Scenario 1: A kid arrives at school with bruises all over his body and yet has no real logical explanation for these bruises and this kid has been arriving to school with more bruises lately.
Scenario 2: A kid arrives at school and seems to be getting grumpier on some days and even lashing out this school year, yet this is a kid who always had been a well behaved, caring kid in school.
Which scenario do you think brings more red flags to the faculty at school?
I bet scenario 1 gains more attention than scenario 2, the reason? Scenario 1 is a no brainer, this kid may possibly be getting physical abused somewhere and it’s the schools obligation to have the state or child protective services come in and investigate this child’s home environment. Scenario 2 is a bit more difficult to determine as to whether the school would or should get involved, why? Because there could be many excuses as to why this child is lashing out; age, hormones, puberty, overtired and the list goes on. It’s a lot easier to toss an emotionally or verbally abused child an excuse for their behavior than to call child protective services to investigate further.
All forms of abuse deeply hurt a person, it’s just the hurt that comes from the “silent abuse” that only happens behind closed doors isn’t always noticed until it’s too late. Most emotionally and verbally abused children don’t admit they were in those situations until their early adult years when they end up opening up to a trusted person in their life, which all too often is a counselor or psychiatrist. Some emotionally and verbally abused children lead extremely reckless lives and have a lower self esteem than that of your average child. You see, emotional and verbal abuse are more along the lines of word of mouth because there’s no “physical evidence” such as bruises to prove for a fact that it happened; it’s one persons word against anothers and what if that person has called that abused person a liar for so long that they are weak and don’t feel they can stand up to the person abusing them? It happens.
Many children who are abused need to have a steady adult in their life, maybe a counselor or an adult relative that can stand by their side and be open to hearing how they feel and open to listening, truly listening to this child. All it takes is one adult to open the doors to the idea of trust with this abused child and in time the child will learn to fight appropriately against their abuser. A child can not fight alone, if you are hearing a child complain of abuse in any form please step up and do all in your legal power to fight for their right to live and lead a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Abused children may not speak out on their own to everyone, but maybe if we can all help spread the word to other parents and caregivers that emotional and verbal abuse is a true form of abuse and that we need to band together to make it STOP, then another child will have hope for a brighter tomorrow!