Sunday, July 27, 2008

25 to 30% of children are abused

Though this is true worldwide and always has been, I guess, it all depends upon the degree of abuse and the kind(s) of abuse and whether the child or children in question can stay sane and alive and healthy through it all or not.

I can remember being in a University of California class on Child Psychology. There were about 500 of us attending. The professor spoke of this fact and asked for a show of hands of those in the class who were physically or sexually abused growing up and over a quarter of us raised our hands. I remember how amazed I was at the level of abuse illustrated even among those of us who had the intelligence and resources to make it into the University of California system. I haven't forgotten that experience.

One girl choose to share an instance of her father getting drunk and stabbing and nailing her hand to a table through her hand. She showed the scar but luckily it had been between the tendons and the bones so she still had good use of her hand and there was only a little scar still visible. The kinds of things even resourceful and intelligent people have to go through in life are mind boggling to even consider.

In my case I was 8 years old at a church camp and my 13 year old cousin took me into the pump room where the huge hot water heaters and heating system was located. However, I didn't know a man in the church had been molesting my cousin regularly. So my cousin said, "Lay down on this insulation." I said, "That doesn't look very comfortable." At the time I knew about men and women and babies sort of but I had no idea about men and men or women and women. At age 8 you might have just as well told me that we breathed water and drank air at that point so far those kinds of ideas were from me at the time. I was reading Batman comics at the time and it was 1956. It wasn't until I became a full adult that I started to get angry about this incident.

I can remember when I visited him and his wife when I was 29 with my 4 year old son. I mentioned this incident in front of his wife and they soon broke up. I guess that was a bad idea mentioning it in front of his wife. But I was still young and didn't always think that far ahead then. At 29 I had already been married and divorced and was raising my son by myself.

I think one of the worst places for sexual child abuse is in regard to all organized religions. I have watched how people in religious organizations and communities want so much to trust their fellow parishoners that they have blinders on and children get molested by seemingly nice people. Many people prey on children and women worldwide through the cover of religion. I find this pretty sad. I think this is why though I am spiritual I choose not to be a churchgoer. I guess it makes sense after what happened to my cousin and I.

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