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Three Myths about Child Abuse

Miriam Galindo

Dedicated to helping people get through challenging events in their lives, Dr. Miriam Galindo works with children, adolescents, and adults in California as a licensed social worker and psychologist. Dr. Miriam Galindo has also worked with patients who have experienced child abuse and neglect.

Here are three refuted myths about child abuse:
1. Abuse only happens in bad communities.
Many people believe their family and friends are safe from child abuse because they live in affluent areas with well-educated neighbors. In reality, child abuse happens in families of every income and education. Socioeconomic status does affect rates of physical abuse, but sexual and mental abuse can occur anywhere.
2. It’s not abuse if it’s not violent.
Harming, neglecting, or treating a young person or child poorly constitutes child abuse. Anger or violence do not have to be involved. Essentially, abuse occurs when an adult either exploits the power he or she has over a child or uses a child for his or her own gratification while ignoring that child’s rights and needs.
3. Children will speak up if they’re abused.
Typically, abusers are adept at using fear to keep children quiet. Between 46 percent and 69 percent of all adults who were abused as children never talk about their abuse. Further, children may lack the language skills they need to share the things that are happening to them. Because of this, behavior and physical signs are usually the first indications that a child has been abused.

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