your old patterns.

Remember you are the most important person in your childs world and it is worth the effort to make a change and you do not have to go it alone. 

Help and support are available.

Tips For Changing Your Reactions

Learn what is age appropriate and what is not. 

Having realistic expectations of what children can handle at certain ages will help you avoid frustration and anger at normal child behavior. 

For example... 

Newborns are not going to sleep through the night without a peep and toddlers are not going to be able to sit quietly for extended periods of time.

Develop New Parenting Skills. 

While learning to control your emotions is critical you also need a game plan of what you are going to do instead. 

Start by learning appropriate discipline techniques and how to set clear boundaries for your children... parenting classes... books and seminars are a way to get this information. 

You can also turn to other parents for tips and advice.

Take Care Of Yourself. 

If you are not getting enough rest and support or you are feeling overwhelmed... you are much more likely to succumb to anger. 

Sleep deprivation common in parents of young children adds to moodiness and irritability... exactly what you are trying to avoid.

Get Professional Help. 

Breaking the cycle of abuse can be very difficult if the patterns are strongly entrenched. 

If you cannot seem to stop yourself no matter how hard you tr it is time to get help be it therapy... parenting classes or other interventions. 

Your children will thank you for it.

Learn How You Can Get Your Emotions Under Control. 

The first step to getting your emotions under control is realizing that they are there. 

If you were abused as a child you may have an especially difficult time getting in touch with your range of emotions

You may have had to deny or repress them as a child and now they spill out without your control. 

Learning To Control Your Anger

Getting anger under control is easier than you think

With a little insight into the real reasons for your anger and some effective anger management tools you can learn how to express your feelings in healthier ways and keep your temper from hurting the people in your life.

Helping An Abused Or Neglected Child.

What should you do if you suspect that a child has been abused? 

How do you approach him or her or what if a child comes to you? 

It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused in this situation... child abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even harder to talk about... just remember you can make a tremendous difference in the life of an abused child especially if you take steps to stop the abuse early. 

When talking with an abused child the best thing you can provide is calm reassurance and unconditional support... let your actions speak for you if you are having trouble finding the words... remember that talking about the abuse may be very difficult for the child. 

It is your job to reassure the child and provide whatever help you can.

Tips For Talking To An Abused Child

Avoid denial and remain calm. 

A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial and if you display denial to a child or show shock or disgust at what they are saying the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down. 

As hard as it may be remain as calm and reassuring as you can and do not interrogate... let the child explain to you in his or her own words what happened and do not interrogate the child or ask leading questions. 

This may confuse and fluster the child and make it harder for them to continue their story... reassure the child that they did nothing wrong as it takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse. 

Reassure him or her that you take what is said seriously and that it is not the childs fault.

Safety Comes First. 

If you feel that your safety or the safety of the child would be threatened if you try to intervene leave it to the professionals. 

You may be able to provide more support later after the initial professional intervention.

Reporting Child Abuse And Neglect

Making Your Voice Heard tips for communicating effectively and getting results.

If you suspect a child is being abused it is critical to get them the help he or she needs you may feel reporting child abuse seems so official as many people are reluctant to get involved in other families lives.

Understanding some of the myths behind reporting may help put your mind at ease if you need to report child abuse... many people when they become aware of abuse find themselves asking some very difficult questions like...

"I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family? 

"What if I break up someone’s home?"

"They will know it was me who called?"

"It won’t make a difference what I have to say?"


The effects of child abuse are lifelong affecting future relationships their personal esteem and sadly putting even more children at risk of abuse as the cycle continues. 

You can Help break the cycle of child abuse. 

Which in turn can lead into Adult abuse not only of other adults and children too. 

So you by making that choice to help someone who is in an abusive situation and get them help... which can have a profound beneficial effect for the rest of the victims life!

The priority in child protective services is keeping children in their home when ever possible... a child abuse report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home unless the child is clearly in danger... support such as parenting classes... anger management or other resources may be offered first to parents if it is safe for the child.

Reporting is usually anonymous although some agencies do ask your to give your name when you report child abuse it depends on the agency you report too and the child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse.

If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong it is better to be safe than sorry as I know from my own experience... it is better to make a sincere mistake then to turn and look the other way... even if you do not see the whole picture others may have noticed as well and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

Part of my work is often dealing with Abuse and personally there has been 3 times when I acted in reporting Abuse.. one of those times turned out to be something else other than Abuse and the other two times uncovered very abusive situations one for a child and the other for an elderly adult and personally I do not regret acting as I know from my work just how devastating abuse in its many forms is... I would sooner be a Man who acts from a clear conscience and risks making mistakes then looking the other way thinking it has nothing to do with me... what is a few hurt feelings over a genuine mistake when weighed against a persons health... well being and safety!

Just consider that taking the action to report abuse can prevent untold physical... mental and emotional suffering and even Death and Suicide.

You could save a Life!

If You never do ANYTHING about ABUSE in any form it will never be stopped we are all RESPONSIBLE for challenging and stopping ABUSE!


And it is only our own ACTIONS in challenging Abuse that there will be a cure for it.

What does your conscience tell you?

Have you any thoughts or comments you would like to share with me on what I have written?

I would love to hear from you.

Thank you and may you enjoy a Loving... Prosperous and Dynamic day!

Yours Sincerely

Dynamic Lifer... The Tribe of Dynamic Lifers

1... A person with a penchant for Science... creativity... books... writing... communication... fitness... women... sexing... sexuality... human relationships... psychology... physiology and any other area involving heavy use of the Intellect.

2... A bright person and glamorously Intelligent!

3... Ange is an Author... Speaker and Dynamic Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Humanistic Counselling Psychologist... Sexologist and Multipreneur... who works with those men and women who desire to personally develop themselves and their relationships to become Dynamic Lifers... creators of their own life... relationships and wealth! 

4... If you are Happy and you Know it... you are becoming a Dynamic Lifer!

To Speak to Ange and arrange a consultation for what you would like help with CLICK HERE

"Transformation happens when people fall in love with a different version of themselves and their future!"

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